Monday, December 24, 2007

Clay Aiken: Merry Christmas, with Love

It's just another Christmas Eve. Tonight I baked cookies and surfed the message boards, played some games, let the dog in and out, in and out, in and out. Tomorrow I eat dinner at my brother's house and my nephew's going to come. I haven't seen him for a year. He's in law school in Indiana. Tomorrow we'll visit my dad in the nursing home. His alzheimer's in what the doctors call 'end-stage' but he's happy and relatively healthy and sings all day long.

I don't have a big family. One brother here, one brother in Houston, dad in the nursing home, a cousin close by and another cousin in France. The holidays aren't a big deal to me, in fact, I can truthfully say that they really don't mean anything to me, just another day to get by, eat a good dinner, and get together with the few relatives in my life.

I look back at Christmases past and think of the good times we had as children. I remember the year my dad was putting toys together at 3:00 am and didn't have a tool so he threw on an old ratty coat, got in his car and drove to his store to get what he needed. The cops saw him jiggling the lock, trying to get the key in the door and almost arrested him for breaking and entering. And the year the angel hair over the fireplace caught fire. My mom yelled out 'the house is on fire' and ran out, leaving all of us to deal with it. Or the year when she persuaded my father to put up all green and blue lights around the roof of the house and once he had them up, she didn't like them so he took them all down and put up the multicolored ones.

I remember the year I had my tonsils out and the next morning waking up with a nose bleed, a serious nose bleed where the blood was pouring out of my nose. My older brother took me into the bathroom and woke my parents. I ruined the brand new carpet that year and it had to be replaced.

I remember the year that I got my first pair of skis. My first record player, my first TV. Funny, though, I never got that pony that I wanted so badly. I remember that every year we got our dad a pair of munsingwear pajamas and a tie. He had so many freaking ties!

This year, as I have the past four Christmases, I think about how my life has changed because of Clay Aiken. I remember going to my first concert in 20 years to see him, then of, course, I had to go again. And again. And again. 39 concerts later, I'm still planning on going to more. I've made so many friends and acquaintances because of Clay Aiken and this incredible fandom that has sprung up out of nowhere. I've discovered message boards and have met so many wonderful people at the concerts and pre and post-concert parties. I've seen some of my friends go to college, graduate, and get married! Others have passed away in the prime of their lives. Some live charmed lives yet others have problems that have made them stronger.

My cookies are baked, the food is in the refrigerator waiting for tomorrow, my dog is asleep at my feet. All I have left to do tonight is to roast the pine nuts and mix the home made salad dressing.

Clay is spending this Christmas holiday in Mexico, bring comfort to the flood victims and raising money for UNICEF. He's a good man with a good heart.

Clay, I'd offer you one of my chocolate chip, white chocolate chip, raspberry chocolate chip, macadamia nut cookies, but that would kill you, so *smack* hands out of the cookie jar!

Merry Christmas to my fellow Clay fans. I'll leave you with this message from Clay:

She leaned with her head on the window
Watching evergreen bend in the snow
Remembering Christmas the way it had been
So many seasons ago.

When children would reach for their stockings
And open the presents they found
The lights on the tree would shine bright in their eyes
Reflecting the love all around.

This year there's no one to open the gifts
No reason for trimming the tree
And just as a tear made it's way to the floor
She heard voices outside start to sing.

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here
Merry Christmas if even just one
May the joy of the season surround you
Merry Christmas with love.

Carolers sang as she opened the door
Faces of friends in the crowd
And all of the shadows of lonely reminders
Driven away by the sound.

Now the heart that for years had been silent
Was suddenly filled with a song
As she clung to their hands like a child in the night
She found her self singing along.

Merry Christmas to all who may dwell here
Merry Christmas if even just one
May the joy of the season surround you
Merry Christmas with love