Guest Author - Kate Woods
I greet Christmas every year with mixed emotions. I love the holiday season for all of the traditional seasonal treasures that it brings us. However, I don’t like the way it has become so skewed over the years and I don’t like the fact that as soon as its over it’s time for tax season to begin. This year is a little more trying than most as the economic woes are effecting everyone and as everyone scales back the size of their holiday shopping lists, that trickles down to the merchants then to the distributors, then to the manufacturers, and so on. Everyone eventually will have some of their holiday cheer stolen by the economic woes. Nevertheless, I intend to do my best to enjoy the holiday season. So the first round of holiday preparations is to get the cookie baking ingredients in the grocery store. I was hopeful that I could can get in and get out quickly. But that was not to be the case. No sooner did I turn into the baking supplies aisle than I heard the familiar grocery store jingling sound and before I even had the chance to turn and look for Johnny Jingles, I heard his voice.
“Hey there Miss Numbers, how are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m doing OK Johnny, how are you doing?”
“Doin just fine Miss Numbers. Are you getting ready for the holidays?”
“Oh yes, but it’s an awful lot of work getting ready for the holidays. I’m just getting cookie ingredients to start baking my Christmas cookies. Sometimes I wonder why we do all this holiday stuff. Sometimes I think we put so much pressure on ourselves that we end up not even liking Christmas.”
“Oh no, Miss Numbers, I love Christmas. I love all the jingling sounds at Christmas.”
“Oh? Is that why you jingle your coins all the time Johnny? Is it to remind you of Christmas?”
“No, although if you were a stranger I’d probably say yes, that was the reason. But I’ll tell you the truth. It’s a security thing Miss Numbers. I’ve never had much; but as long as I have some coins to jingle in my pocket I know I can get a bite to eat and something to drink. I feel really lucky when it’s Christmas time if my pockets get a little bit heavy. I feel lucky that I can walk on over to one of those kettles and put a little jingle into it to help someone else get a bite to eat and a bit to drink. The coins jingle when they hit too. That makes me feel pretty good when I have a little extra jingle to put into a kettle. It makes me feel good and it makes me feel like one of the important people, you know what I mean, Miss Numbers?”
“You’re just as important as everyone else Johnny. Most people are a little down on their luck at one time or another. Most people want to pay their way. They want to pay their taxes and their mortgages and their bills but sometimes things go wrong and they need a little help. You’re probably more important than the people who think they are so important because you understand that idea and you choose to help someone else when you can at Christmastime. It seems like that’s the worst time to be down on your luck when everyone is telling you to shop and be happy and merry. So I think that your sharing of your jingle at Christmas makes you a very important man, indeed.”
“Why, thank you Miss Numbers. My Christmas Wish every year is the same. I wish to always have jingle in my pockets and that everyone else also has a pocketful of jingle and that everyone shares what they can share. When I put some of my jingle into the kettle I always think of that line from that old song, “I’ve got a pocketful of miracles for me and you.”
“What a lovely thought Johnny.”
“Well, you best be getting that cookie stuff, Miss Numbers. Christmas is right around the corner you know.”
My faith in humanity was restored by the man with the jingling pockets and I thought miracles don’t always have to be larger than life. Even small miracles like a few coins jingling as they hit a Christmas kettle are miracles; and he didn’t even ask me if his donations were tax deductible. I suddenly felt better than I had in a long time and I smiled as I heard Johnny singing as he walked away jingling his coins, “I’ve got a pocketful of miracles for me and you...”
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