Gerald and Joe were best friends. They did everything together. Gerald was happy and upbeat, while Joe needed more information about things before his mood became apparent.
It was Christmastime and that meant presents and parties. It meant family and children. Gerald looked forward to choosing the perfect gift for the people in his life. Joe couldn’t wait until the holidays were over…all of them. He didn’t like being ‘Uncle Joe,’ nor did he like to watch people open the gifts he purchased because he was afraid that he would see disappointment on their faces. So this year he decided to take a trip, rather than endure one more Christmas at home.
Gerald, a confirmed bachelor, who never wanted to be tied down, well, sometimes he actually enjoyed that, but you know what I mean. Anyway, Gerald was busy decorating his flat and ordering champagne. He called the florist and purchased gifts. He had everything professionally wrapped and the packages were beautiful. Joe asked him to accompany him on his trip but Gerald declined, saying that he wouldn’t want to miss all the fun.
As the holiday drew nearer, Joe bought a new suitcase and began to pack. He was going to Paris for two weeks and then he was off to Rome. He was staying at his favorite hotels and eating in his favorite restaurants. He told some of his friends that he would be in town and set up a dinner date or two. He bought a book of poems for Nannette and a sterling silver cigarette case for Ian. He was excited to get away from the noise and hustle of Noel.
Gerald chose a lovely gold watch for his beautiful sister and a monogrammed robe for his brother-in-law. He ordered toys for their children, purchased a painting for his mother, and candy for his aunties. Gerald was delighted with his schedule and could barely wait for the fun to begin.
The streets were lightly dusted with snow and carolers were singing in the streets, the light from the lampposts creating a halo around them as they sang. Gerald was happy to put coins into their hat and wish them a Merry Christmas. The shop windows were decorated and filled with beautiful items that would fit perfectly under a tree. Everything was just as it should be, thought Gerald. Life was perfect.
Joe was having the time of his life. He spent a wonderful evening with Nannette and Ian. They drank and laughed well into the night. Nannette read several poems aloud and a sweet silence fell over them, as they thought about the meaning of the words. Everything was just as it should be, thought Joe. Life was perfect.
Gerald spent December 24th with his family, eating and opening gifts. He put on a puppet show for the children and danced with his sister, while everyone applauded and swayed in place. Stories were told of those long gone, after which Gerald played the piano and everyone sang their favorite songs. Everything was just as it should be, thought Gerald. Life was perfect.
Joe spent December 24th walking through the empty streets of Paris. He walked past Shakespeare and Company on his way to Notre Dam, then continued along the Seine. He inhaled deeply and took the cold air of Paris into his lungs. He looked up at the windows, their lamps lit, families celebrating together. He smiled. He went to his favorite place, the Eiffel Tower, and sat on a bench, overcome with the beauty in front of him. He had never had such a wonderful Christmas. Everything was just as it should be, thought Joe. Life was perfect.
During this wonderful holiday season, remember that we are all different and happiness comes to us in different ways. If we do what is right for ourselves, then everything will be just as it should be and life will be perfect.
And, if we truly love the people in our lives we will we will want them to be happy doing whatever makes them feel the same way. 🙂