Ok... I have to explain something first. I'm not Christian so Christmas has another meaning for me. That was one reason why I hesitated when I first thought write a fanfic. for the Christmas challenge of TTS (a forum that you can fine the Internet adress clicking my name)But then Fee (a member of thatforum)asked me if I celebrate Hanukah... and then I realize that my family had a big Christmas dinner every year. And I started to ask myself: What Christmas means? Maybe Tarzan could find an appropriate answer. Hope you like it. Oh! I have to thank Becca (walkwsmile) for her wise and kind words… I thinkshe can understand Jane's predicament, I gaveher a hard time but without your help this story couldn't be written.
Typical declaration: I don't own any of the characters, story, and series of Tarzan. Edgar Rice Burroughs and WB created them. I'm not selling, or making any kind of profit off of this story I've written. No infringement is intended. This is solely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others. (At last that is what I hope).
What Christmas mean
The jungle man sat on the edge of the windows, his face showed the confusion inside his mind. He had asked a simple question but now he was more confused than before. Why did civilized people loved to complicate the meaning of the things. Why did they have such different explanation for the same thing?
Jane's hazel startled eyes watched his silhouette leaned on the window glass. She ran and opened it. "Are you crazy?" she pulled him inside, "It's freezing out side. You can get pneumonia or something worse." He was shivering. "John you can't…"
"My name is Tarzan!" He grunted her irritatingly.
She stepped back frowning. Every time he denied his Christian name meant that something was bothering him. "What happen?" He didn't answer just started to move back and forth. She knew that wasn't easy for him to fit in this crazy world. He was an outsider that had a peculiar way to watch and observe the surrounding society. She sighed asking "Had had you another discussion with Kathleen about Christmas Eve?" He shook his head. "Did Richard do something to you?" His head shook again and his fist vibrated frustratingly. "I can't read your mind… Tarzan." She whispered smoothly, "If you don't tell me what happen, I don't know what to do to help you." She learned long time ago that patience was the best weapon to deal with his bad mood but she wasn't prepared for his inflaming and frustrating grunt he emitted.
He strolled like a caged animal across the bedroom unable to express what bothered him so much until he stopped in front of her and shoot abruptly, "What Christmas means?" He didn't wait to her reply, he kept walking nervously, "every time I ask I obtain a different answer, I don't understand it. How could a simple and direct question have so many different answers?" Then he stood there, still, looking at her waiting for an answer.
"What Christmas means?" she repeated looking for a coherent answer. 'How can you explain to a man that never experienced Christmas for himself, what is Christmas?' The best strategic answer you could do in such cases was to ask back. "What do you remember of Christmas time with your parents?"
He allowed himself fall at her bed's edge. "I have fuzzy memories of it" He admitted. "Just a Christmas tree surrounded by boxed… gift." His eyes got lost into the image that came back from a distant past. "I remember to wait eagerly for what…" His eyes narrowed trying to reach to a forgotten name. "San… San…"
"Santa" She smiled sitting next to him. Her hands enfolded his as tears bathed the corner of his eyes. There was no need of words in that moment. Jane was there, near him, stroking lovingly his callous fingers. She would answer his question, by now all he needed was her nearness.
"Do you feel better?" She whispered into Tarzan's right ear, he slightly nodded. The jungle man was blissfully comfortable with his head on Jane's lap, her finger playing lovingly with his silk long blond mane. There was no place in the world that he wanted to be but exactly where he was.
"I felt bad the whole week …" He peacefully admitted, "And I don't know why."
"This time of the year the family gets together. Knowing your history I can understand why you're feeling that way…" He sighed loudly. Obviously Christmas time had awakened emotions that the Jungle man didn't use to feel, sensations that didn't hurt him so badly when he was near her. "And…you have Kathleen." His feature darkened. Yeah, Kathleen was all the family he could count with. Jane leaned in and kissed his forehead, then the words ran out off her mouth. "And you have me…" He spun to gaze at her. She blushed under his penetrating look, She quickly added, "and Nikki… and Sam…" His wide smile and his shining cerulean eyes told her that he loved the meaning of her sentence. "So…," she asked knowing the answer, "Are you still angry?"
"No" He smiled playfully, "but I still don't know what Christmas means."
She laughed. "You're persistent" kissing his forehead again she assured "Christmas means different things for different people."
"I can see it clearly now." He sat up. He needed to see her eyes while she answered his questions. "When I saw Maria placed little figures under the tree I asked her what was it and she explained that the little one was Jesus and Christmas celebrate his birth."
She smiled. "Oh! She is Catholic and celebrates Christmas too."
"Catho-lic …" He frowned cocking his head.
"She and I are Christian but we profess different religions, she is Catholic and… I'm not." She ended abruptly 'Better not introduce him in the problematic of religions or this interrogation will be a never ending story.'
But he wasn't interested in other matter than Christmas so he kept asking. "So under the Tree you could place the gifts and other things…" She nodded but his expression told her that his mind was boiling with questions again. "I find hard to understand how the re-li-gious and the gift are linked."
She beamed. "Oh! Why do I feel like I am in a high-school's test again and the teacher are making me tricky questions…" Looking at his face she giggled shaking her head. "You didn't experience that either. So you don't know what I'm talking about." His expression face showed that her supposition was right. Her brown rose while her brain tried to build a coherent explanation. "Ok, God gifted us with Jesus Christ. He sent him into our world and made a bridge for us to him through Christ. There is no greater gift than a life, so we celebrate by giving gifts to each other to recreate the gift that was given to us."
She watched him listening to the words she expressed, analyzing each one. He didn't reply quickly, he took his time staring at her, trying to manage appropriately the revealed massage. "I like what you said." His smile grew wide, "I can feel the power of the faith sustaining each one of your words..." He puffed bitterly. "It's sad that I can't feel the same way and enjoy Christmas as you and Maria do."
He didn't end of surprising her. How could she answer that? "Nowadays Christmas transcended its religious connotation. It has become a moment for reunion and reconciliation. Even the non-Christians celebrate it with a family dinner at Christmas Eve."
"Something like that Kathleen told me when I asked her." He said pensive. "She explained to me that Christmas was a time, an opportunity, to fix old broken family ties."
"Oh! Probably she want that you and Richard make peace" Jane wondered loud.
"Yeah, she said so, we are family and…" He narrowed his eyes trying to remember the exactly word she used, "is the correct time to forget the animosity between us and try to start over."
"Ok… but to be honest, I don't know if Richard could be able to put aside his greed and talk to you like the uncle he never was…"
"I already talked with him… I went to his office." Her terror face expression made him smile. "But as you can see he let me go… reluctantly." He mockingly added. "Probably the Christmas made a little miracle melting his cold heart… only a little…"
"Did you ask him what Christmas means?" She wondered loud.
"I did, but he shrugged saying that Christmas was a consumer compulsion. Is a contest between stores where the winner gets money, lot of money. I think he called it, Consumerism. So that's why I had problem to put together the religion's sentimentalism and gifts."
She sighed. "Sadly for people like your uncle Christmas is nothing more than an opportunity to make money. But it isn't what the Christmas means."
"But I heard Nikki's disappointed voice tone when you told her that you can't buy what she wanted… so I don't know if Richard is so mistaken… TV and radio scream constantly, the more you spend more you care for…"
She considered what he just had said. "Sometimes we forget the meaning of Christmas too, but the important thing is not the gift itself but the love behind it. Maybe I can use an example…" She thought during some seconds then a mocking smile started to dance on her lips. "What would have more value for you, a car given by Richard or a picture of your parents gifted by Kathleen?"
Beaming he replied, "Kathleen gift…"
She smiled back, "Christmas is a religious celebration but is a time to be together, a time for reunion and reconciliation."
While she spoke, through the radio speaker, a male voice read the last news of the day. Tarzan frowned then smirked. "It's hard to believe that people is looking for reunion and reconciliation hearing the radio's news."
"John, the human is violent I can't deny it. But one of the meanings of Christmas is peace."
Through the radio another melody was intoned 'The Band-Aid song'. He remained thinking for a while, "You take naturally that so much people die, it doesn't disturb you, it seems that it doesn't disturb anyone. People heard it and go shopping anyway."
She was speechless. How to answer that statement? "John, probably that question is better than any answer I could find, and probably it pointed to the real meaning of Christmas. This is a time of the year when you have the opportunity of opening your heart so it can guide your mind, crossing your fears, distrust, prejudices and limitations, maybe that way you be able to see far from you use to.
He tilted his head with a light of understanding. "Maybe Christmas give us a chance to look inside us searching for the good we have and project it to the others."
She happily sighed, "Who knows maybe that way the lyrists of an old song could turn to be truth and it really could be a Silent night, holly night (1)
(1) The lyrists of this song in Spanish are: night of Peace, night of love. I have to admit that I thought the Spanish words fit better in the meaning of this story… Thanks for reading it and Happy Christmas to every one.