This blog is even open on Christmas. I’m enough of a pragmatist to realize that few read it today, but even Carl Sagan knew that launching the Pioneer plaques into the void was the smallest spark of hope. A quark in a universe so vast that we suppose it infinite. And even so, it makes room for us. So, if nobody reads this on Christmas I’ll certainly understand. If you do, and if you celebrate Christmas, a merry one to you. Thanks for stopping by. For some folks, I know, Christmas is a time for gathering together. A British colleague recently remarked to me, “But Thanksgiving is the big American holiday.” I think he meant both for family gathering and for time off work—it’s the only regular four-day weekend capitalism deigns to give to those who live between the anvil and hammer of nine and five. But today’s Christmas, we don’t have to think about that.
For me the ideal Christmas is one hunkered down with my family and when we don’t ever have to get out of our pajamas. A bohemian holiday when you don’t have to go outside to check the mail. As cold as it is this year, that’s really a relief. And it’s also a time for stories. Most of the Christmas gifts I give require explanation. Even if they don’t, I like to tell stories about them. That’s the way writers roll, even us obscure ones. Holidays are based on stories and are made up of stories. Those we tell only to our families are the most intimate kind. You see, the brain doesn’t stop working just because it’s a holiday. So all the books bear witness.
Although it’s too early to tell (the sun isn’t up yet), we might just eke out a white Christmas around here. In eastern Pennsylvania we managed to avoid the worst of the massive storm that ruined holiday plans for many. At the tail end of the rain, and at the knife’s edge of the frigid air, come a dusting of snow. The temperatures have kept low, so if the sun hasn’t managed to warm the still green grass enough, we may see some white today. It seems we have Bing Crosby to blame for this particular dream. Christmas isn’t predictably white around here, and global warming only makes it less so. But this is a holiday, and we don’t need to think about that. I know not many will read this post, but if you are one of the few, and if this day is special to you, celebrate it for all it’s worth.