I know that Christmas is really here when I hear “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” It doesn’t count if I play it myself, it has to be found sound, out there somewhere.
Today is the day. I was out early and the supermarket parking lot was still pretty empty, but there was a Salvation Army bell ringer there. My great grandfather in England was active with the Sallies around the turn of the century, so I do notice, even if I tend to prefer more secular organizations. I noticed the older woman with the walker who they placed inside the mall by the entrance to Sears, and the hip guys just trying to feel a little connection at this time of year.
This fellow, though, well, they put him here for the slow shift, and as he rang his bell, I saw him mumbling to himself. When I passed, though, the mumbling took shape, and I realized that softly, to himself, he was singing “Grandma Was Run Over By A Reindeer. . .” Not really a meaninful Christmas song, and with its original derevation of “Grandma Got Hung Over,” not really an SA song, either.
But he was singing it to keep focused in the cold, and I heard it and it made me smile. He wasn’t crafty, just singing his spirit, and I was moved.
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa, but as for the guy with the bell, well, he believes.
And that belief touched my heart. Almost enough to get out a blue wig.