It’s the afternoon of December 25th. Christmas Day. Santa is safely tucked back at the North Pole with a steaming cup of coffee, his stockinged feet up and his big red jacket over the back of the chair for its annual trip to the cleaners tomorrow. Many others the world over are unconsciously quoting the commercial from a few decades back, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing”.
Christmas is a day for giving. So today, while we gather with those dear to us, I give my utmost respect, best wishes, and thanks to the forgotten. Merry Christmas to all who are manning the convenience stores this day, so little Johnny’s truck will have batteries, and we will have enough gas to get to Grandma’s house, and that extra gallon of milk so the mashed potatoes are creamy. Merry Christmas to all the cooks, servers, busboys, dishwashers, and managers at the thousands of restaurants and truck stops who will serve countless thousands today as they travel to and from, or maybe as they treat their family to someone else’s cooking. Merry Christmas to all those who work at casinos, amusement parks, and other tourist destinations where people go to spend the holiday. Merry Christmas to all the police, firefighters, EMTs, sheriff deputies who put their lives on the line for us daily, no matter what significant day the calendar says it is. Merry Christmas to every single person who pulls a duty shift at a hospital, nursing facility, hospice or extended care facility. The patients you see today are lucky for your selfless devotion to your profession. Merry Christmas to those who work at movie theaters today, and allow those who have a tradition of seeing the latest Hollywood has to offer on this day that privilege.
My biggest Merry Christmas wishes I save for last. Merry Christmas to all who face a life threatening or terminal illness this day. May you have a symptom free day with those you love. Merry Christmas to all the caregivers, spouses, children and extended families. May you be given the great gift of being able to just enjoy, even if for just a few minutes, without the constant reminder of illness. And Merry Christmas to those who have had to say that last goodbye this past year. May the memories of past Christmases with your loved ones allow you to smile through your tears, and may you feel their presence with you today and always.
Merry Christmas 2013, and as the venerable Tiny Tim said so eloquently, “God bless us, every one.”