Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Best Thing that Happened to Me This Christmas...

was that I got my car stuck in a snowbank.

It's no secret that I'm no fan of Christmas, and even on the "I could really live without this holiday" spectrum, this one is falling pretty low. My mother was sick for the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas and ended up cramming all of her shopping into a couple of terrible weather days just before Christmas. I'm really stressed about something important at work, and the temperature was well below zero during the week leading up to Christmas, and my Christmas tree was in storage. All around, it just wasn't going well--nothing catastrophic, but thejoyo of the season was lacking. Even my daughter, a holiday junkie, said a few days ago, "It's just NOT Christmas."

Of course, not being Christmas would have been all good with me, except that none of the stress or expense or running in a thousand directions went away just because it didn't seem like Christmas. By Christmas Eve morning I was encouraging myself with the fact that it was all going to be over any day and we could go back to normal.

In fact,when I headed out yesterday morning, I wasn't feeling too bad. The weather was, finally, beautiful. The snow was deep and soft and I was off on my last errand--one that wouldn't take l long at all.


But here's the thing. Within minutes of my getting stuck, a neighbor I've never met came over to help, and he stuck it out to the bitter end. Then a complete stranger stopped and offered to help push--a stranger in a $60,000 car who I'd never have expected to get out and push a Neon out of a snowbank. Then my landlord arrived to shovel (a bit too late, I think) and started digging out UNDER my car. Then my dad came, and when he found that he couldn't pull the car out with his Jeep, he called a friend with a 4 x 4 truck...who showed up in minutes and yanked me out like he was plucking an apple off a tree.

In the end, though I felt bad about the time it had eaten up for all of these other people and all of their efforts, I was feeling like the time had been better spent than if I'd just hopped off to the store, because I was really overwhelmed by the sense of community and giving, and even by the teamwork among these people who didn't know one another and came together to solve my problem.

I was really starting to think that I DID dimly remember what Christmas was supposed to be about, after all.


The Right Blue said...

Apparently your feelings and mine regarding holidays are very similar, if not congruent. That said, I really appreciate this nice story. (Of course the cynic in me wonders if all those people would have been as solicitous had it not been Christmas Eve...)

Happy New Year to you and your daughter. I hope 2009 brings you health, happiness and prosperity -- and a minimum of holiday anguish!


absolutelytrue said...


Did you ever read Stubby Pringle's Christmas?