One Forgotten Thing

“Tonight, folks, you see the miracle of Christmas all around you. It is in the help given to a neighbor, the music resounding through stores and churches, in resplendent parades and pageants. It is in the tinsel and color and sparkle shining through each window. It is in the light of the eyes of a child. It is in our hearts.”

Dan shrugged into his jacket and plucked the key from his pocket to lock the door. He had hit all the right notes tonight. The audience had chuckled and nodded at just the right places. It had become second nature by now. Just as his grandmother had hoped, he had become a very good speaker. Very good. He knew how to move a crowd, how to fill them with questions or anger or, like tonight, fill their hearts with the blessed joy of the holiday.

He stepped quickly down the cement steps, breathing in the cold night air. He stopped and looked around him at muted lights of a city gone dark and quiet on a night when most turned to home for nurture and entertainment. Christmas Eve.

As he turned the lock of his home, a striking building on an upscale city block, his foot nudged something on the top step. Picking it up, he turned it over in his hands. A small piece from a crèche. Whose it was or how it had landed on his step he had no idea, but someone would be missing this tonight. Surely they would want it to complete the Christmas scene.

He bent down and dropped the infant Jesus back in its place as he stepped over it and Caribou Coffeeshut his door. He would turn on one of those wonderful Christmas movies tonight and appreciate the stories with happy endings. He would drink cocoa and eat some fudge someone had given him. He would play games on the new computer he had indulged in as a Christmas present to himself.

And the baby Jesus lay in the quiet night outside in the cold.

Photo: Caribou-Coffee.jpg

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