Every December I re-read John Cheever’s short story, “Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor.”
And every year I share a link to it on Facebook. I don’t think many people bother to read it — even when I preface it by saying it’s really a very uplifting story of human kindness and redemption.
The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results, but here we go. Here’s the link to the story, which appeared in the New Yorker, Dec. 24, 1949.
Cheever’s story is quaint, dated and a little over the top. But it’s a wonderful piece of fiction that reinforces the notion that there might just be some hope for us as a species.
You’ll feel damn good at the end, and — I hope — inspired to emulate the actions of the protagonist, Charlie the elevator operator.
The story isn’t that long. I read it again last night, and it took 10 minutes.
Every time I read “Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor,” the eyes well up and I start to lose it a little bit.
So be it. I think it does wonders for the soul. Can you spare 10 minutes?