Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

I am blessed today with an empty schedule and a stress free day.  No last minute gifts to buy or wrap, no insane traffic to navigate, no work at the liquor store.  Yes, I did deliver papers this morning but I returned a bit earlier than normal and slept until 9:30.  It was as if I had never left my bed at all.

I took advantage of this time to catch up on some newspaper reading and I opened a few days of mail.   I hope to read some more later and am looking forward to opening the book I received for Christmas and glancing through past editions of Smithsonian and National Geographic, both of which I am a few months behind on reading.

As for the big day itself, it was very nice.  Wonderful quality time with the family, delicious meals and a bit of excitement at gift opening time, even though the kids are far past the Santa stage.   I usually ask people what was the best gift they gave on Christmas as opposed to the best gift they received.  For me, I was very happy with the North Face coat that we gave my daughter.  Even thought she knew she was receiving one, the fact that she wore it the rest of the day indicates that she was pleased.  For my son, two T-shirts with sayings related to Nietzsche was his best gift from me.  He is talking about a minor in philosophy and has already taken a number of classes in that field, so the Tees were appropriate.  But the most appreciated gift was the Kindle that I gave to my wife.  She used it practically all day!!

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I see that our congressmen gave us an extension of the reduced payroll tax for two more months in 2012.  I imagine that it will be extended to the remainder of the year once they return from their winter break (any reason why they can't call it Christmas break, or at least holiday break??).  It is a shame that there needed to be such posturing and political gamesmanship around this vote.  Clearly, a little more money in the hands of working Americans can only be a good thing.  I will never understand the continued devotion of some everyday Americans for the GOP, especially the current version which seems even more in love with the idea that giving all the breaks and advantages to the rich will trickle down to the rest of us.  Some recent letters in the Inquirer included opinions from people who truly believed that the House Republicans wanted the one year tax reduction.  I guess they missed the vote that I detailed in my last blog in which those same representatives voted against the tax holiday because they couldn't stomach the idea of raising taxes on the super rich to pay for it.  Oh well, I promised to avoid political statements on this blog so...

To conclude, I was again extremely grateful and pleasantly surprised about the number of my newspaper clients who chose to send me a Christmas greeting.  For all the horrific stories that are reported these days about man's cruelty to each other, I still like to think that given the choice between good and bad, the vast majority of people choose to do good. 

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.  Whether through personal acts of kindness or pay-it-forward types of organized giving or just by holding one's tongue rather than saying something ugly or hurtful, let us all try to keep the spirit of Christmas alive in our everyday thoughts and deeds.

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