HEY, COVID-19 or no COVID-19 you’ve got to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.
I’ve 2 dozen various reasons to lift my spirits this time of year, but, later about that.
For me, the true spirit of the birth of baby Jesus lies in the encounters that I have been privileged to be a part of.
Somehow, something wonderful happens every year this time of the year.
In 2002, I was visiting a friend in NYC and stayed in her Brooklyn crib. I woke up late one winter morning while my friend had gone to work.
After making lunch, I took the subway to meet her at her workplace at The Westin New York at Times Square. She had given me brief directions on how to travel via the labyrinthine lines of the subway system and I thought “piece of cake”.
I boarded a train cluelessly and after a while when I looked up, I realised everyone around me was African American. I was on the wrong train likely headed to the Bronx! I hitched up my pants, turned and strutted off the train, bouncing onto one headed in the other direction.
Biting Off Too Much?
Soon, I found myself smack in the middle of The Big Apple.
The expansiveness was bustling with people jolly with Christmas shopping and I had a faulty cellphone so I couldn’t call my friend.
And, I couldn’t remember the route to the newly opened hotel.
I asked about five or six strangers, none of whom had heard of the hotel. I didn’t know what to do and was really petrified that I would be stuck in a foreign land completely lost in the crowds, and maybe to discover my latent agoraphobia.
Just when my inner Walter Mitty was about to consume me, a policeman appeared not far from me. It was as if the clouds had split open in my storm of anxiety, and thankfully I walked up to him for directions.
You know that feeling when kindness gives you all that it can squeeze out? That policeman flashed a good ol’ American warm smile at me and taking great care in how he mothered me, gave me clear instructions on the short walk towards the hotel.
Almost 20 years have passed and that warm, fuzzy, winter wonderland feeling of the kindness of strangers in uniform, still makes me think that the bells and ho-ho-hos of Christmas do send us greetings in unexpected ways.
This year, a surprise came from the www.thirsty.com.sg folks who delivered the ‘Not An Advent Calendar’ Christmas gift to me which is really a big fun crate bursting with 24 cans of beer and a ‘Thirsty’ beer glass.
I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since February ‘cos I’ve been fasting for religious reasons…. Ha ha. Got you there. Nah, it’s a beatnik thing.
Intoxication beckoned with 2 dozen non-identical flavours to pick from and I intuitively reached for the Tropical DNA which is a…where was I chugging along to? Oh, yup, it’s an India Pale Ale.
Pardon me as I write this, half woozy from the tropical aftertaste in my mouth and Goa Rave Party on my mind. This ale is a mirthful, slow hit that slows the wit and packs a hit.
24 cans of beer in the box. 24 cans in the bin.
Merry Cwhistmas everybody…hic!