A Christmas Story, 2019

It was Christmas day in Gulf
Shores, and the man stopped
in a store to buy some Christmas
cheer. The clerk’s name was Chris

and he told her that his wife’s
name also is Chris and that this
is her birthday. Chris, the clerk,
exclaimed, “A Christmas baby.”

And the man said, “The poor
girl has been robbed of a birth-
day. How can you compete with
Jesus for a birthday?” Chris

laughed and the two spoke of
Christmases past and Christmases
on their own away from family
and both agreed that was really

good because it frees children
from hard decisions about whom
to visit. They spoke of unloving
mothers who kept trying to be

filled spiritually by taking
things in from the outside —
accumulating things, stuff
and how it never, ever work-

ed and it left them empty,
bitter people. He said it is
a spiritual matter. She said
she was very spiritual. They

agreed that the spiritual life
comes from within and is all
about giving from inside out.
As he left the shop with his

bottle of holiday spirits, he
said, “Keep that spirit alive and
keep giving.” And then she did
that exact thing. “Merry Christ-

mas to you and happy birthday
to Chris. Please tell her.” “Will
do. Thanks and Happy Holy

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