He was the only one to know it. But this was his last Christmas. His wife did not know. His kids were too young to understand it. The room was thick with warmth and green and bright lights that only a Christmas morning could have. No other time of year could be like this, he thought to himself. He just wanted to take it all in, not engage personally in the activity, kids hopping around the tree gloriously hunting and groping for presents that were theirs only to open. Two of the children, not even able to read label names, just opening whatever gifts looked like it should be theirs, frustrated the older child each time one of her presents were opened. Past years, that would have caused stress. Dwyer would have intervened overtly forcing calm and organization on a situation that really demanded none of that. This year the simple joy of the moment took over Dwyer and placed him firmly in an observer’s role. It occurred to him that he had missed years of this disorganized fun during the past when he imposed his controlling will upon his family. He had lost the unbridled enthusiasm his kids had so many years ago that he could not remember the last time he felt completely open to joy. Hell, he could not remember the last time he thought about the word “joy”. In his world, what worked was rock-hard crassness, skepticism, false honesty and non-genuine love for life’s work. He realized that he copped-out. He allowed life to consume him in his thirty-nine years and he had rarely consumed any life for himself in at least the last twenty years. He was the true corporate man. Consumed, used, worn-out, self-involved and completely useless to society except for the economic impact he could produce from the high back leather chair in his office. Though by most measures he felt himself a success, he knew he had missed most of the last many years of his family’s life.