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.
Mrs. Barrister and I update our address book whenever we feel forced to, but only get around to revising our Christmas Card subset of the address book every several years.
Doing Christmas cards is an important tradition, an annual rite of connection. Also, one more holiday hassle. At our house we tend to get around to sending Christmas cards biennially because of the challenge of getting good, full-family photos but we are giving up on that challenge this year. It just didn't happen. We wanted everybody on horses in Montana, but assembling family is herding cats. The purpose of the photo is to prove your continued existence, but all it reveals is your aging and the touch of grey.
Anyway, what I wanted to say was that revising the Christmas list is mostly sad, not cheerful. You see how many have died, moved far away, divorced, or moved entirely out of your lives with no known address. The cheerful side is to stay in touch with those who have moved too far to see with any frequency or at all, and to acknowledge the new good friends you have made since your last revision.
We have been blessed with lasting friendships going back to grade school and prep school, and ones as new as this year. I will never move, as many do, to Florida for taxes or hot weather or, God forbid, California, as many friends seem to do. It pains me when people move away. Some people can not stay put, can live happily with shallower roots. Like restless pioneers, they move on and build rich new lives wherever they go. We do not have that ability or that restlessness; we do not want to rip the relationship fabric or the Yankee territorial fabric of our life however imperfect or highly-taxed it may be - and it is not meaningfully imperfect anyway - just expensive.
This post is my Christmas Card from Connecticut to all of our good readers, site visitors, fellow contributors and friendly bloggers. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Cheery Solstice, and God bless us, every one.