Intangible Christmas

Chris scratched his beard with one hand as his other kept a tight hold on the reins. A cluster of lights below indicated he had almost reached his next destination. He approached swiftly and silently over Charlie Lake, only able to hear the wind that whistled through his coat and chilled his bones. 

Last year, he hadn’t had to think much about the people of Fort St. John. It had been booming. Big money, big houses, big families. Big trucks, big spenders, big Christmas lists that all the parents had taken care of without so much as a blink.

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Not this year. This year, it was all up to him. 

First up. Clairmont. 

He spotted a long double wide, perfect for a smooth landing. 

“Whoa,” he said as he made the final descent.

And as light as a snowflake could hit the ground, his four-legged team landed his sleigh on the roof. 

And so the night went, house after house. 

A pony for her, a pair of skates for him. Teddy bears, books, games, and bikes. 

But for the adults it was something much more. If there was one thing he’d learned about the people of this town, it was that Christmas needed to be about something a little more than the tangible. 

For the man who lost his job a week before Christmas, a sense of peace knowing another one will come along soon. For the single mother who couldn’t pay her rent, a feeling of joy knowing that she had a friend who would take them in. For the elderly who sit at their windows watching the world go by, a visit from their grandchildren. 

For the man who has everything but is more lonely than ever, a friend. No truck, or house, or quad, or snowmobile would bring the joy of connection.

This Christmas, Chris decided that a little grace was better than a lump of coal.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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