A Subdued March Towards Christmas
Recently, walking past the windows of Lord & Taylor on
5th Avenue, I paused long enough to appreciate the effort
that had gone into creating the windows in the store. Animated
miniature figures decorated Christmas trees and populated
a world that looked inspired by OUR TOWN.
In that pause, I realized I was having a harder than usual
time getting in the Holiday spirit. And it wasnt just
me. Ive noticed that most individuals I have observed
are having a hard time this year getting going on this Holiday
thing. Usually, even in a light rain, crowds collect to admire
New York department store windows.
But not this year
I was on my way to the Algonquin Hotel to meet friends and
business colleagues for drinks. The rest of the walk I speculated
as to why I was feeling less than Holiday like.
It might be as simple as that I have been fighting a cold
ever since I found myself meandering around New York in a
heavy rain one day, between appointments, unable to hail a
taxi and enroute to meetings not conveniently reached by subway.
The chill that settled in that day has yet to depart despite
long, hot baths, prodigious amounts of Vitamin C and plenty
of rest and fluids.
My personal universe is a bit in disarray. Several clients
and friends are having particularly hard business times this
year and that has dampened my Holiday cheer. Reports from
my friend Christine Olson as she toured India took me back
to my own time there when I had to accept my personal inability
to change the universe at that moment, though acknowledging
a sense of global responsibility.
But I love the Holidays and it is time to shake this lethargy
and begin to brighten up my soul. I dont want to miss
the joy of the moment by failing to be in it.
This, of course, is the lesson Thornton Wilder was giving
us when he wrote OUR TOWN. So, having been reminded of him
by the windows in Lord & Taylor, I am resolving to do
my best to face the moment and embrace it.
Today I settled on what I was going to do for many on my
One of the projects I have worked on this year is OFF TO
WAR, following the Arkansas National Guard from call-up and
were in Iraq with them right now. Their families need
financial help in sending Christmas gifts and goodies to the
men and so, in the name of friends, family and clients I am
going to send a donation to help pay for a version of Santas
While some of my friends and clients are having some difficult
moments, I am aware we live privileged lives in general.
We live in relative safety and there are social safety nets
for us, porous as we may feel them to be.
I am not stationed in Baghdad, concerned about encountering
an IED [Improvised Explosive Device], an acronym for something
intended to hurt or kill me.
So, today, I am figuratively slapping myself in the face
and saying: get with it. Its the HOLIDAY Season.
There is magic in the season and I want to place myself in
the middle of that magic and celebrate it as it puts its bright,
seasonal spotlight on many of the things which are best about
Yes, I know it may be hard this year. I dont think
my friends in New York are the only ones who are having a
bit of a tough time. The future feels a bit uncertain but
I do know that I do have today and TODAY I am going to start
throwing myself into the Holiday Season and see if I can spread
a little joy.
Go on, spread a little yourself.
If any of you would like to help Santas sleigh from
Arkansas to Iraq, heres the info
Send your donations to:
239th Engineer Co.
Attn: Anita Allen
300 Scoggins Road
Clarksville, AR. 72830