Can you feel it? There is something in the air. I'm not talking about the chill from the weather, rather the holidays are here.
Like many of you out there, I too am suffering from that old turkey hang-over today.
Now that Thanksgiving is done we can get down to what is really important.
Today marks the kick-off of the Christmas shopping season. But there's a lot of gloom and doom out there if you believe what you see on TV. Times are getting tough for a lot of us. But something tells me that we're going to be OK.
Some of the best holidays that I can remember were when my family was going through tough times.
You might not be able to afford the new video game or buy this year's hot toy that little old ladies throw down to fisticuffs about. All that junk is not really important.
The most important part of the holidays for me is the ability to spend it with family and friends. One little thing that means the most for me is getting Christmas cards.
Yeah, I know, it's a silly little tradition but it really warms my heart to get one. It seems somewhat old fashioned in today's high tech environment, but as the years go by it's one of the things I look forward to the most.
Especially when it comes from someone you haven't heard from for a long time. It means a lot that someone took the time out of their day to think about you and it only cost the price of cards and a stamp to bring a little joy into someone's life.
The best card I ever remember getting was from a friend who had fallen on some hard times. He did not have much to give so he decided to share his life with his friends. Being an employee of a one-hour photo shop, he took it upon himself to make his own holiday cards.
Being a bachelor he didn't use the traditional family portrait. He used an oversize picture of his living room. Remember, my friend was a bachelor and in his mid-30s at the time. Needless to say his living room looked like what you would expect from a man in his mid-30's.
Beer cans specked the landscape of his single-wide trailer with every piece of clothing that he own draped over his furniture and piles of clothing laying across the stained carpet that looked like a map of Western Europe.
He had so many pizza boxes stacked up next to his couch that he used them as an end table. His dishes were piled on the dining room table that had not been used since the time of the Soviet Union.
You needed a tetanus shot just looking at this picture.
All the card said was "Merry Christmas...Love Ed."
He mailed them out to everyone he knew and everybody just loved that Christmas card. In his own way Ed shared honestly his life with everyone that was important to him.
There was no neatly wrapped bow over a high price present. He wasn't trying to keep up with the Joneses. It was just Ed being Ed.
That what was so special about that card. It didn't take a lot to make and it was part of him. Best of all he used his imagination.
His hard times have passed and today Ed is married and has a wonderful child and I'm happy to report his living room is now clean.