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Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is Managing Director of Intermat, Inc., ( a television company which executive produces programs and consults with industry companies on a variety of issues. Intermat, Inc. is currently involved in approximately thirty hours of television in various stages for a variety of networks. He is one of the Executive Producers of OFF TO WAR, a ten hour series for Discovery Times and for a one hour on international adoptions for Discovery Health. He has consulted a variety of companies, including Ted Turner Documentaries, WETA, Betelgeuse Productions, and Creation Films, Lou Reda Productions as well as many others.

December 14, 2006

Tombers Presents His Holiday Musings…

As I write this, I am cozy in the cottage; Christmas carols play on the stereo and a fire is burning in the Franklin stove. The Christmas tree is up and it is lit, warming the opposite end of the room from the stove.

Outside, it is unseasonably warm; the temperature has been hovering around 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the last week or so, a circumstance that has resulted in conversations about global warming mixed with a natural relief at the lack of seasonal discomfort.

The trains going back and forth from the city are filled with Holiday shoppers, who leave in the morning empty handed and return at night with the same travelers burdened with multiple bags, full of Holiday gifts.

I am doing little shopping. I am looking forward to a simple Christmas, a Christmas of quiet and reflection, peace and the comfort of a few good friends. The other evening some friends and I realized none of us had plans for Christmas Day and have decided we will gather together, with, perhaps, a few other Holiday “waifs and strays” and create a good, relaxing time.

Rather than shopping my brains out, I am baking quiches for local friends, something personal, something handmade, something in which I will have invested my time and love rather than my money.

My clients will receive a note that I have contributed to a charity; as a small company I don’t have the manpower and resources to send gifts – and whatever I send wouldn’t be anything needed anyway. So I am giving a donation to a charity that needs.

The season is about people. That was clear to me tonight. There is a small community of people who ride the train every day. I am a regular irregular. When that small community decided to throw a Christmas party on the train, I was invited to join.

The grouping consisted of an odd mixture of east coast train regulars, including a producer for NOW on PBS, a group of men who help keep their companies humming on-line, a few lawyers, a couple of state lobbyists, and a few people for which I have NO clue as to what they do. Everyone brought food and alcoholic libations. We took over the now defunct café car; I made martinis while a three course dinner was laid out.

The core group spread their Christmas spirit to anyone who ventured into their ken. It made me smile to watch a mother traveling to family with her five year old son playing “fish” with a train regular whom they had never met before while gales of laughter floated around them.

As a now un-partnered adult, who lives far from any family, my life has become an interesting and satisfying patchwork quilt of ad hoc relationships that nurture me and substitute for the old traditional configurations.

This is the nature of America today, I suspect, a country much populated by people who often live far from nuclear family members and who are therefore necessarily engaged in creating relationships that are both ad hoc and satisfying in the bonding of individuals who are choosing to be together or who choose to celebrate the necessity of being together, such as my interesting group of travelers on the train who have developed a real kind of friendship, born of shared necessity and bonded by mutual appreciation.

As these Holidays descend upon all of us, I wish you the best of them and the best with your families, either those of birth or those of choice. May you have the nurturing presence of other people who fill out your “selves” and remind you of the magic of both the season and of life.

Happy Holidays! See you in the New Year!