I like to call it Xmas, because, to me, the X can represent anything. Like, sure, there are plenty of you who celebrate Christmas from a religious point-of-view, but lots of you don’t. Some participate in the cultural/consumerist version. Some don’t do it at all, but maybe have another holiday they like that lands in December. I’m kinda into the druidic, solstice vibe, and I prefer to be outside mostly, instead of in by the fire, so Xmas, for me, captures it all neatly enough.
It’s a holiday, and that means I can ride bikes (more) and eat (more) and those are my two favorite things.
I can’t get through an Xmas without thinking about 1980, the year I found a new bike parked in front of our artificial tree, in our wood-paneled living room in Mobile, Alabama. I pulled on my Oshman’s sweatsuit and headed out into the not very cold to lay some fresh skids on the neighborhood’s unsuspecting sidewalks.
It was the Xmas everything changed, the day I got exactly what I wanted, and exactly what I wanted turned out to be everything I needed. It is some kind of privilege to be 8 years-old and receiving a gift like that. At the time I didn’t know how lucky I was, but I honored my great good fortune with years of hard riding and peak joy. It’s an experience I would wish on everyone, at least once in their lives.
This week’s TCI Friday, Xmas version, asks if you ever had an Xmas like that. Or did you make one for someone else? I suppose your Xmas dream might have been a Holly Hobby Easy Bake Oven or an Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle or something from a generation that wasn’t mine. That’s cool. I’m betting it was a bike though. Was it a bike?