I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was April. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas? He asked where all the snow was?
The grass was green, I pointed out. Blossoms were on trees. Dogwoods and Japanese maples were turning from death to life. But, he still asked what I wanted for Christmas?
There was a part of me that wanted to tell him the birth of Christ celebration was months away. Now was the time to praise him for conquering death. I wanted to tell him that. But, he wouldn’t understand. His was a world of imagination. The mindset of a five year old. A forty-five year old man with Sesame Street characters pinned to his walls.
If he wanted Christmas in April, then I’d give him Christmas in April. Why not?
The next weekend, I saw him at the nursing home. A fake, small tree fully decorated was standing in the window of his room. He had cards he’d made from construction paper in red, green, and gold. He signed his name in big letters on each one. He asked me again what I wanted for Christmas? I told him, a coffee mug. Just a coffee mug.
He grabbed his mug from the shelf. Asked if I would help wrap it for him. I did. Then he turned to me and smiled. He said, open it. I tore the paper off that we had just placed on the mug. Merry Christmas, he said. Merry Christmas. I thought I saw a snowflake.