Here’s the link to the beginning of the story, please share it with everyone and spread the Christmas Spirit far and wide (https://joebroadmeadowblog.com/2022/12/10/a-christmas-tale/)
“What are we listening to, grandpa? This isn’t Christmas music.” Declan said, staring out the window at the freshly fallen snow. All the trees were glistening in the morning sun and icicles hung from the edges of many roofs.
“Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things.”
“Of course it’s a Christmas song, Dec,” his grandfather answered. “This is one of my favorite times of the year. Isn’t it one of yours?”
Declan sighed, “It used to be.”
“Still looking for the Christmas spirit I see. Okay then, what are your favorites things?”
“What do you mean, like pizza or playing baseball?
“Those are all fine, but I want you to really consider it. If you could only do one thing what would it be?”
Declan looked at his grandfather. “I don’t know. I’d have to think about it.”
“Well then, we’ve got a few minutes before we get to school. Why don’t you roil it around in that brain of yours and when I pick you up later you can tell me?”
“Jeez, grandpa. You’re sending me to school with homework,” Declan said, turning back to look out the window.
His grandfather laughed. “Well, if you really think, figuring out your truly favorite things shouldn’t be any work at all.”
A few minutes later, they arrived at the school. In front of them another car pulled up and the back door opened. Ashley Brown got out, saw Declan, and waited on the sidewalk for him.
“How’s that for timing? Your girlfr…I mean your friend is waiting for you.” His grandfather winked at him.
“Stop it, grandpa,” Declan said, gathering his backpack and opening the door.
His grandfather put up his hands. “My apologies, no yucky girlfriends for you. Not now, not ever.”
“Arrrrgh,” Declan growled and jumped out…
Declan’s grandfather watched as the two spoke for a moment, then headed toward the door. He smiled when Dec ran ahead and held the door for Ashley. “There’s my boy,” he thought, “there’s my boy.”
That afternoon Declan’s grandfather sat on the hood of his car, eating ice cream.
“A bit chilly for that, grandpa,” Declan said, as he and Ashley walked towards him.”
“I’ve got my love to keep me warm…” Declan’s grandfather sang, winking at the two kids. “Would you like some?”
“No thanks,” Declan said. “See ya, Ashley. I’ll send you my part of the project later tonight.”
Ashley smiled, “Bye, Dec. Bye Mr. Campbell,” then walked off to find her mother.
“You two working on a project together?”
“Yup. The teacher assigned Ashley and I to work together.” He stopped and looked at his grandfather, eyes narrowing. “And don’t say anything about it. It wasn’t my choice.”
“My lips are sealed,” his grandfather said. “But what about your other project?”
Declan stared at him.
“Your favorite things? You were gonna think about it.”
“I already told you, pizza.”
“Pizza is just a momentary thing, What really makes you happy?” his grandfather said, finishing the last of the ice cream cone and licking his fingers.
“Well, I like when I go fishing with you and I like playing baseball with my friends.”
“And what’s the best part of playing baseball?”
“Getting a home run?”
His grandfather smiled. “Well, that is a nice experience. But it doesn’t always happen. A lot of times you strikeout or get thrown out running to base. When you think about it, the best ball players in the world only get a hit once every three times at bat. So why do you play a game where you fail most of the time?”
“I never thought of it that way,” Declan said. “I guess it’s because I like being outside with my friends.”
“And what about fishing, we don’t always catch a fish. Sometimes we sit there all day without a bite. Why do that?”
“Because it’s being at a nice lake or stream, enjoying the…the…the experience?”
“That’s sort of it. Think about this, what does playing baseball with friends and fishing with me have in common?”
“Think. What is always present at a baseball game or when we are fishing?”
“Well, I am with people I like.”
“Eureka, my boy. You’ve hit on the secret of life. As James Taylor sang, “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time…’ What he left out was enjoying the passing of time with others.”
Declan’s eyes brightened. “So if I have friends and family to enjoy my life with I must be doing okay? And maybe that’s where I find the missing Christmas spirit?”
“Like my favorite Christmas song says,
When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad