When I was young the day after Christmas was a downer of a day. It meant the thrill of the season was far away. Right after Thanksgiving I entered into the start of three separate seasons. The first was the short time from Thanksgiving to the first day of December and the beginning of Advent, the start of the Christmas Season. Then there was the twenty four days leading up to Christmas Day ending on Christmas Eve. And finally there was Christmas Day and in just twenty four hours it was all over.
I anticipated Christmas more than any other day of the year, even more than I anticipated my birthday. Every birthday you have represents change and moving on. Christmas is about renewal.
Anticipation is a complicated feeling/emotion. Anticipation can get you into trouble because it can be the cause of great disappointment. It can also get you into trouble because it causes anxiety. The anticipation of Christmas for me has largely been positive.
One of my favorite records growing up in New York City was A Christmas Carol. As you can see from the cover it was Narrated by Basil Rathbone. I just about wore the record out and one day the record was lying on my bed out of its cover and brother Scott caught the edge of it when he was swinging his belt buckle and a little piece broke off. I was devastated and I missed listening to it.
Those who know me know this is one of my favorite stories.
Years later in my late 50’s I received a large envelope in the mail from my cousin Paul Thompson. In it was the record. Somehow he had found it online, purchased and sent it to me. I don’t know when I even told him the story of the broken record. Looking at the cover brought back wonderful memories. It looked like the outside envelope had not been “handled with care” and when I pulled the record from the sleeve it had a piece missing in just about the same place and shape as the one which been broken in the late 1960’s. I never got to listen to this record because it too was damaged but I was always amazed Paul remembered the story and found it for me. I doubt he knew it was the same version from my childhood when he purchased it.