Dylan Got It Wrong

Dave Smith

Sunshine hides the 28° frost gripping the grass clinging to green in early December.  I cross the river in my Ford built sleigh with no woods in sight and no grandmother’s house as destination.  I have even begun to doubt snow, yet hope upon hope for a white Christmas.  The radio moans “Blue Christmas” and a sad hand grips the edges of my travel.  Times ago this would tighten, a tourniquet halting the flow of joy.  I recognize it, know its slink on devilish feet infiltrating the soul of me, denying the whole of me.  A new song emerges from the Bose, a Bob Dylan oldie as only Dylan could tunesmith into the radio world in his lyric of “Christmas Blues,” which in part reads:

I’m sure that you’ll forgive me
If I don’t enthuse
I guess
I’ve got the Christmas blues….

May all your days be merry
Your seasons full of cheer
But ’til it’s January
I’ll just go and disappear
Oh Santa
May have brought you
Some stars for your shoes
But Santa only brought me
The blues….
Those brightly packaged
Tinsel covered
Christmas blues

Satan certainly wants no joyous Christmas for anyone.  He prefers the holiday of nocheer, nochrist drink away the night revelry of ribbons and bows wrapped around his neon message of consumer dollars tossed at plastic happiness.  The angry, crowd mashing push and shove of day after returns blast the symptom of a world falling…falling into those “brightly packaged, tinsel covered” holiday blues.  Madness.

No, I’ve done Christmas like that.  Never again.  This 28° chill simply brings to mind a haysoft manger perhaps draped with a worn, woolen blanket.  A newborn in “swaddling clothes.”  What a grand word, this “swaddling.”  Roget synonyms include “wrapping, enfolding, draping, binding, sheathing, and cloaking.”  I’ll stick with wrapping since Dylan references “brightly packaged, tinsel covered Christmas blues.”  I truly enjoy and love to share the wonderfully adorned, delightfully ribboned and bowed gifts under the tree Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  Oh goodness, no – I don’t herein decry Christmas gifts.  CHIRSTmas gifts.  I first look to that One wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  That little town of Bethlehem lying so still in dreamless sleep.  Silent stars go by and in darkness shines an everlasting light.  With that in my mind and down the 12-inch journey to my heart, that Satan slinging silvery tinseled taunts of “look, you didn’t buy what they want!” cannot exist.  God gave all that I might smile in my giving of what I can, in the Spirit of the Holy Night first and foremost.

I enjoy the watch for Santa Claus, I always will – its the kid of me I enjoy.  I do know that all our Santa’s just bring presents.  God offers a GIFT, wrapped so gently, so simply, and in accepting we have life with Him.  Such will be my sleigh ride tinkled with silver bells.