It is cold outside, and I am on the train platform. I do not like being out in the cold, and the Medical Center Station on christmas is the sort of place which makes you think Babylon 5 is a social commentary. I am carrying two gifts and a toothless woman has, after much inferrence on my part, been told that in order to go southbound she must get on the other side of the platform. I am going north. Before I entered the station one man looks at me oddly and says, "Merry Christmas." Merry Christmas indeed. My father is recieving a slightly damaged book on Yachts. My step-mother is recieving a wonderful set of stationary. I am recieving a sweatshirt. Indeed one of the joys of emancipation at 18 is the fact that you will no longer get really nice christmas gifts, but this is the way of the world.

I am thankful that I have escaped the clutches of my mothers family, arguing over what remains of a two pence estate, the legacy of my grandfather. I want to sit down, but it is cold. To the south of the platform, where my train arrives, I see nothing but the cold cement of a subway tunnel. Northward the winter foilage of evergreens reminds me, in my ocassional shaking and shivering, that maybe a white christmas is a bit over rated.

Nobody else believes it is christmas. It is the First Christmas of the new millenium, that, for whatever reason, is dispuitable. It is the first christmas of the new millenium that has been hallowed with the sorrows of war and anguish on the soil of my nation. This is indispuitable.

"It just doesn't feel like christmas.", Jeremy said to me. "I am incredibly happy, and my brother is twirling around outside, but its not christmas. I don't care what the calendar or anyone else says." But, this is just something he says. It is christmas, it just lacks that certain spirit for seemingly everyone. Christmas was preordained to be ruined for some, but not for all, it just turned out that way.

But even from the ashes the phoenix of christmas spirit rises again. Whether it be that spirit which arises from helping those less fortunate than yourself, or the spirit which is created from seeing ones son scream in joy at the sight of his new bicycle, or the knowledge that despite everything, you are in fact alive.

I do not know much about the civil war, but I recall the words of one general after a bloody battle, "God has been kind to us this day."

Merry Christmas