But, hey, it's Christmas'

| 22 Feb 2012 | 03:34

    Christmas is especially welcome this year, a season of kindness ending a year of sneering cynicism. The Savior is born. Not many people believe that Genesis is historical, and so not many really believe that there was a Fall of Man or need for a Savior, but that’s the way the story goes. Nor should we require a special season for generosity, but Christmas does call upon us to be our better selves. My particular Christmas “miracle” occurred sixteen years ago. On Dec. 22, my car broke down just before the Tappan Zee Bridge, with my wife, mother-in-law, and babies aboard. We had been on our way to see Christmas lights in the city, but now I was in a fix. How was I going to get everyone home? I pulled off the Thruway by way of a service exit and found myself driving about an unfamiliar neighborhood with an over-heated engine. Seeking a phone (ah, the days before cells!) we pulled up to a house where teens were shooting hoops on this especially warm winter’s night. The owner of the house came out and, along with some others, gave his opinion that nothing could be done with the car until a service station opened in the morning. “How are you going to get home?” he asked. “How far do you have to go?” When I told him “Monroe,” he thought for a moment and then went into his house. When he came back, he tossed me the keys to his car. “Tomorrow you can get your car fixed.” He did not ask for ID or a deposit. He did not even ask my name or phone number. We drove away. The next morning I thanked him for his extraordinary trust and generosity. “Yeah,” he said, “my wife thought I was a little crazy, but, hey, it’s Christmas.” Merry Christmas. K.J. Walters Monroe