‘Twas a few nights before Christmas at the House o’Saw; and nothing was happening… not any nothing at all. A shark stocking hung on a doorknob with care, it was the grandson’s — he wanted it there. The little fella was nestled all snug in his bed, with his favorite stuffed rabbit on top of his head. Soon I’d crawl in bed too, beside of my wife,

But first John Q, (that’s the yellow stuffed bear side-kick) and I were watching- It’s A Wonderful Life…

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter… and we didn’t do a damned thing. No springing from bed or flash flying to the window to see “what was the matter.” Nope, not this time! Every year it’s a night before X-mas, everyone’s settled in and then there’s a “clatter” or noise, scream or explosion. Then some iconic holiday personage (or thing) shows up at the door and has to be dealt with. Well there’ll be no Easter bunnies, Grinches, Krampuses, Vampire Clauses, giant killer lobsters, distressed Santas or zombie reindeer this year. Because under no circumstances are we opening that… “Oh hewo!” and John Q. just answered the door…sigh.

So I went to the door dreading who’d come, and there in the doorway stood a kid with a drum. “Oh wookie,..” John said, his voice full of joy, “Mr. Chainsawman it’s a wittle dwummer boy!” “I must fetch my pwecussion intwuments!” Umm hey John, that last line didn’t rhyme; well I guess we can’t get this right every time. Well this was awkward I didn’t know what to say. Then without provocation the kid started to play.

“Come they told me,” (Pa rum pum pum pum), “a new born king to see,” (Pa rum pum pum pum). “Our finest gifts we bring,” (Pa rum pum pum pum), “to lay before the king,” (Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum).

Well kid this is Bethlehem, that much is true; but the wrong continent and off by a century or two.

“Can I get a ride?” (Pa rum pum pum pum); “to where the child resides,” (Pa rum pum pum pum). “It’s not very far,” (Pa rum pum pum pum), “we’ll follow yon bright star.” (Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum).

Looking outside, it was an overcast night—there wasn’t a single star in sight. Kid I don’t see a star anywhere…wait do you mean that streetlight, way over there? He grinned and pointed, yes that was it. Fine hop in my truck let’s get on with this…yuletide adventure. “Wait fo me!” John yelled, he wanted to come, he came dragging my tuba, couldn’t find his drum. So we drove to that streetlight, kid is this the place? He looked at me, nodded, with a smile on his face. “Yes this is the place, (Pa rum pum …) OK kid you can stop with the drumming, between you and John’s tuba I’ve a headache coming.

Under the light was a small simple shack, with an old station wagon parked in the back. We went inside and to no surprise, found a man, a woman and three wise looking guys. With a wee little baby so lively and bright, I knew in that moment the kid had been right. I said, excuse me do you think maybe, this kid could play his drum for the baby?

The lady nodded, (Pa rum pum pum pum) John Q’s tuba kept time (Pa rum pum pum pum) he played his drum for him, (Pa rum pum pum pum), he played his best for him.

(Pa rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum, Rum pum pum pum)Then he smiled at ME

(Pa rum pum pum pum) — The kid with the drum.

It’s moments like these that help to remind us, the best gift of all is that of kindness. Giving a ride to a stranger or a hand for a friend; because we never know when these moments may end. The simplest thing can make someone’s day and a bit of time is the only price that you pay. So be kind to each other, treat each other right, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me directly at – [email protected].

Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!