The adults of the lodge were also filled with the holiday spirit. Pudge and his social room committee turned the Temples newly renovated social room into a winter wonderland which was lit only by candles and the twinkling colorful lights of Christmas tree sitting in the corner of the room. The committee had thought of everything including a sound system which was paired with wireless speakers hidden throughout the room playing a mix of soft music and Christmas classics which created a background for the joyful laughter and the clinking of crystal glasses. Pudge’s team even placed air fresheners in specific areas which tried give the illusion of a Christmas tree farm with a pine scent fragrance near the tree and a cinnamon scent near the refreshment table to give the illusion of someone baking.
The entire room was filled with smiles and laughter, except for one grinch sitting in a leather chair in the north part of the room, all alone.
Herbert Johnson was sitting all alone in a well-worn leather chair near the roaring fireplace. The older Past Master was sitting quietly, stating at his eggnog.
The 50-year member was talking to several Brethren when he spotted Herb sitting by himself. The old man walked over and sat down next to Herb, “What in the world is wrong with you? Did you find coal in your stocking?” Herb smiled a little and said quietly, “This old room, it looks so beautiful. Reminds me of the good old days.”
“Remember all the parties we used to have in here John? I keep thinking of all the old guys we used to have at these parties. They're all gone now. It’s like traveling back in time.” The 50-year member smiled and grabbed Herb’s hand. “Those were great times. I’m sure they are looking down at us smiling. But I’m sure they would be the first to tell you how lucky we are these kids started joining the lodge, and how they made it a point to restore this room back to what it once was.”
“Nowadays this lodge has men of all kinds of different faiths. It’s the same reason we have all of those Volumes of Sacred Law on our altar. Did you notice the Menorah on that table over there? That was donated to the lodge by Brother Epstein and his family. We have men who celebrate Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanza as well as Hanukah this time of year. It would not be fair to any of them to slight their beliefs in favor of ours. Especially since we all took the same oath to look out for each other.”
“I guess you are right John.” Herbert said “While I am sitting here missing the past I'm also missing the present. I should be thankful we are still here on Earth, and thanks to these younger Brethren we still have a future.” The 50 year member arose from his chair, smiled and replied ”Exactly! So now quit sitting there like a lump and come join the rest of us. It’s about time for Santa Claus to pass out presents to the kids. Even a grumpy old guy like you will have to get a kick out of that.”