It was New York City’s first white Christmas in 30 years. And it was one of my favorites in a long, long time…
The lyrics below are from a song I wrote and recorded a few years ago for a Christmas single. Better heads prevailed, and I left it off the single (which included my covers of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and David Gray’s “Babylon”) — too depressing. It’s a rough sketch of my memory of a Christmas day now some 20+ years ago when my divorcing parents swapped my brother and me for the first and final time. So as you may gather, Christmas has always been something of a heartbreaking time of year to me. The days are short. It’s cold. And my family never quite feels whole. All of which is still true.
This year was different. I made my own Christmas, started my own thing. Got a tree. A yule log DVD. Some Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett CDs. Hung lights all over my apartment. Hand made a stocking. Ran all over the city shopping. Spent time — just enough — with loved ones. Had a pint of Guiness in a dive bar mid-day. And after crafting my own rituals and enjoying every sparkling block of New York City, it started snowing. Big, huge wet flakes.
And then there was lightning, and thunder. And is the light faded, and the streets turned blue, the snow just kept falling, and falling, and falling. I walked home through Central Park, 30 blocks of horse path in dress shoes, jaw agape at the beauty and stillness of the night, my heart filled with gratitude for the past year, and hope for the year to come.