Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, 2012

It's foggy and rainy rather than white, but it is Christmas - the "hap-happiest season of all," according to one of the holiday songs. In the words of another song, "it's a time for kids/to flip their lids/while their papa goes in hock."

At our house, we do most of our celebrating on Christmas Eve in the European style. Two of our grandchildren (oh, and their parents, too) were here for dinner and to open gifts yesterday evening, and we managed to get in a picture with Elise, Leya, and our daughter Yasmin before the traditional frantic shredding of the gift wrapping ...

And because Agnes is intent on making sure that the girls grow up with good manners and social skills, she risked her treasured "Twelve Days of Christmas" Waterford champagne flutes for a holiday toast of sparkling cider ...

But that was yesterday, and today is Christmas Day. It's the magical day when everyone is filled with love and goodwill and generosity and the cookies and milk left out for Santa, so that the trusting children won't get wise to the deception for a few more years.

Unfortunately, the love, goodwill, and generosity part isn't as much in evidence this year as it was in the past. A useless, do-nothing Congress divided by a wall of up-yours attitude toward the political opposition has gone home without doing its job, putting millions of families at economic risk in the coming year. The nation is divided over gun rights, the "right to life," and the "right to work." This year, Santa's bag probably contains a powerful weapon for which he has a concealed carry permit.

There was a time when the traditional Christmas story from the second chapter of Matthew was the norm ...

2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 
2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 
2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 
2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 
2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 
2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Along with the timeless lyrics of Irving Berlin ...

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the treetops glisten,
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write.
May your days be merry and bright.
And may all your Christmases be white."

This year, the Christmas isn't white (at least here in Northern Virginia), and the peace on earth, goodwill toward men thing isn't all that much in evidence.

But for my part, I'll try to keep the joy in my heart and pretend that I'm still the same wide-eyed boy that enjoyed the white Christmases and family love of middle-class western Pennsylvania so many years ago. And I'll wish all of you all the very best of the season and my hopes for a happy, healthy, prosperous*, and safe new year.

And as a gift to you, here's one of my very favorite Christmas songs to enjoy - Marty Robbins' One of You in Every Size ...

God bless us, every one!

Have a merry Christmas! More thoughts tomorrow.


* Yes, that one's a stretch as long as we're stuck with the Congress we have, but a guy can dream.


eViL pOp TaRt said...

Merry Christmas, Bilbo!

Amanda said...

Thats a beautiful photo with your daughter and grand daughters. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

John A Hill said...

Merry Christmas, Bill.
Great looking family. Guess Agnes gets most of the credit for that, eh?

wv: ptatedu--twice baked potato at a snobbish restaurant.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Have a great Christmas, Bilbo!

Mike said...

Merry Christmas and happy the rest of this year. I'm not so sure about next year.

Duckbutt said...

I hope your Christmas was great, Bilbo

Anonymous said...

I see you are still feeding those children cuteness pills.