Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Miracles...Bah Humbug! (Warning: Shmaltz)

I've been thinking about Christmas Miracles lately. Glide ran out of food bags for the first time ever yesterday. Innocent children are getting sick...and staying sick. An old lady died in an apartment fire on Nob Hill the other morning. It seems that if you really, really need a miracle, tough shit, you won't get one. (Unless by "miracle" you mean "dead ticket", then you can get all you 1990.)I don't dare hope for miracles anymore. I've developed a painful, paranoid faux-Buddhist need to live in the moment lest I spend every moment worrying about the possibility of not outliving Snappy. The upside is that I've developed a faux-Buddhist appreciation for "The Moment".

Okay, this is going to sound like something I made up for shmaltz sake, but I didn't. I swear. My favorite Christmas present ever was a hairdryer. I was 12 or 13, and I was just getting into stuff like that. I really wanted a hairdryer, but I didn't say anything. I'm not sure why, but we didn't ask for gifts, but just hoped for the best. When it came to clothes, my mom was sure to by the ugliest thing to ever hang on a sale rack, but with everything else she was spot on...buying lots of fun toys when we were little and make-up for my sister and I and rock magazines for my brother when we were teens. I didn't ask for a hair dryer, but all my friends had them, they made lots of noise and provided big, fluffy hair that was the style at the time. After I had opened my presents, I eyed the beautiful Con-air 3 speed and said, "we got a lot of stuff this year." I don't remember, maybe we did, maybe we didn't, but I got a hairdryer, so, in my mind, I made out. My mother said, "no, I only spent about 25 bucks on each of you." I was floored. I was sure hairdryer alone must be worth at least 50 bucks. I didn't believe her.

Now, of course, I realize that it was our poorest Christmas ever. My mom was single and waiting tables at a Chinese restaurant. She had no money, no husband, a mortgaged house with a failing furnace, 3 kids, a bunch of cats and dogs and then, one 9.99 hairdryer bought at CVS had hit a homerun and became the best Christmas present ever. If that isn't a Christmas miracle, I don't know what is.

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