Happy Holidays/Merry Xmas

All I want for Chanukah/Xmas/Kwanzaa is civic sanity and political integrity.

I may have to wait awhile…

Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all the kind messages on my retirement. They are more appreciated than you can know!

Wishing everyone who visits this blog as enjoyable a holiday as possible in this year of the Pandemic.

See you tomorrow.


  1. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, thanks to Sheila for another year keeping us informed and wishing you safe celebrations.

    I finally got some Christmas spirit; am watching “A Christmas Story” on TNT and have my mini-leg lamp turned on. You can take the employee out of government but you can’t take the government out of the employee; every time I watch this movie I see all of the zoning violations in the background. Be thankful for Zoning Enforcement:)

    Stay safe!

  2. Wishing you and your family all the blessings of the season and a greatly improved 2021. Hopefully.

  3. Merry Christmas to all.

    Let’s remember the purpose of this treasured day versus the consumerization built up around it. I had to pick up a script last night at the local Walmart, and I sure didn’t see much of Jesus in the building. 😉

  4. Sheila; I hope it is OK to share a personal, very memorable Christmas which includes another of your commenters, Maywin A. Jackson. Today is also Maywin’s birthday so, Happy Birthday, Kid.

    Maywin is my son’s former mother-in-law so we share children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as our friendship. A few years ago Maywin, her 2 daughters and 2 of our 3 shared grandsons showed up at my door on Christmas Day; she announced she was taking all of us to dinner to celebrate both birthdays. The only business open was the Buffet owned by a Chinese family; there was a severe thunderstorm raging and the parking lot was near full so she let us out at the door and parked the car. We had a lukewarm, mediocre meal shared in good spirits. Maywin paid the bill and went to get the car to pick us up; the Chinese owner came to us as we neared the door to leave, he accused us of not paying the check. Grandson Daniel ran to the car for the receipt which the owner said was not one of their official receipts. His family members had lined up by then to prevent our leaving; this was creating a scene but we managed to get past them without physical contact and out the door.

    We explained to Maywin what took us so long to come out; she began singing, “Deck the horrs with boughs of horry…” and we all joined in with the “Fa ra ra ra ra ra ras” and sang and laughed our way back to my home. We celebrated the season, Maywin’s special day, had a mediocre meal, avoided an International incident and created an unforgettable Christmas memory.

    Again, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all, Happy Birthday Maywin and stay safe!

  5. This is a very different Christmas for most of us, but if we remember the reasons we celebrate, whatever holiday we do, we will have a good memory even of this year.

    Happy Holidays to all!

  6. LOL,

    For all of the threads that damned religion, the religious holidays seem to hold some sort of hope! So, every year, no matter religious belief, or nonbelief for that matter, humanity goes down the rabbit hole!

    If you would ask people exactly what the holidays mean in a religious sense, they couldn’t tell you! Very very few actually would know the history of them, or why there is even a celebration.

    It’s no different than Caesar with his bread and circuses, modern holidays give people something to look forward to, it gives capitalists away to extort more money from the average willing citizen, no matter the country or belief!

    So instead of treating your fellow man with dignity and respect, showing it every single day of the year, we hate!

    We hate on our neighbor, we hate on religion, hate our politicians, we hate our government, a lot of hatred to say the least.

    What good does it do to have a season where we claim to respect everything and love everyone? If these things are ingrained in humanity, then why isn’t it apparent year-round!

    There are people of self perceived goodwill out there, and they will philosophize on how to make things better, they just rely on flawed and maybe self aggrandized ideals. Philosophy is really no different than theoretical physics. Anything can be theoretical, those who philosophize, theorize the sound of a tree falling the forest only occurs when someone is there to hear it! Or, that, how do we know we are the only conscious entity in the universe and everything else is just a hallucinogenic reality?!?!?

    I mean, we could go down the list, but, this is not an un-pervasive issue or belief. So if this sort of bizarre interpretation of reality permeates society, why should anyone not be self absorbed and selfish because we, as individuals, exist in the center of our own universe for our own pleasure.

    It is the ultimate worship of self.

    That primordial soup that we all supposedly came from, would’ve been a jungle of eat or be eaten every single day! So, it would’ve been highly unlikely, any single organism would’ve survived to evolve into a higher life form.

    But just say, it happened that way. Why would the nature of anything evolved from an eat or be eaten reality, actually change? Every subsequent evolutionary step would have come from a similar existence, eat or be eaten.

    Why then, would we not have that same desire today? Why would man’s self-created government promote equality, and an equitable existence? Instead of a self produced reality where only the strong survive and where it has been that way since the beginning of consciousness.

    I think people recognize there should be something more, and government recognizes along with those who sit on the pinnacle of society, recognizes, hope, faith, love, dignity, compassion, ethics, are not something that can just evolve. So instead of embracing these very rare qualities, we go in the opposite direction most of the year. Then after existing in corruption and moral turpitude, look towards a specific time when we can cast aside our self-induced ignorance for something better. Maybe trying to buy oneself out of purgatory, LOL, at least for a little while!

    Too bad history shows that self-delusion, self-induced ignorance, allows us to willfully deceive not only ourselves but everyone else. Everyone has developed their own reality, a reality devoid of truth and honest perspective.

    Mankind, being the supposed apex intellect on this planet, surrounds itself with un-intellectual dogma and philosophizers teach and promote nonsensical theories that they’ve made up in their own minds, intent be damned, because mankind needs to have something to follow.

    Unfortunately, what mankind seems to follow, is never based on or in a uniform cognitive reality, one that considers the whole of life, the whole of society, the whole of reality, it always devolves into self, eat or be eaten.

    Humanity has always had the innate urge towards something more than self, something to worship, something to follow, something to encourage faith and hope, even those who philosophize recognize this, they just use that urge or desire to promote selfish and self-destructive conduct which repeats itself almost with atomic clock type precision throughout history! It’s an ebb and flow existence, kind of like Groundhog Day! And mankind’s intellect just gets in the way, because it really is not intellect at all.

  7. This year has been like the line from the movie “Wizard of Oz”:
    Parts if it were very scary, but parts of it were very beautiful. (Apologies to Judy Garland if I changed the wording a bit.)
    Joe’s business is surviving.
    Everyone is healthy.
    The kids have struggled with missing school, sports, and band but no one got Rona.
    The holiday was strange but due to an app called Snapchat we made it work.
    I was over the moon with my kids who sent pictures of the grands opening their yearly gift of socks, a tradition started by my late mother in the 70s.
    Their expressions when they showed their new footware were priceless!
    They ‘get’ the meaning now that they’re older and appreciate the sentiment.
    THAT’S the best gift ever.
    Maybe that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
    Happy Holidays ?

  8. The first part of a letter to the editor of yesterday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune (the quirks of e-papers didn’t allow me to copy the whole thing)…

    ’Twas the night before Christmas and spread out all Through the house, No masked family members were stirring, Not even a mouse. The stockings were sanitized by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas be allowed to come there. The children nestled all snug in their beds, They had dreams of travel and parties dancing in their heads. And Mama in her mask and I with my COVID protective cap, Had just settled in for a long, long, long winter’s nap. When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window — with anti-bacterial spray in hand — I flew like a flash…

  9. Happy Holidays to all!
    That’s it…be well…stay safe!
    Saving 2020 good riddance comments for next Thursday.

  10. What Mitch said!

    I only discovered this ”place” a few months ago and already feel the need to read…every day. Thanks again to Sheila. Wishing everyone a meaningful holiday…if and whichever you celebrate.

  11. Happy holidays, everyone! Best wishes, Sheila, for your retirement. Hope you get to do all those things you dreamed about for when you retire. It’s here…it’s really here!

  12. May the peace, grace and blessings of the Season be to you and yours.
    Thanks to you and all who comment for sharing our wisdom, perspective and opinions. The gifts that keep on giving.
    Happy Christmas!

  13. First, I want to once more congratulate Sheila on her well earned retirement. However I am certain she will not stop being who she is and we will continue to hear from her. YES….
    I know she will miss her students. All that energy and hope sitting there in front of her. So profound and energizing. But just have some well earned fun.
    Now, all the rest of you (and I will leave Joann until last) I appreciate what I have learned from you and wish I had half the experience and education you all have.
    Joann, friend of my heart and luckily also a family member, the day you speak of is one of those experiences that gives more than just one moment of hilarity. Controlled chaos but chaos frozen in time and a rare group memory if shared, would be described by each in their own personal way. (It would be great to hear each one’s version wouldn’t it?) From start to finish pure entertainment. Love Love Love you Jo See you all next year..

  14. John Lithgow recently published a book of doggerel giving his observations on Trump’s presidency. It’s entitled ‘Trumpty Dumpty Wanted a Crown.’ Lithgow and a Carl Hiaasen book entitled ‘Squeeze Me,’ inspired me to pen the following:

    Trump says he’s tough and mean and tan
    He sees himself as quite the man
    But underneath his coat of mail
    Lies a loser, bound for jail
    It’s not just that he’s Putin’s pimp
    A traitor dumb as any chimp
    Or that his friends are crooks and thieves
    It’s not about the lies he weaves
    It’s not just that he hates us all
    Or that his parts are very small
    Or that he cheats at all he does
    Or that his brain is full of fuzz
    It’s not even that he’s sadistically mean
    Or that he loves to strut and preen
    Or that he golfs like he’s taking poops
    Not even that he scorns our troops
    He’s proud of his problems
    And his business acumen
    He thinks that his skills are way beyond human
    And I will not critique his neuroses
    Which now and then go off like explosives
    Nor will I mention that he hates women
    Or bring up the charities he’s been caught skimmen’
    Still less would I point to his cabinet
    With no skills, less brains, and souls inanimate
    But try as I might I cannot resist
    To mention the millions he’s royally pissed
    Who once spoke proud of love of country
    Now hang their heads as Trumpty Dumpty
    Makes us look stupid and whiney and grumpy
    And feel unclean and hopeless and frumpy.

  15. Merry Christmas ? and a happy 2021 to You, Sheila and all to all your followers from Adrian Oud, Amsterdam the Netherlands!

  16. Khalil Gibran is qouted: “Half of what I have to say is meaningless, but I say it to get the other half out.” So, my resolution for 2021 is to say less, listen more and let others claim the other half. Thank you, Sheila, for a most thought provoking year. Pen on.

  17. Wishing you all the joys of the season, Sheila. As ex-pats and now dual citizens living in British Columbia, Becky and I look forward to feeling hopeful about America again, no longer having to explain Trump to our Canadian friends, and being able to visit south of the border to see children, grandchildren and American friends. My own retirement from the University of Alberta becomes official Jan 1. So you and I begin this next journey together. Be well. Fond regards.

  18. ” The Work of Christmas” Howard Thurman

    When the song of the angels are stilled,
    When the star in the sky is gone,
    When the kings and princes are home,
    When the shepherds are back with their flock,
    The work of Christmas begins:

    To find the lost,
    To heal the broken,
    To feed the hungry,
    To release the prisoner,
    To rebuild the nations,
    To bring peace among brothers,
    To make music in the heart.

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