A Christmas Story

I’ve had good Christmas’s, bad Christmas’s, poor Christmas’s, family-filled Christmas’s, and lonely Christmas’s. I’m pretty sure I’m not special and that many of us can say the same. Christmas can bring out the best memories and some of the worst memories for all of us.

When we’re young, it’s all Santa Claus, presents, the birth of Jesus, presents, and food…and sometimes, more presents. For some of us, it was a little short on the presents department, but it was still Christmas and we always had the magic of television to remind us. Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, and all the others almost made it magical, even without presents.

Of course, snow always helped. I understand it’s not a requirement for Christmas, but for some reason, it’s a bonus. When I was a kid growing up in Wisconsin, we generally had a lot of snow at Christmas. Now that I live in Washington, it’s more likely to be rain…like today. Rain. Nothing says Christmas more than a shower in forty-degree weather…NOT.

Anyway, today is Christmas day. Mine began like this…

CAT: Meow.

ME (just waking up): What?

CAT: Meow.

WIFE: What does she want?

ME: I don’t know.

CAT: Meeeeeooooowwwwwww!

ME & WIFE: Food.

So I got up and went to fill her bowl. As usual, she followed me, but there was a little attitude in her step today. I found out why. We were out of cat food.

ME: We’re out of cat food.

CAT: Meeeooowww. (Translation: No kidding, Sherlock.)

So my Christmas morning began with a trip to find an open store to get cat food. I kept muttering, “Stupid cat,” as I wandered about the only open store. I only stopped when I heard a couple of other people muttering the same thing. Up until now, I had no idea cats were such a big part of Christmas. Who knew?

Anyway, I got the cat food and stopped to get my wife a nice Christmas coffee on my way home. After a nice tip (it is Christmas, after all) I drove home with my spoils. I swear the cat started eating the food even before it hit the bowl.

Some Christmas, I thought…then felt foolish for feeling sorry for myself. I remember the Christmas I spent in the Mideast during Desert Storm. That memory made me think of all the people we take for granted who are spending their Christmas in strange places, away from their loved ones, and eating God knows what for their Christmas dinner. They’re on duty today making sure we have a good day. All I can do is be grateful for their sacrifice.

If you’re working this Christmas…thank you. If you are serving this Christmas…thank you. If you have a cat that’s hungry…sorry. I can empathize.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

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