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Christmas Days
by Michael Daniel

It was two days before Christmas and I was doing my last book signing appearance of 2006. As my eyes rose from autographing a copy of my first children’s book, they were met by the bluest eyes I think I have ever seen. Eyes so blue they were almost white. They belonged to Thomas. A child I will remember with awe and wonder all the rest of my days. Our conversation went as follows.

“This looks like a really good book.”

“Well young man, thank you very much. And how are you today?”

“I’m just fine. You have cracks in your eyes.”

“Yes I know. I have allergies and my eyes are really bothering me today. What’s your name?”

“I’m Thomas.”

“Well it’s very nice to meet you Thomas. I’m Michael, but most everyone calls me Uncle Mike. How old are you?”

“Well, I was three but now I’m four.”

“And are you going to be five soon?”

“No, I’m never going to be five.”

“You’re not?”

“No. I’m never going to have any more birthdays…and neither are you.”

“I’m not?”

“No.”

“Well if we’re not going to have any more birthdays, what kind of days are we going to have?”

“Christmas days!”

“Christmas days?”

“Yep.”

“Well Thomas, is it the same for everybody? Will everyone have no more birthdays and only have Christmas days?”

“No, not very many; just the ones who know.”

“And who are the ones who know?”

“The ones who are little.”

“Do you have to be four to be little?”

“No, you can always be little if you know, and you always know, if you’re little.”

“Thomas, I think I know what you mean about no more birthdays, only Christmas days.”

“Okay Uncle Mike. If you know then tell me and then I’ll tell you if you know.”

“We’re never going to have any more birthdays because birthdays make us old.”

“That’s it Uncle Mike!”

“And we’re only going to have Christmas days from now on because no matter if we think it’s a good day or a bad day, every day is a present.”

“See…I told you, you knew.”

“So Thomas, why aren’t there very many who know?”

“Cause they forgot how to be little cause they just want to be big. You can’t know if you’re big.”

Our conversation continued, but that is enough for now. I can’t tell you what little is. That would be like trying to describe holding your new born child for the first time. Words just will not do. I can, however tell you what little is not. Little isn’t planned or learned. Little isn’t striving or stressing or expecting anything. Little is not the acquisition of stuff or the house you live in or how large your bank account is, and little isn’t the title you have.

Little isn’t woulda’s or shoulda’s or coulda’s. It is not what ifs or wannabes. Little isn’t one second ago or one second from now. Little is not earned or achieved nor can you attain to it. Little is just being. Little simply is. And little is no more birthdays…only Christmas days.

Written January 11, 2007