By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
"Down there in Blooming Void they still show David Lee Roth and Billy Idol videos late at night, even on Christmas Eve. 'David Lee Roth,' I'll think to myself while nursing an egg nog, 'The kind of guy who wears a silk scarf swimming in the ocean--that lucky, shitty bastard.' If tradition holds I'll fall asleep on the couch and drift into a recurring winter dream: I'm in a large abandoned office building, sitting at an empty desk in the dark.
"Through the giant windows on all sides of me a city stretches away in darkness, punctuated here and there by random displays of blue Christmas lights. Stringers of blue lights dully glowing from the eaves of dark houses and the skeletal trees along the boulevards. Hardly a moon over the world, and not a star in the sky. Nothing moving anywhere. Clouds of gray heat boiling from chimneys and scattering over the grim neighborhoods.
"Then, from someplace far below me, I hear a large choir singing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame,' the most mournful version I have ever heard, or ever hope to hear. The singers sound like people trapped in the bowels of a sinking ship, holding hands, waiting for the water to find them.
"And when I wake up it will be Christmas morning, and the world will have made its first turn out of winter, and my heart will begin its real straining out of the darkness, jogging towards the light, toward Spring Training. And that, to me, is the real meaning of Christmas."
Merry Christmas, Steve. My best wishes to you and yours.