Jolly Christmas time was 1998 the best time of the year in New York City. As a matter of fact, It was gray and frigid outside. Most importantly, the child in you delights in watching your breath make clouds of steam that dissipate in the chilly air. In the same fashion frosty makes it hard to think or focus. All you can sense is your fingers turning into icicles. The snow on the ground will be white and powdery or mushy and gray. The street lamps all wrapped in tinsel and the sounds of carols float from the speakers of department stores and gasoline stations.
Just another cold day again in Brooklyn, New York.
As if the Noel spirit father Christmas is trying hard to penetrate the ice and having a tough time of it. Besides Break for the Christmas Holiday No longer a slave to exams and early morning classes. The battle for a parking spot in the university parking lot. Now a college graduate who had landed her first “grown-up” job a Registered Nurse.
Another Snowy day to remember in the Big Apple.
Wintry weather for Christmas day in New York!
In addition, this was the excited of cashing my first real paycheck. And headed for my apartment in Philadelphia. To New York city. To buy gifts for my family and friends. Not to mention they had no food in the kitchen cabinets, no heat coming from the furnace, and definitely less hope that things were ever going to get better. By the same token our heart fills with joy at the thought of their faces. To say nothing pulled out gifts for them for the holidays.
Holly Jolly day in the Big Apple.
It was a Sunday morning, pacing around my apartment, waiting for my friend Devon to arrive. We were going to make the two-hour drive to New York together. After he arrived, we pulled away from the house. In a rented car and immediately started listing off the things we were going to buy. In the hopes that Uncle Steve was going to get a New York Giants sweatshirt and aunt Jenny would get a set of cookbooks.
Xmas shopping for all family and friends happens on Canal street.
Hence, I had my eye on a pair of gold earrings for my mom. Tired of seeing my dad squint to see the scores of his sports teams. On his tiny, black-and-white, nineteen inch Television. After this Christmas dad was getting a bigger and better Television. Up to the present time cousins were getting handheld Gameboys. As long as it is the newest versions on the market. The kids in the neighborhood would receive the newest toys and the coolest clothes.
What Christmas in the Big Apple New York City life is like?
Music Jamming what a day as we drove, we jammed out to Lauryn Hill “Nothing Even Matters” and Bob Marley ” No Women No Cry” Reggae music. We enjoyed the ride with the heater on full blast As we coasted by the ‘Welcome To New York’ sign. We knew we were nearing the shopping district. The smell of roasted chestnuts from street vendors wafted into our nostrils and we saw Christmas decorations on all the doors and windows.
Jolly time spend shopping for us.
First, second, third, the familiar sound of the Salvation Army donation bell rang on every corner. On the negative side, the traffic was horrendous. Circling the street for what seemed like forever. We parked and made a beeline for Canal Street. Points often overlooked we were spending money like it was our last day on earth. I felt like a celebrity. Just pointing to things and throwing them in bags there were no limits.
What a great day we had store hopping.
My friends and family were going to feel this Christmas spirit and generosity from a mile away. Seven store’s, and two bathroom breaks. Two stops to the food vendors later my friend and I were up to our eyeballs in gifts.We’d spent close to $1200 on toys, electronics, clothes, and other valuables. Exhausted, as the sun set and the air grew chillier. We loaded everything into the car and made our way into Brooklyn where my family lived.
It was a Holly Jolly Christmas except the snowy roads.
As a matter of fact, we cranked up the heat and the volume on the radio and began our drive. While laughing and singing out loud. Somehow we missed the various dashboard alerts. That warned us was running out of gasoline. As a result our car put-putted to a stop, we coasted to the side of the road near eastern parkway heading towards Flatbush Avenue. Thankfully, a gasoline station was within sight.
Jovial Christmas time everywhere people laughing and kids playing.
Oblivious to our surroundings we pulled out hoodies over our heads. Stuffed our hands in our pockets and trudged into the wind towards the neon signs of the gasoline station. When we finally arrived, I started pumping gasoline while Devon went inside to get a cup of hot chocolate. Cold weather must make gas pump slower, because it seemed to take forever to fill up the tank. It’s a cold day in Brooklyn.
What a beautiful Christmas in New York City it was going to be.
Looked like Devon struggling with two cups of hot chocolate at the gas-station door. So I stopped pumping and ran over to help him. I swore I heard someone call my name. I spun around towards the sound, and was immediately redirected back to where the car was parked. As if it was a horrible dream. We watched a stranger hop into the driver’s seat of my car. Start the engine and drive off into the night.
Holly Jolly Christmas ruining by strangers.
Christmas excitement is in the air everywhere.
Devon ran inside to use the phone and I stood there for what felt like forever. Wasn’t thinking about my frozen ears anymore. I was holding back tears. And thinking about all the gifts and the rental car that were now gone. All of that love and thought put into every gift was disappearing. Just like the car’s two red tail lights.
Holly Jolly Christmas for everyone except for me.
New York City officers maybe I assumed.
The freezing weather made New York cops move even slower. In fact, they seemed to be in no hurry. To track down the scumbag who stole my car. Those officers moved at a slow pace towards me while talking and walking. They wrote down our information. The other policeman did a quick visual sweep of the place. Where my car used to be.
Oh Holly Jolly day in New York!
Confirmation they got away and that our automobile had indeed been stolen. Thanks for nothing, Captain Obvious. I wanted to shout. After their “thorough investigation” they promised to follow-up if they heard anything. The auto and gifts never found and we never heard from the cops about whether they’d nabbed the thieves.
Not in New York City this holiday
Our families assured us that they were happy. And relieved that the thieves only took our vehicle.Gifts and buggy can alway be replaced. They were just happy that Devon and I were safe. It made me realize the meaning of Christmas.
Holly Jolly time in the City.
My friends and family valued my friendship. Yes, the kids had nothing. They would have liked to have electronics and clothes nevertheless, they were still Jolly. Everyone glad Devon and I visited. What the kids really need was hope not toys. Christmas could never be stolen. Lessons learn.
That was beautifully written, and I was right there with you.
Thank you Dedra.
Wow! What a powerful post. Love this! Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you for your support Erin. Have a happy holiday!
Wow, Patrice, what a frightening experience. So glad you managed to take something positive from it. As everyone said, so thankful that only the car and gifts were taken.
Hoping that 2014 Christmas is one you remember for much nicer reasons.
Thank you Debs, I hope you have a happy holiday!
This is a very sweet story. It is true that we tend to get swept up in making sure we have the best gifts to give, when really the best gift to give is our time. Great reminder. 🙂
That is very true, thanks again Kaylene for your continuous support!
Geez, I am so sorry this happened to you. A similar thing happened to by brother in Florida one year. So awful what people will do but it really does make you believe that they were just things and things can be replaced. You are a superb writer! I love your blog! Merry Christmas to you.
I hope your brother is alright. Thanks again for your support!
Beautifully written, Patrice! We can use a reminder of what/who really matters this time of year and the rest of the year as well! Wishing you a joyous Christmas and a peace filled New Year.
Thank you for your comment. Have a bless and peaceful holiday.
Thank you for sharing the experience! It is nice to be reminded about what matters most during the holiday.
Yes, material things can always come and go but family and friendship means the most.
I truly loved reading your post. You write beautifully. I always believe that things happen for a reason. Although it wasn’t nice you had to go through the experience of having your car and gifts for others stolen, you still created the beautiful memories of being with the people you love and adore, without all the material things. You still brought them joy by spending time with them and that is something they will never forget. Material things cannot take the place of LOVE. Thanks so much for sharing. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas <3
It is my pleasure to share my experiences with you. Thank you for your support.
I enjoyed the story and the message. I don’t do the whole “christmas” thing myself. I know that sounds sill coming from a Christian but Christ warned against many of the practices such as the tree. Christmas is nothing more than a Pagan holiday covered in Christian and Catholic morals. Jeremiah 10:1-10 speaks on the tree if you are curious. It celebrated Nimrod’s birthday and his death and resurrection into a pine tree. Funny as it sounds, it is all in the bible! haha
But again, I loved the story and I am glad there are still people who can turn a bad situation into a blessing.
Glad you like it. Thanks for your support.
What a scary experience and I am so sorry you had to go through all that. People can be so horrible sometimes.
Robin Rue (masshole Mommy), It was scary and cold but I am glad the rental care did to ask us to pay and I am alive…So in the end holly Jolly christmas turn out ok.
Awful. These things do happen but thankfully, they haven’t happened to me.
Carol Cassara, It happen so fast had no time to think but looking back I am glad I am alive and here to share this story with friends.
Wow, how rude of them. Hopefully your gifts were still given to those that needed them. Maybe not the ones you chose, but I’m sure there were happy small faces because of your gifts.
Laura McGowan,Yes, I hope they gave it to the kids in their neighborhood. I was worried about the rental car but my friend had insurance that covered. One of Life lesson I suppose.
Thanks for sharing your story. I could imagine the way you felt in that moment. I am happy that the experience also revealed that gifts and things aren’t everything, and the people who love you cared about your well-being rather than the things. I am sure I would have panicked though over the lost of the rental car.
LaTonya, Holly Jolly Christmas experience thought me to cherish every moments with the ones we love…Money and fancy toys can be taken at a blink of an eye.
Oh no!!! It was sad that all your stuff got stolen, but wonderful that you learned a great lesson 🙂 Christmas is so much more than the gifts.
Sonya, Yes, Learn a valuable lesson that year about the real meaning of Christmas.
This is a sad but great story. I’m so glad you and your friend were safe. It sucks that happened to you. I would’ve felt like you. Would’ve taken me some time to get over something like that.
Oh, how horrible! That must have been such a DREADFUL moment when that car peeled out of the gas station. Ugh!! But the way your friends and family responded and the way you learned to appreciate your family’s response and the opportunity to spend some time with them is just beautiful. Is there anything more valuable than our time?? 🙂
Natalie, You summon up this post very well how I was feeling disappointed and scared but my family still had the spirit of Christmas thank you for your support.
Oh my gosh, how horrible! I’m glad you were still able to enjoy the time you spent with your family afterwards. That’s what’s important.
Liz Mays, This incident changes the meaning of Christmas and how I view life. Sometime bad things happen so that a person can see the goodness surround them.
That’s a terrible experience but the life lesson that came with it, priceless. It’s a story filled with love and nothing can give you more Christmas spirit than that. Thanks for the good read.
Elizabeth O, The meaning of Christmas and the spirit how family and friends made me feel is priceless to me.
What a powerful post and such a scary experience. I’m so thankful for what I have now
It’s nice that you saw the good in the very ugly. I’m sorry it happened to you.
This post made me sad and angry at the same time. Sad because of the unfortunate incident that happened to you, and angry because some people take advantage of others. This is such a horrible experience you wouldn’t want to happen to others.
Annemarie LeBlanc, Sorry I did not mean to make you sad or angry. I felt the same way it wasn’t easy but I have forgiven the crooks …It didn’t harden my heart or spirit.
This is just heartbreaking. I am so sorry this happened to you. I can’t imagine how devastated I would be to have all my hopes for Christmas stolen by someone like that.
Wow what a story. I’m so sorry that happened to you, but at least you got to spend time with the people you care about.
What a horrible thing to have happen before Christmas. I am happy to hear that you were still able to spend time with your neighbors, and you are so right the spirit of Christmas is not about gifts.
Yes, time together is much better than a few items. Sorry that it happened to you, but glad that it didn’t dampen your spirit
Oh what a terrible thing to happen to you! I’m sorry that this happened but thankful you came out of it ok.
Beautiful post, I’m so sorry that happened to you!
Oh wow, what a story! I’m sorry that about everything that happened, but I’m also glad that it had a positive message in the end.