With the festive season fast approaching, I thought I would take a moment & share a rather 'heart-warming' Christmas story which is going on over at my parents place.
A few months ago one of my fathers oldest and dearest friends, Alistair, had mailed my Dad a parcel from his home in Aberdeen, Scotland to here in Canada.
It was a gift for my father and this parcel "allegedly" contained some random items such as Cuban Cigars, a few old photographs and a pocket watch.
I say allegedly as the parcel never arrived here. It was lost in the post.
Of course at that time my father was furious. He telephoned the post office every morning asking if they had found it and when they responded in the negative, he would slam down the phone and then take his frustrations out on the poor letter carrier who delivered their mail each day by verbally blasting him at the front door, demanding "something be done!"
"A bunch of 'light-fingered con men', the entire lot of them down at that post office." Dad spat in a rage. "They would steal the 'pennies off a dead mans eyes' if they thought they could get away with it!"
Mom would always try and calm Dad down, but it was usually to no avail.
"Simon" Mom advised. "I bet that Alistair never even posted that package. Probably left it behind in some pub or tavern after having one too many drinks, as the old fool is well known to do. After that he was either too proud or too forgetful to tell you the truth."
"He mailed it all right. If he said he mailed it, he mailed it." Dad replied sharply. "He's an honest man. Something that can't be said about that bloody postman that comes here every morning, sneaking up the front steps like a thief in the night. Never makes eye contact with a person, always looking down at his boots or at the ground."
"That poor man." Mom responded profoundly, just shaking her head. "He probably is so scared that he dare not look up to avoid listening to yet another one of your ridiculously loud and offensive tirades."
Dad just shot Mom an angry look and then turned around to me, glaring.
"Never trust a man who won't look you in the eye, Boy." Dad advised. "They're hiding something - guilty as sin. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if that postman 'swiped my package' and he bloody knows now that I'm on to him."
"Now Simon" Mom interjected. "You're just talking nonsense. No one stole your package, it just got lost. These things happen all the time. It's unfortunate, but it happens."
"Yeah Dad" I finally chimed in. "How do you know the parcel actually wasn't lost. I mean it is a pretty common occurrence."
"Hmmph!" Dad snarled aloud. "Tell me then how come in forty plus years that the damn utility bill or the heating bill has ever gotten 'lost'. Tell me that! Just my parcel. How do you explain that ya 'wisenheimer'?"
I could see that Dad was going to continue on this condemnation of the post office unless one of us could calm him down a little. Before I could respond, Dad continued.
"Nope, it's a bloody conspiracy. These post offices all over the world steal an innocent persons package and property and then just turn around & tell them it's lost, nothing more can be done. And that's just suppose to be the end of it. Great 'racket' they got going, let me tell you!"
We pretty much listened to Dad rage about this for about a month and then he finally stopped mentioning it, or so we thought.
That brings us up to a couple of weeks ago.
Each year around Christmas, Mom and Dad have an open house gathering for all their friends and some select neighbours (the few left that Dad has not offended). This year is no different with the exception that Mom asked Dad to send out the invitations to everyone via email. She had done it the past couple of years and was very pleased that she could use the internet to do such a thing.
So Dad sends out the email to everyone as directed, with one small exception. He added a little 'Christmas Story' he had come across to the bottom of it. I have copied it below:
There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses.
One day, a letter came addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about. The letter read:
I am an 83 year old widow, living on a very small pension.
Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension payment.
Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my oldest friends over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with, have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can you please help me?
The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few dollars.
By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman. The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.
Christmas came and went. A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened..
How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends. We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.
By the way, there was $4 missing. I think it might have been those bastards at the post office.
Dad of course had to also have the last word, by adding in his 'two cents worth' at the bottom (I have highlighted that sentance in RED)
When Mom saw this she was understandably horrified as some of the recipients are her friends from church.
Dad just innocently claimed it was just a "funny little Xmas story" he thought people would get a 'kick out of' and there was absolutely no malice intended whatsoever. He then added that he had completely forgotten about that missing parcel and that Mom was dead wrong.
Mom, being married to Dad for such a long time, could see through his empty words, as she knows he is a man to 'carry a grudge'. To illustrate her point she reminded him about the neighbour down the street who once refused to lend Dad his hedge trimmers.
Ever since then Dad has never spoken a single word to the old guy. Not one! According to Mom, that incident occurred in 1988! So she just may have a valid point.
So aside from listening to my fathers' conspiracy theories about Canada Post, the Scotland Post office and their 'thieving' mailman, things have been rather quiet around here.
As for me, I have been helping a friend out part-time in setting up a computer system for a small restaurant and bar here in town. He is opening the place fairly soon so my work there is done and I will pretty much have to look for full-time employment in the new year.
In the meantime however, here is my personal calendar showing how I will be spending the rest of this year doing. Based on my past history at Christmas, I find this to be the best way to get through this so-called "Joyous Christmas Season."
So there you have it. I am not quite sure yet if I am actually looking forward to the 'drama' which our family traditionally experiences at Christmas. In any event, things should be entertaining, they usually are when my family and other unsuspecting random guests are forced to spend any amount of 'quality time' together.
I should be back sometime in the New Year with my regular (or irregular) blog updates. In the meantime though, have a Happy Christmas 2010 and see you back here in 2011 !