Sitting Five

Meanwhile

Sometimes the clouds of the sky gently descend and cover us with the dew of the heavens. We call it fog.

As the day winds to a sleepy conclusion, we retire to our beds to revel in night visions free of mortal limitations. These are our dreams.

Strolling along, sensing a pending danger, we pause to reflect, later to realize that this supernatural inkling spared us immense pain. A premonition.

The spirit world, like a great cloud of witnesses, engulfs us with merciful loving care, unseen, but of great worth.

In a place which does not truly exist on any map, invisible to the naked eye, an aged man sits, suspended in time, all alone, staring into a snow globe, the circumference of an elephant’s head, viewing the dilemma of a young woman squeezed by a fretful situation, hard pressed to please her superiors, yet trying to somehow justify her endeavors from an unsettled soul.

This aged seer is a toy maker–Kris Kringle by name, Santa Claus by fame. Tears come to his eyes as he ponders the turmoil of Shelley Claibourne. Her assignment? Change the name of Christmas.

He frowns. Will it lead to other unforeseen revisions? What will be required? What can be done?

Being a wise spirit, Kringle realizes that such contemplation is better ruminated with friends. So he calls a meeting–an invitation breathed through the air to spirits near and far, to come and fellowship.

Everett Green, the spirit of the forest and the Prince of the Tannenbaum.

Holly Sprig, the jolly saint of the season, green with promise and red with celebration.

Christmas Carol, the melody of a joy to the world through a silent night which commands the angels we have heard on high.

Santere, the leader of the wise few who followed a star through the darkest night to see the Babe of Promise.

Mary and Joseph, the adolescent pair who insisted that their pure love was ushering in pure peace.

And of course, Lit–the light of the world that sheds illumination on every continent, religion, culture and color.

Kris Kringle simply closed his eyes, envisioned each friend, and softly said, “It is time to gather.”

A sweet fragrance rose to his nostrils. A rush of wind. A warming in the soul. A giddy sense of well-being. Soon he was surrounded with the comrades beckoned. Opening his eyes, he looked into their childlike, expectant faces.

Everett, appropriately donned in greenery

Holly, festive and alive

Carol, completely encompassed by bouncing musical notes which burst like soap bubbles, releasing sweet tones

Santere, removing his turban and embracing Kringle for a lingering exchange of fellowship

Mary and Joseph, quiet, patient but prepared

And finally, Lit, sparkling an iridescent beam of welcome and cheer

Kris surveyed his friends and spoke slowly. “Shelly Claibourne is in turmoil.”

Some nodded. Others listened intently–all spirits present.

Kringle continued. “We have known for all time that the humans we love and cherish are losing their faith.”

“It is not their fault,” whispered Everett Green. “They spend too much time at work and too little in the forest.”

Holly Sprig spoke up. “We all know they need to feel no guilt, but failing to find the blessing of color to decorate the plainness can leave you in despair with the gray.”

“On this we agree,” intoned Kringle.

“A song is a prayer that brings melody to the heart,” sang Christmas Carol.

Santere inquired, “What is the source of Shelley’s pressure?”

“She has been asked to rename Christmas,” answered Kris.

“Why?” challenged Joseph.

“Why, indeed?” agreed Kris Kringle. “There are those who feel the holiday could be just as festive without all the traditions of meaning.”

“Without Jesus?” said Mary solemnly.

“That is part of it,” said Kringle. “But there is more. They feel that one man’s joy and salvation is another man’s condemnation.”

“There is no condemnation in the light,” said Lit.

A complete and reassuring assent was followed by a long moment of silence.

At length, Santere offered counsel. “We must do what we always do.”

The entire assembly understood. For in the midst of a mass of humanity, there are those who have greater sensitivity to the spirit world. They are free of guile. They are not possessed by deadlines. They are absent prejudice. They are curious about the “possible” which lives within the “impossible.”

They are children–or have at least honored and given permanent home to a child’s heart.

“Yes,” said Kris. “We need a champion.”

“But how?” asked Everett.

“A mortalation,” replied Joseph. “I had one in the midst of a sweet sleep one night, which told me to take Mary as my wife.”

He squeezed her hand and she nestled into his warmth.

“A good idea!” said Lit. “I will light the way.”

“I will offer the wording of wisdom,” inserted Santere.

“I, the music,” chimed Carol.

“But who?” questioned Kringle.

Silence. Thought. Contemplation.

Who is always the problem,” said Holly Sprig.

“We shall watch and pray. Pray and watch. And then watch some more,” replied Kris Kringle, the Santa Claus.

The meeting was over.

The spirits dissolved into forces of the universe, zooming in diverse directions to fulfill personal missions.

A solitary Kris Kringle peered into his snow globe.

“Who…shall it be?”

Sitting Six

Charrleen and The Jubilators

It was Dunleavy who proposed that a song might be the best way to inspire the public with a new name for Christmas.

“Yes, a tuneful transition,” he concluded.

Shelley was once again placed in charge, this time of finding a pop star who would be willing to write and record a song entitled, “Great Jubilation.”

She was provided a handsome stipend to offer to the artist, but even with the incentive of cash, many musicians were reluctant.

The most famous band in the land, The Payload, was already busy in the studio on a new album. Rhythm and blues superstar, Fairmont, wasn’t confident that it fit his image. Several other recording artists turned it down on principle, not wanting to be the “pied pipers” to lead the departure of all the rats from Christmas.

Finally, Shelley got Charrleen to agree and sign a contract. She was a rising vocalist in the adult contemporary market. Although only twenty-two years of age, she already had three number one hits to her credit. She was perfect.

Her mother was Jewish and her father, Greek Orthodox. She was also dating a black rapper. Everything covered.

Shelley explained to Charrleen that a song was needed, and the concepts that were involved. Without hesitation, the young recording star leaped into the project.

Meanwhile, an all-star band and chorus were formed from many past-blazing-stars and promising nova, and dubbed The Jubilators.

Shelley was completely shocked when three days after her meeting with Charrleen, she received a call telling her that the song was finished. Matter of fact, Charrleen sent her a copy of the lyrics to the chorus, explaining that the melody was the blending of a traditional Christmas anthem and “Old Motown.”

Shelley perused the words:

Great Jubilation

A tune of celebration

We lift our voice

Knowing it’s our choice

Young and free

With love, you see

The name we sing

The song we bring

Love to one another

Sisters and brothers

Our generation

Our revelation

Great jubilation

Shelley absolutely loved it–partly because it was so easy to understand, but mostly because it was done and she didn’t have to worry about it anymore.

Two weeks later, Charrleen and The Jubilators went into the studio and within a month, the song was pressed, ready to go and being aired on the rotation.

A slow start. Then, some TV promotion, and suddenly sales soared. People really liked the song. They seemed to be accepting the name, Great Jubilation.

Some religious groups objected, but they were quickly portrayed as outsiders, old fogeys and behind the times.

Even the four members of the committee agreed. Charmaine thought it was a catchy tune. Lisa admitted that it was the least offensive of offensive ideas. Mike surprised everyone by saying that the church kids were already singing it. And Timothy added his two cents by saying, Charrleen is hot.”

Great Jubilation was growing in popularity. Christmas was already beginning to sound a little old-fashioned.

Published by Jonathan Cring