We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Yesterday I spoke with my mother-in-law in Dusseldorf, where she’s snowed in and may not reach her mother for Christmas eve. She saw on CNN that San Diego was suffering from torrential rains, as TV news searches for exaggerations to fill airtime.
Actually, San Diego got from several inches to over ten-inches of rain, varying by spot. That’s very unusual in our semi-arid location, where sunny days are usual and average temps range along the coast from winter 60s to upper-70s in summer (today’s newspaper editorial calls our usual weather “bland”). Still, as most of our soil is sand and roads get flooded, there are commute difficulties and some small landslides (the Coaster rail is blocked for several more days). We have tickets to the Poinsettia Bowl tonight. We’ll have to go hours earlier and stall in heavy traffic; bummer. At Qualcomm, next to the overflowed San Diego River (usually a trickle), pumps are removing over 2,200 gallons of water a minute from the flooded stadium (I guess that favors Navy, versus San Diego State University).
On the way back from the movies yesterday to see Narnia #3 (good, especially with 3D, but #2 was best), Jason and I stopped at Sports Authority for a quick purchase. Instead, we spent over an hour in the baseball glove aisle helping confused parents choose gloves for their sons (we sold over 20; should have been on commission). Almost all the buyers departed wishing us Happy Holidays; not one Merry Christmas. This is not a Jewish neighborhood (nor Muslim), so I thought that unusual, even bland.
For those to whom Christmas is something special, two items in today’s emails tell of their deep loss.
A fellow Vietnam veteran sent me this artist rendering of a photo taken at the Wall in D.C.These and other veterans never got to celebrate another Christmas.
Another friend sent me this AP clip that Iraqi Churches cancel Christmas festivities because of Al Qaeda threats, following increased but hardly new brutalities and murder against them by Islamists, a million Christians having left Iraq since 2003. Christians in most all Muslim countries suffer violence and death at the hands of Islamists.
Wherever you are, whatever your weather, whichever and however your faith, whenever you pause, give thanks for the freedom to celebrate Christmas in America, compared to the alternatives, and remember when it wasn’t Blandmas or an invitation to be slaughtered.
I like the painting of the Vietnam War Memorial. My visit to the Vietnam War Memorial evoked a strong emotional response in me. Though I have never been a churchgoer, the words of the 23rd Psalm burst into my mind at the Vietnam War Memorial.
Similarly, though I have never been a churchgoer, this time of year has always been Christmas for me, not "happy holidays."
I know an elementary school librarian of the Jewish faith who found out that the students at her nearly 100% Hispanic school believed that Christmas had only to do with Santa Claus. She took it upon herself to inform the students that Christmas was associated with the birthday of Jesus Christ. Perhaps because this was in TX, she got no flack for doing so.
Bruce my friend ... A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your dear family, and to Bird Dog and Barrister and Gwynnie and to all the other maggiesfarmers and commenters.
Bruce, you and your kids deserve special stars in your crown for spending time helping folks at Sports Authority pick out baseball gloves for their kids. And yes, I know that you're not technically Christian, except in your instincts. But as noted commenter Ben Stein points out, he's been wishing folks Merry Christmas all of his life. And getting good wishes back.
I wish that the 'diversity' folks would stop trying to parse kindness and realize that goodness and mercy don't need to be segregated and labeled for a particular group.