This holiday season, families everywhere will gather to enjoy the magical traditions of winter: cross country skiing on a snowy dale, singing Christmas carols door to door, and building a fat, jolly snowman with Jack Frost nipping at their noses. But while most families will need to venture into the great outdoors to sample such holiday glee, one lucky family will enjoy the spirit of the season without going anywhere. For the Randall family of Chicago, a winter wonderland awaits right in their own home!
Ever since being laid off at the rendering plant, Dwayne Randall and family have had a bit of a tough time making ends meet. First, their car was repossessed and the telephone was shut off. Then, thanks to the family’s inabilty to pay several months back bills to Chicago Gas and Electric, the Randalls’ heat was turned off, and the tiny rented flat they occupy became an icy playground of holiday delight!
“Please...” a shivering and blue Dwayne Randall, 41, told reporters. “Must... have... heat.”
He then wrapped his arms around his son and began patting and rubbing his convulsing torso, giving him the biggest Christmas hug a young boy could ever want.
Though times are tough, isn’t overcoming life’s adversity with good cheer and uplifted spirits just exactly what the holidays are really all about? Mother Ellen Randall, desperately melting water over a tiny, generator-powered hotplate, certainly seems to think so. The charitable enthusiasm with which she vainly attempts to treat her young child’s severe hypothermia is an example to us all that the true warmth of Christmas comes not from any gas company, but from our hearts.
Its ceiling aglow with the tinkling of icicles, the kitchen is a child’s fantasy of a wintry igloo for one of Santa’s playful elves. The toilet, frozen solid by the subzero temperatures, may not be fit for use now that the pipes have burst, but it brings to mind the domain of the jolly Mr. Snow, Emperor of Winterland from the charming children’s book we all know and love.
Yet, even in times of holiday happiness, all is not well. Collapsing into a coma, little Paul Randall, 6, turns a seasonal shade of blue, and it seems he has stopped breathing. Witnessing the sadness in the eyes of his loved ones, one is reminded of the touching scene in Frosty the Snowman, in which plucky Frosty melts away, leaving his friends lonely and sad at his passing.
A tear rolls down our numbed cheeks. But alas! A spasm racks the boy’s frail frame! It as if Frosty’s magic hat has once again restorted him to life! All around the frozen apartment, there is once again a sense of joy and happiness, as the sputtering, coughing boy begins to move and stands once again.
“I beg you, Mr. Reporter,” he says, eyes wide with innocence. “Some food... I need food...”
Don’t you worry, Paul. There’ll be plenty of cookies come Christmas Eve! And even if there won’t be, it’s obvious that the Randalls’ holiday spirit will “weather” just about any storm.