Sitting Thirty-Three

Christmas in January

Golda recovered beautifully. She was out of the hospital in less than a week, and within three weeks, she had rehabilitated back to being everything she had been—just minus some hair. They shaved much of it off for the operation. But, Golda thought, that’s why they make wigs.

Because Golda missed Christmas, Grandmama decided to change Christmas—just for this one year—on her own authority, to January 15th. She rented a huge twelve-bedroom ski lodge in the Colorado Rockies and invited twenty people to come for a special celebration of the Christmas season—and also to exchange gifts, decorate a Christmas tree, sit around a fireplace, drink eggnog, and talk about how Christmas had been lifted up and became a “Great Jubilation.”

Chris was there with Shelley. They were as happy as a couple could be—having worked out all their fears of hidden pounds.

Lisa was there with her new boyfriend—none other than Timothy Barkins himself. Although at first she was a little embarrassed to be with such a childlike man, she found out that she liked childlike. (She also discovered that he was man enough to cover her simple needs.)

Golda’s parents were there, who kept their word, and now were running a flourishing business from their happy home. Of course, Shanisse and Harry were there, reciting over and over again, in great detail, all the joys of their escapades. Several members of the cast joined in, and Grandmama Eloise even invited Mr. Dunlevy, who was recently divorced, and Mr. Markins, who was newly married.

The stay at the lodge, one week in length, starting on January 15th, rivaled the performance on Christmas Eve, because the soul who had created the show was alive and well, free of a tumor, and still full of spirit.

While opening up Christmas presents, there was a knock on the door. Chris, being the closest, rose to answer the knock and see who it was. Standing there was a man, dressed in the brown uniform of the delivery company, with a huge mop of white hair and a big, white beard. He handed over a box to Chris and asked him to sign for it.
”What is it?” Chris asked.

“I don’t know,” said the man. “I just deliver.”

Chris looked closely at him, and then asked, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Santa Claus? I mean, if he hadn’t combed his hair for a day or two?”

“I get that all the time,” the man scoffed. “I’m no more Santa Claus than you are.”

Chris considered sharing but instead, shut the door and stepped into the room carrying the box. He handed it over to Charrleen, saying, “This was just delivered…by a guy who looked just like Santa Claus.”

Golda leaped to her feet. “Maybe it was Santa Claus?”

“Nah…I don’t think so,” said Chris. “Not unless Santa Claus is having a real bad day.”

“So,” said Charrleen. “Who should open the box?”

She looked around the room, landing at last on Golda. “How about you?”

Golda was in a present-opening mood. “Yes!” she said. She pulled on the ribbon and pulled and pulled. Finally, it opened. She removed a stuffed creature, about three feet tall. She looked into the eyes and said, “Oh, my Lord. It’s Lit!”

Everyone in the room looked at each other, puzzled. But Charrleen knew, whispering to Golda. “Is that what Lit looks like?”

Golda whispered back, “Just like this! But he’s always bouncing around…”

Charrleen smiled. “I’ll bet you can get him bouncing…”

Golda hugged Lit, and when she did, five beams of light in different colors streamed from him, blinked for a few seconds, and then went out. The whole room gasped. It was very iridescent.

Chris reached into the box and pulled out a piece of paper. He unfolded it. “Looks like a letter,” he said. He handed it to Charrleen.

She read out loud:

“Dear Golda: Merry Christmas! The January 15 version. I thought you might enjoy this little friend. I call him Lit, but you can call him whatever you want to.”

Charrleen looked over at Golda, who put a hand to her mouth to keep from screaming. Charrleen continued reading:

“I want you to do me a favor until next Christmas. I want you to make the world a better place. I want you to help children. I want you to bring faith to the doubters, hope to the depressed. And love to the rejected. I want you to start an organization that does nothing but keep Christmas alive 365 days a year. I want you to set up offices decorated with lights and trees, so that you never forget the power of giving, and the intelligence of believing. I want you to work with Charrleen. I want you to work with Grandmama Eloise. I want you to include your parents. And don’t forget that Christopher and Shelley have also been brought into the fold and are ready to do good work.

“I tried to think about what you would need, and the only thing I thought you might require, beyond your own passion, is twenty-five million dollars—to get started. I didn’t have that money. Nor did any of my friends. But we went out and inspired some men and women who did have the money, and they have put together a start-up fund for you, so that you can bless the world and help people see how much fun it is, and how much easier it makes things in the long run. So please accept this check for twenty-five million dollars to start your own North Pole—right where you are.”

Wishing you well,

Friends (you know who we are)”

Charrleen, holding the check in the air, finished reading, and as those gathered had sung together, eaten together, given gifts together—they now cried together. Shelley and Chris kissed each other, unashamed. Matter of fact, there was a lot of kissing going on—so much kissing that if you were there, you might have been embarrassed.

Golda could not believe how super-wonderful it was. She carried the check over to Shelley, showed it to her, and with big eyes asked, “Will you help me do what the letter says?”

Shelley kissed her on the forehead and said, “I will. You know,” she said, looking into Golda’s eyes, “I want to thank you for giving us all life. You almost lost your own. But now you’re resurrected, and you’ve resurrected us all.”

It wasn’t like church. It wasn’t a pep rally. It wasn’t supernatural. No, it was human, catching us on one of our better days. Shelley, Chris, Golda, Charrleen and all their friends had a new mission—one which they dubbed: The Santa Cause.


Published by Jonathan Cring