How Bob Saved Christmas

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times………….”

To all of you who tune in regularly and also those unfortunate few who do not, I share the deepest and most sincere wish that you are surrounded by friends and family and that your holidays are and will continue to be filled with joy, hope, love, gratitude and boundless laughter.  As befitting a Dickensian scene, this Christmas I was the lucky beneficiary of the revelation that true friendship can be revealed to us at times unexpected.  That one (Bob) will step forward in the true spirit of giving while others in hushed tones snicker and ridicule.

As those of you who have followed my recent blogs will know, our Christmas tree – being well into it’s second year – was devoid of the greenery characteristic of your garden variety seasonal home decor.  It was a seasoned tree, having witnessed this holy humiliation all before, but was now experiencing an embarrassing condition for any tree; its sweet foliage of youth  gone and private parts openly exposed,  decorated as sparsely as a Victoria Secret model. It was the conversation piece of all who entered our abode and by Christmas Eve one could tell by it’s joyless, lilting branches that the murmurings from the other neighborhood trees was making it  self-conscious and forlorn.

For most of us however it was 6:30 0n Christmas Eve and the dozen or so gathered here were well into our cups, as they say across the pond.  Our spirits were high, there was laugher a plenty and we were well along in the process of becoming overfed and over served.  All save one……… my new grandson, Kieran.

He  sat ankle high in his recliner with an empty plastic wine glass, chewing on the tape measure that his grandmother had generously given him for Christmas.  While enduring the drunken chaos that raged above him he stared at his first Christmas tree weighing this disappointment against that of his first Halloween and a costume that my daughter, Kelsey, described with appropriate understatement as “not the best.”   With a lifetime of such Christmases ahead of him, he lay there contemplating which family to choose next but more immediately what to say to the other infants at day care who had by now seen this tree on Facebook.  To make matters worse, his cousin was in Florida at a Syrian Christmas party with scantily clad belly dancers, a green Christmas tree, loud music and boundless merriment!


With Kieran’s spirits at their lowest ebb he consoled himself as best he could.

But wait, there was commotion at the door. A very late Christmas Eve mail delivery! Odd?  But it was Christmas and miracles do happen!   Susan entered the room and handed me a small, plain, unmarked, brown wrapped package and said “This appears to be for you.”  I fondled this with some trepidation,  doubts now dancing across my cerebral cortex resulting in wavering uncertainty over the sagacity of opening said package in front of  a now gathering crowd.  An unusual package, yes…..possibilities flashed through my mind…….. Adut recreational paraphenalia?  A gift of anthrax – courtesy of the Salvation Army guy? A supena for something? A letter from a long ago acquaintance who mistook me for Bob and was now demanding child support??????????????  But open it I did!  (Pause – drumroll)  Immediately upon penetrating the envelope,  evergreen needles burst forth followed by a tube of superglue, and  the sound of boisterous laughter filling the room. The accompanying note from Bob and Sue identified it as a Christmas Tree Restoration Kit with instructions for use.


Thus Bob saved our Christmas, made Kieran a very happy baby and kept me busy long into the night. One cannot put a price tag on tat kind of friendship.  Thank you Bob and Sue.









May the spirit of the season be with you all.

Most sincerely,  Grumpa


  1. Loren

    Seems like the stories of “50 shades of Grey” had alittle influence on your year of 2016.
    I hope there is a sequel.

  2. tom colbert

    Your French café photo no doubt captures one of the few moments when the young lady over your right shoulder was not looking over her right shoulder at you-such is the irresistible charm of a greying, somewhat scruffy man in his ’60’s after his third glass of wine ( just ask Susan ).

    Keep up the journal entries – your devoted readers, and perhaps some of your former patients, thank you for your retirement which have made these posts possible.

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