to Listen to
Welcome to another of our special holiday-themed JABB
newsletters. In this issue, we're revisiting our first Christmas
newsletter with another take on Charles Dickens' "A Christmas
Carol." Why? Cause we like it! But first, we have a
special website set up that I hope you all enjoy. You can check
it out here:
Let us know what you think. :-) We're accepting challenges
for trying the same thing again in the next issue.
Now, we present part one of JABB's 6th annual Christmas story
It had been another sad Christmas Eve for Andrew. As he ambled
along, head cast down, he thought of other recent Christmases.
There was Tony whose father had disowned him for being gay. That
assignment had really upset Andrew. The two men had reconciled
but Andrew had yet to forget the angry look in Jordan's eyes when
Andrew had confronted him. Then there was the Christmas he was
stuck with a racist INS officer. The Christmas he spent in prison
with a man who had killed a teen boy. And other Christmases he
would rather not remember. It wasn't that he had forgotten all
the good moments... they just somehow seemed harder to grasp this
evening. Overcome, Andrew stopped at a park bench and sat
down. His human form had grown weary. Before he realized
it, he was asleep.
We have tried, with this angelic and rather lengthy parody, to further
We hope it doesn't upset you, make you angry with us,
with him, or with this holiday season.
May it touch you and may you have fun with it.
Your committed co-presidents and friends
A. and J.
P.S. And may Charles Dickens not haunt us cause
we totally stole this entire issue from him. 0:-)
Only cause we love his story, of course!
Andrew woke up to a blinding light. His hands flew to his face,
trying to shield his eyes until they adjusted. Dratted human form
made the light he was used to painful. A voice come from the
light, a lilting one Andrew recognized immediately.
"Fear not, Andrew. I am sent by God to..."
"I am the Angel of Christmas Past."
Andrew wasn't sure if the being in front of him was denying she was
Monica or simply announcing her new occupation. She had gotten
promoted recently, after all. Maybe this was her new gig.
In any case, the light was lessening and Andrew could clearly see
her. It had to be Monica.
"Hey there Monica, what brings you here?"
"My assignment," Monica answered with a beatific smile.
Andrew glanced from side to side. "Where is he? Or she?"
"You are he."
Andrew couldn't believe this. He'd had a rotten evening and now
Monica was saying he was her assignment! It stung the pride.
"Take my hand." Monica said still smiling but forceful.
"Umm..." Andrew hesitantly reached for her hand and the bench and trees
around him disappeared.
Next thing he knew, they were seated in a workshop. Jordan's
"Monica, please. I was just remembering this before you came I
don't need to..."
Andrew watched as his seven years-younger self stormed into the
room. He watched the angry words being exchanged. The
violin smashing. And then his past self stormed out of the room
"Great. I get it. I got angry, that was bad. I judged
Jordan, also bad. Tess corrected me. Please, Monica can I
just go Home?"
"You think this is about pride and judgment?"
"Well... yeah." Andrew looked at Monica, bewildered. Those
were his flaws. His only two.
The scene faded away and Andrew was once again looking at his self,
seven years younger. This time in the living room of the
hospice. Tess was holding him as he cried, a look of perfect love
and devotion radiating from her face.
"I recall not everything was so ugly that night..." Monica said
as she looked at the tender scene.
"Yeah..." Andrew just shrugged.
"The night is young. In one hour's time you will be visited
"Can't we just talk. It's been so long... Monica!"
Andrew realized he was back at the bench, alone. He waited for
Monica's return but when she didn't he fell back asleep.
Once again he was awoken by blinding light though this time his human
eyes were better prepared.
"Angel Boy! You get up!"
"I am the Angel of Christmas Present."
"Right and Monica has the past. But it's a bit of a lengthy title
so I hope you'll just let me call you..."
"Stop stammering, Angel Boy. We've got precious little time and
there's something you need to see. Hand!"
This time Andrew didn't hesitate to give Tess his hand. He was
not in the mood to get lectured...
This time Andrew and Tess surfaced in the kitchen of Ben Mason and his
family. Andrew had been the angel of death for Ben's family for
many, many years. His face lit up when he realized where he
was. Ben had invited Andrew to spend Christmas evening with his
family and Andrew was excited as he could be, given his mood.
"You should be arriving here in an hour or so." Tess explained as
they watched Ben, his wife, and their two-year-old son Tim sit down to
Ben began to pray. "Dear God, we thank you for this Christmas
meal, ask you to keep us safe and healthy. We pray for those who
are less fortunate. We are so grateful to you for sending us
loving friends. Especially Andrew who will be joining us this
Ben's wife rolled her eyes.
"What was that for?"
"Ben, I know Andrew means a lot to you but..."
"What?" Ben looked devastated.
"It's just... He can be such a downer. I mean last
year when he came he just kept looking at his pocketwatch with those
downcast eyes... Frankly, he depresses me."
Andrew couldn't believe what he was hearing and started to answer
back. "Hey! I try my best. But what do you
expect when I come straight from an assignment? I laughed with
you. I smiled. How can I help it if you're that
"They can't hear you."
"I know. But..."
"Andu, Andu," Tim had begun chanting to himself. "Andu sad."
"See, even Tim's picking up on it. I just want a Christmas where
I don't have to think about... death."
"He's an angel of death, dear. He can't help it."
His wife sighed. "You're right. I'm sorry. I'll
warmly welcome him this evening. For you," she smiled lovingly at
her husband. He may have some strange friends but she loved him.
Tess put her hand on Andrew's shoulder. He started to jerk away
but thought better of it. "I am who I am..." he whispered.
"In one hour..."
"Don't leave Tess! Please!" Andrew begged. But it was
too late. The kitchen and family were gone. And Tess with
them. Again Andrew fell asleep.
The following episodes and characters were alluded to in this story:
Tony and Jordan's story can be seen in "The Violin Lesson"
Who will be the Angel of Christmas Future? Will Andrew find joy
this holiday season? Tune in in two weeks for the conclusion of
Andrew's Christmas on border patrol with Carl can be seen in "An Angel
on the Roof"
His Christmas in prison (no, not for a murder trial) with Joe Benson
was featured in "An Angel on My Tree."
Andrew's history with the Mason family is described in "The Sign of the
Dove." We don't remember the name of Ben's then-fiancee and hence
his wife is nameless in this story. But if you remember, and if
it was even stated, let us know!