It’s a weirdly warm day, balmy and 51 degrees. It’s hardly the type of weather that makes you feel in the Christmas spirit, though it’s still barrelling down at us and will be upon us next Tuesday. I am excited that after so many years we are having a cocktail party, a Christmas cocktail party. I hope that those who can come have fun and those who can’t come wish they had been here.
Christmas isn’t a totally jolly time for me, like many people I am wary of times that we all need to be forced to be civil and kind, and it always feels a bit phony. It’s the time of year when even Donald Trump seems like he cares. I do have one memory of Christmas, however, that I has stayed in my head for many years. In the 1990s, I was an advertising rep for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and one of my best customers was the fabulous men’s clothing store in Amherst called the House of Walsh. The owner Scott Patten was a dignified guy, a bit older than me and tall, and he was aloof yet sometimes he was very kind.
It was the day before Christmas eve, and I stopped in as I always did, for that week’s ad. He looked at me solemnly, as he stood at a podium in the back of the store, and reached out his hand to shake mine. “Merry Christmas, Max,” he said. I felt embraced and in that brief minute like we were friends and not business acquaintances. “Merry Christmas to you, Scott, thank you for your business over the year.”
It’s always the little things that we remember, isn’t it?