Christmas 2020…Is Coming

American actors James Stewart (1908 – 1997) and Donna Reed (1921 – 1986) star in the film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, 1946. The children are Larry Simms (Peter Bailey), Jimmy Hawkins (Tommy Bailey) and Carol Coombs (Janie Bailey). (Photo by RKO Pictures/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

This is the coldest day I have experienced for sometime! It currently is 36 degrees and it feels like 27 degrees. That is winter in Little Egypt! I am in the Writing Loft…as it is much to cold for the Writing Porch… I have so many collectibles and chotskies surrounding me, both on my desk and my file cabinet, that I am constantly entertained. I often think that once I have departed this mortal coil…others who see my surroundings will say to my sons…what was your father’s interests…and they will answer…diverse… Just in front of me I have a stature of Shakespeare and Hamlet along with a Russian Nesting Doll of former former Soviet Union Premier of Boris Yeltsin, with all of the other Russian leaders…back to Czar Alexander III…nestled inside. Along with these are an Alaskan Polar bear and David Copperfield and figurines of Norman Rockwell’s ‘Freedom From Fear and ‘Baby’s First Step.’ A unique piece of art that I purchased in New Orleans that depicts Paris, France and Snake Bowl that I purchased the other day at the St. Louis Art Museum and which was crafted in Nicaragua. There also is an old timer Kalidscope that Aaron gave me as a Christmas gift a few years back and a Waterford Crystal Sail Boat purchased in Ireland at the Waterford factory. There is a wooden cross from Mexico and a pewter figurine of a Innkeeper made by the Franklin Mint from my favorite antique shop in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. There is a handcrafted box from Aruba and a painted pewter, well proportioned man with a red sport coat and a white shirt and tie…with a bulging belly and a bald head…that reminded me of me! I unpacked my prize Christmas gift from my friend JoAnn, who told me that she had gotten a Renaissance Santa…for a Renaissance man…

My spirit was lifted this afternoon as I walked the path of Southern Illinois Universities Campus Lake. The communal Christmas decorations had begun! Christmas is hope…for a better day! For we christians the weeks of Advent brings to our hearts an anticipation of the arrival of the Christ Child. I saw a photograph of an old tree that was split to make room for a young and new tree growing inside of it. I think that we may feel much the same way as we begin to receive our vaccines for the 2020 pandemic and are able to return…not to life as we knew it…but to a revelation of life as we were meant to live… Life has been as Thomas Hobbes wrote in Leviathan: ‘No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; that life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.’ Soon…we are going to be given a second chance… or as the angel told George Bailey in the storied holiday movie, ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’ ‘You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be do just throw it away?’

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