A Chicago native and life long Cub fan, Scott Simon, the host of
Weekend Edition Saturday on NPR is an award winning author and commentator.
Scott is a proud graduate of Senn High School, a Chicago Public High
We were delighted that Scott wrote “A Christmas Story for the
Times” for the broadcasto on Saturday, December 27th featuring Oprah, Warren
Buffet and Eli’s Cheesecake. Thanks Scott!
by Scott Simon
A Christmas Story For The Times
Weekend Edition Saturday,December 27, 2008 ·
Joseph and Mary got off the bus in Detroit. He had worked as a
carpenter for 20 years, but lost his job. His pension was
invested with Bernard Madoff, and there was no federal bailout for
He and Mary had no place to live, and Mary was
She told Joseph that he would be the child’s father, but he
wasn’t the child’s father. She said that spark that began their child — well,
her story was just too embarrassing for Joseph to repeat. It sounded impossible
Friends told him he was being taken for a fool. But Joseph loved
Mary and knew that the past few months had been hard for her.
There was no room at a homeless shelter, but a man said they
could unroll their blankets on the floor of his garage. The garage was cold, but
it had a wireless Internet connection.
That night, Mary gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He had a
nice, loud cry. Mary laid their baby down in the back of a prototype of an
electric car, swaddled in a recyclable grocery tote. A stray gray dog, still
grimy from the streets and whimpering with loneliness, crept into the garage and
kept watch over their baby, keeping him warm with his panting.
That night, a star appeared in the East. Three Wise
People — Warren Buffet, Oprah Winfrey and David Axelrod — came to see Joseph and
Mary’s baby, bearing gifts of Frontera Chipotle salsa, Eli’s cheesecake and
asparagus, for fiber. Joseph was glad they didn’t bring stock
The infant saw the gifts and smiled.
Mary saw the look of delight in her child’s face and said to
herself, “He’s happy to be here with us.”
But she saw Joseph sitting off by himself at the far end of the
garage. She knew he was worried about how he was going to make a life for their
child. When Joseph came back to the car, his eyes glimmered.
“I think I finally understand,” he said. “It doesn’t matter
where a child is born, or who their father is. Every child born cries for our
love and deserves our care: Every child who’s hungry in Darfur, Detroit or
Zimbabwe; every little girl who’s been abandoned by a roadside in China; every
little boy in Congo who has a gun taller than he is thrust into his arms; every
little boy and girl who are threatened by an empty stomach, a cruel tyrant or an
epidemic — I must love them as a father loves his child.”
Mary and Joseph sat with their arms around each other and around
their baby boy. The dog — they decided to adopt him on the spot — hopped up in
the seat beside them and put his head gently onto Joseph’s lap. The star that
had found them seemed to stay for a moment, while their child breathed softly,
safely, peacefully, as they looked out into a new year.