This has been a dark holiday season. Does anyone feel “Merry”? We stand helpless witness to the collapse of the American economy and its ripple effects worldwide. The joy of gift giving itself was darkened by the death of 34-year-old Jdimytai Damour, a seasonal worker at Walmart who was trampeled to death when he opened the doors on Black Friday.
It’s as though Pandora revisited the earth, undetected, with another box of ills to punish us anew for that primal theft of fire.
When Pandora’s First Box was opened, and all the ills and toils descended on humankind the first time, Hope was caught under the lid, and came out later to help.
If I could wrap up one thing for my extended family and friends this Christmas it would be: Courage. We will all need quite a dose of it in the coming year.
With the massive layoffs and spiraling down of our micro and macroeconomies, life as we know it will change. But it will still be life. And that’s what’s important.
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes or bags!"
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
‘Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
‘Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!’”
And when things get tough, remember that fairness is not an attribute of life. Here’s a perfect Christmas example. The character Scrooge is synonymous with misanthrope. But “He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world.” The redeemed Scrooge “knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.” So why isn't "Scrooge" synonymous with "Mr. Christmas?" Tough legacy for a character.
A small gift from the New Yorker cartoon bank site: a look at the Ghosts of Covers past, from decades when others faced tough times.
Merry Christmas to all who celebrate.
I am off to Chicago and Springfield, Illinois for New Year’s, to appropriately usher in the year of Lincoln, and the historic first year of Obama’s presidency. See you all in January.