Monday Morning December 24, 2007
We may be in an economic downturn in the housing market; oil prices are at an all time high and the dollar is worth less than ever outside the United States. But the folks down the road in Eagle Hills must have had a very good year.
The electric meter on these elegant homes spin like the gyroscope on an Ariane 5 solid fuel rocket. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was filmed in 1989. As out-of-control as Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) was in the installation of a preposterous assortment of lights, enough to blow even the most heavy duty circuits, the Griswold house was a tame cinematic precursor to the current Eagle Hills extravaganza.
But it has become a magnet for community life and holiday spirit. Traffic lined up in all directions as Christmas Eve approached. We took our grandson and Golden Retriever for a look on foot. The streets filled up with cars and trucks with Christmas music playing through the sound systems. Sidewalks were lined with pedestrians, looking this way and that, taking it all in. Musicians filled the air with lively carols.
Emerson’s eyes widened. “Look Grandpa,” he would say, “a snow man!” Or a reindeer. Or Santa Claus. Or a Christmas Tree. Or presents. Or the baby Jesus. Up and down the street; lights blinking and music playing. Folks bundled up for the evening chill and a full moon shone bright.
So now, after all these years, with a grandson on my shoulders, it’s as though I’m seeing it all again for the first time.
The choir on Sunday morning broke into a high octane version of Handel’s Messiah. One after another, just as in the tradition of King George II on opening night, we all rose to our feet at the majesty and wonder of the claim: “For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!” We’re getting ourselves caught up in the season.
The gifts are under the tree. The LGB train circles the base. The candles flicker on the mantel. The smell of cinnamon and spice and cookies baking permeate the house. And we reflect on the goodness of family and friends.
It’s Monday morning. Christmas Eve day. You are a leader. You’ve got some time to think about what matters most.
Take a sip of that hot coffee there on the table next to you. The business of the day can wait. Worries about the New Year can be put safely on hold. There are “tidings of great joy that will be for all peoples…”
And that includes you.
Copyright Kenneth E Kemp, December 2007