For the first time probably ever, at this writing, I can say that I’m not in any hurry to put up a Christmas tree within the next six days.

For nearly as long as I can remember, I’ve had one up, with the train running around it, and the place decorated to the nines at least by the day before Thanksgiving. 

Thanksgiving also has been a meal I’ve enjoyed cooking.  I think the only time I’ve not cooked it in the past 25 years was when I went to my grandparents’ back in 1988 or 1989.  Maybe it was 1990.  That time I wound up on Michigan Avenue in Chicago riding in the snow in a horse-drawn carriage.

But this year is different.

I’ve been on a long and hard journey of self-improvement, career change, home-life change, and likely a dozen other changes throughout 2010.

There have been some low, lows this year.

But things are looking up, in spite of the naysayers who I’ve been working to free myself of their influence.

In the past two months, I’ve created Claxton Creative, LLC. There are several promising looking proposals out for consideration.  The Website is up and running.  Prospects there are looking positive, too.

Professionally, things are looking up.

But I have yet to find the commercial enthusiasm of the Christmas spirit that I normally am overcome with.  And maybe that’s not such a bad thing, for after a year and a half of seeing the true nature of others, I’m more aware of the reasons Christ was sent to save us.

Looking at the next month and a half, I think as the anniversary of the birth of Christ draws closer and closer, I’ll have a new and better appreciation for what this holiday is meant to be–a celebration of the birth of our Savior.

I’ve been bludgeoned in so many ways the past 18 or so months.  I’ve seen greed at its fullest.  I’ve seen deceit in action.  I’ve seen abuses and the ignoring and disregard for the facts and rules of the law.  I’ve seen and heard promises made that the promise makers never ever had any intent of keeping.  I’ve seen people survive efforts to kill them.  Literally.  I’ve heard lawmakers say that the laws of our nation are working just like they’re supposed to be working.  I’ve seen other married friends I know see their own marriages come to a crashing end.   I’ve seen my children be alienated from their dad by blatant and despicable intent.


This morning I awoke early and began working at 6 a.m. on edits for a client’s website.  I put my iTunes “Freedom” playlist on and one of the first songs that came up was Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping.

I can honestly say I’ve never really swivel chair danced in my office, but I sure did this morning.

I turned the music up as loud as I thought I could without disturbing the neighbors.

And so the words rang out:

I get knocked down, but I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down…

I get knocked down, but I get up again
You’re never gonna keep me down…

So to those of you who have bathed in the glory of trying to cause me pain, just put the previous four lines in a loop and know that in spite of all your efforts, you’ve failed.

You’re never gonna keep me down.