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So it decided to get good and cold right before Christmas, triggering a light coating of snow. As close to a "White Christmas" as it has been in a while. With no kids, the spirit of the season is not as hyped for us. I must say I am ready for the challenge of raising kids, the celebration of Christmas, and especially Kwaanza would be so much more inspirational as we teach the true meanings to our children. But its no use lamenting about how overdue it is. I am told by everyone who has them, that we have to lower our anxiety, and put faith in the Lord.

I actually took out some Christmas music and played in the middle of the summer. Some of it is just good music. The R&B style songs remind me of home as a child. Here's my R&B Christmas Hall Of Fame:

I know Nat is universally accepted but still:
Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
This Christmas - Donny Hathaway
Merry Christmas All - Salsoul Orchestra
Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
White Christmas - Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Lou Rawls
Rudolf The Red Nose Reindeer - The Temptations
Someday At Christmas - Stevie Wonder

I am not Catholic, but I did have most of my employment during my high school years provided by a program run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Through the Catholic Youth Organization, I went to volunteer to go around to disadvantaged homes and deliver donated toys. It sounded cool and I showed up with a lot of people to be assigned to groups. I didnt notice that there were a lot more women than men gathering at the check-in. This led to my being in a group where I was the only man. Guess who got stuck with being the "Santa"? It really was cool at first, the first few houses were right in West Philly. The people were Black, and pleasantly surprised that a Santa reflected their culture. I almost wanted to stay at a couple of those houses, the reception was so warm. But our journey also took us into the working class Irish and Italian neighborhoods. These are places were the lines had long been drawn, and I was bracing for an unfriendly response to Brother Santa. It was a real eye opener to see the economically drepressed areas that happen to be non-black. The real small kids were overjoyed at the arrival of Santa, they had no hesitation running to me and squealing with joy. The older children were more subdued, but seemed polite and grateful that this program meant they got something under the tree. There truly is nothing separating us but appearances, folks. People are people. In one household, the steps were actually loosely placed cinderblocks, the porch creaked like it was going to give away, and the mother of one of the families was lying on the sofa wasted, no less than pissy drunk, with a fresh drink in hand. To that point, the media gave me this perception that whites by and large do not have the money troubles Blacks have. I really had never seen a whites locally that so looked seriously hard up for cash. I knew they were out there, but it was another thing to be in and out of their homes like that. That night was a learning experience. Everybody should have a chance to see the range of cultures we saw that night.


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