Day 13: The Chair

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Had it been the me of months past, I wouldn't have even blinked an eye when I glanced at my phone and discovered the day was Friday the 13th. I hadn't cared about spilled salt, broken mirrors, or black cats wandering across my path prior to that December. However, now curses, magic, and mysticism - it all felt very real. I wasn't sure how much worse things could get for me, but somehow I knew that the fabled bad luck of the ill-begotten day, would find me and would strike me down with a vengeance. Not that the calendar was much help with how exactly that would happen.

"A chair," I mumbled before taking a sip of my coffee. I glanced over at the furniture now stuffed into my kitchen. The carpeting for my living room was going in that day and with the kitchen cabinets in place and my wall repaired, my condo would be back to normal by the end of the weekend. However, none of the chairs squeezed into my kitchen resembled the one in my hand.

"Perhaps from work?" I asked to the emptiness as I strolled back into my bedroom and meandered my way through the maze I had made in my pile of useless knick knacks. "It's not my office chair though," I remarked before hanging it on my tree. Taking another sip of coffee, I sat down on my bed and contemplated the luxurious chair that had been sent to do me harm.

It looked familiar, but I couldn't place my finger on where I recognized it from. It was a plush chair, highbacked and stately. It wouldn't have done well at a restaurant and it wasn't something you'd use to lounge, like at a library or lobby. Plus, this one had wheels and that limited the kind of space it would be found in. I wondered if it was one of the chairs we had around our conference table at work, but I was sure those were far shorter in stature.

Another sip and my eyes sought reprieve from my enigmatic ornament by glancing out my large bedroom window. Outside a cool, grey dawn awaited, the street lights glowing soft and low as the night settled into its bed. Within their golden light, flecks of white drifted in lazy swirls towards a quiet street. Across the way I saw a few windows still lit with twinkling lights and bright Christmas trees, which cut through the hazy snowfall with joyful brilliance. Despite the pressing weight of Friday the 13th upon my shoulders, a small smile graced my lips and my eyes savored the bountiful display of silent snow.

"What do you say now, Alistair?" I asked, uncertain anyone was listening. "Does this qualify as Christmas cheer? Or must Santa be on full display for you to make your appearance."

"Christmas is wherever the heart feels joy and the soul embraces the potential of life. Christmas is the realization that our world is filled with people, with stories, with new beginnings, and not cluttered with things to burden us."

"Funny thing to say coming from a guy who works for a man that spends his entire year preparing presents to give away." I turned to find him leaning against the bedroom door frame with a cautious smile on his lips.

"You still have a lot to learn then, if that's what you think our job is about."

"Mm," I replied, taking a sip from my coffee, letting the warm, nutty scent ease the stress of the day ahead. "Well, why don't you educate me, teach. If Christmas isn't about presents, then what's with all the gift giving?"

"Gifts come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Goodwill to your neighbor is a gift. Wishing peace to all you encounter is a gift. Waking up every morning and feeling happiness stretching from your toes to your fingertips to the top of your head, that's also a gift. People recognize that more easily during Christmas, even if materialism can blur the lines." He paused and then glanced over to my window. "Right now, it seems you've found a gift in the snow. It eases your mind and lifts the burdens on your soul, which means that yes, this is a morning full of Christmas cheer."

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