With this edition, I kiss 2010 goodbye and, like the butler/chauffeur of “Sabrina,” head off to spend the holidays with my family in our modest but cheerful apartment over the garage. All is well here --- I continue to be unable to find a flaw in my wife, and as for the almost-9-year-old princess, she still believes in the magic of Christmas, though she’s replaced the image of the man in the red suit with a committee of his local deputies.
I would be a fool not to begin by counting my blessings.
My blessings. Our blessings. But somewhere out there, the blessings end. Beyond that? Well, the New Earth seems to be flat. Find yourself poor and/or unemployed, you just …fall off the edge. You’re invisible. And no one still getting by can hear you scream.
What is really happening in our country --- the brutal rejection of elementary Judeo-Christian brotherhood --- would be news to many of us. Not our fault. The less well-off get almost no media attention. I’ve turned on TV news randomly these last few weeks, and I’ve seen nothing about the holiday season for the poor and homeless and nary a word about a middle-class sinking in economic quicksand. The only time “they” come up seems to be on the political chat shows, where men with bulging necks insist on a self-reliance so astringent you can’t help but wish they had to live --- for even a week! --- by their draconian codes of right conduct.
What can you do? Help where you can, in the place where you are. And build your own inner strength, just in case you have the bad luck to be tested. How? Well, my holiday shopping list is --- don’t be surprised --- filled with books, movies, music and things I really think might be useful, even character-building.
But there are others I might commend, for those who don’t want to go outside or deal with their families.
Tradition --- to say nothing of decades of praise --- requires that I urge you to try the Holiday Ham.
It’s a little long --- skip ahead to the 1:30 mark if you’re the restless type --- but I do want, as a parting shot, to share this video of a handsome, bearded French man snowboarding from the heights of Montmartre through the streets on Paris. It’s warm and human and fun, and it makes you think: This ”being alive” thing --- it doesn’t suck.
Wait! I almost forgot to thank you for dropping in, and writing me, and just generally being my dream readers. When I count my blessings….