A Christmas Surprise

Christmas tree, ornaments
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
Christmas is a little much. It's so everywhere, so relentless. There's the societal need for perfection at holiday time, the commercial onslaught of ads and come-ons. I'm not Scrooge, but it's all just so exhausting.

So I climb into a cab the other day, and the driver has Christmas music on the radio. It turns out he's listening to an all-Christmas station — and he's humming along.

Soon I realize that he's pretty happy. And I'm also starting to realize that this guy didn't grow up listening to these songs. I look at the license posted on the back of his seat, and I guess that this guy is Indian — maybe.

Anyway, we talk — and he says, with a thick accent, "You know, the music lifts your spirits. A lot of the songs are about peace and love and family. These are all important, and all things most of us can agree on, don't you think."

"Happy Holidays," he says as I get out of the cab.

"Thank you," I say — in wonder.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.