Good morning, and Happy Christmas. This week I tried to do a lot of not working, but that only went so far. Lots of people needed help with their marketing and not all heroes wear capes, so I came to the rescue.
I’m excited for tonight’s holiday cheer but not because of anything happening in or around my chimney. Here’s why:
I’ve never actually believed in Santa.
One of the reasons is because he is not real, and I’ve always been one to verify my claims and cite my sources. But the other is because my parents deprived me of the joys of the Christmas spirit and I will never forgive them for it.
Of course I’m joking. I will probably forgive them some day. It is true though that I have not believed in Santa – not even for five minutes of my childhood. I have a whole heartwarming story about this below.
But first, The News.
Week 51 of 2021
The Omicron Variant is ruining Holidays for almost everyone. For some, it’s because of the incessant news coverage. For the few, it’s because they are spending time socially or in some cases anti-socially distant. Some are relieved to lose taste and smell when it comes to Aunt Margret’s casserole.
The least lucky among us may be spending time in the hospital. If this is you or your family, my thoughts and emails are with you.
National data shows hospitalizations are as high as they were in 2020, and where vaccine status is available, hospitalization is 5x higher and deaths are 13x higher for the unvaccinated. President Biden is mobilizing military to help hospitals and ship tests and other resources in response.
If we don’t get this coronavirus thing tamped down soon, next year is going to be renamed from twenty-twenty-two to twenty-twenty-also.
Here’s the data break down on Covid 19.
Biden’s Build Back Better almost got another B for Busted. This is compliments of Democrat Senator Joe Manchin. The largest coal miners union released a statement saying “Remember how much money you’ve made thanks to us Mister Joe ”Mansion"? We really wish you would help get this passed.“ – This is of course paraphrased, but it’s basically what they said.
I referenced Senator Manchin in an October article about why we don’t trust advertisers and politicians. Read it here
What direction is Chris North? The actor known for his role as Mr. Big on Sex and the City was accused of "me too-ing” at least three women. Word on the street is he is not known as Mr. Big in real life. Mr Average denies the allegations.
Well I’m pretty sure Kim Potter is going to jail. She shot Daunte Wright when he tried to flee a traffic stop. She thought she was grabbing her taser but obviously didn’t since he died of gunshot wounds. She was found guilty yesterday and is likely going to face a 6-8 year prison sentence.
Don’t laugh if you’re in North Korea. The 10th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s death comes with a state required mourning period, imposed by the late supreme leader’s son Kim Jong Un. North Koreans are not allowed to laugh, drink or have fun. Experts offering advice on how to keep from laughing have suggested to Koreans “Don’t look at Kim Jong Un’s haircut. That should help.”
That’s it for the news this week. Now for The Gist
So What About Santa Claus?
We never participated in the whole Santa thing. Before I was eleven, we didn’t even participate in Christmas.
It’s not that my parents were against the idea of a former priest asking little kids to sit on his lap, spying on them all year and then intruding into their houses while they are sleeping. Enforcing slave labor on certain ethnically short people isn’t the prevailing concern either. There was simply a cloud of suspicion on the character himself, and perhaps the entire pagan holiday he represents. It’s worth noting that a rearranged version of his name spells Satan. Think about that for a second. Perhaps the only gift the magical bearded fat man can give you is a curse.
When I had children of my own, I didn’t teach them that there was any such thing as Santa either. Mainly just because I wanted the credit for the gifts I had purchased, but not just that. I also didn’t want to have an awkward conversation when they start probing a little bit more. I imagine I’d be saying “Okay fine, you’re right, there’s no Santa, but don’t worry, I promise I wasn’t lying about all the other things, like God, the importance of learning algebra and that swallowing gum takes seven years to digest.”
While I haven’t participated in traditional holiday fantasies myself, they are still filled with glee. That’s because we wait all year to give graciously to that very special someone – the random coworker in the office that you get in the drawing for the gift exchange. It’s a really tender moment when you are able to lift someone’s spirit by giving a gift they will always remember (but please stay under a maximum budget of $25).
This year, like ever before, I was ready for yet another Christmas, without any magic and without any Santa. Then this week, I was greeted by a comment in my inbox on an article I wrote about making the perfect old fashioned cocktail.
Thanks for sharing your writing. You were recommended by the Bloggess (Jenny) Lawson. Keep it coming.
Love the old fashioned recipe. I was not put off by the gentle scolding tone. Never had one. Some family members drink these. I will pass your instructions on.
I wish I had money to send to pay you for your work. I will continue to tip heavily to people I meet in person in your honor…wait staff, artists, musicians.
Enjoy your holiday.
My heart was immediately warmed. Actually, since I was drinking an old fashioned at that very time, my entire body felt kind of warm. I was especially moved by the comment about not being offended by my chiding tone. It’s nice to be identified as ‘offensive, but not to me’ from time to time.
I responded that same day with the following comment.
Thank you so much for reading and sharing! The tone was only meant to communicate how seriously I take the process of making an old fashioned. Thank you for understanding! 🙂
Don’t worry about sending me money, although I do enjoy money when I’m able to get my hands on some. If you’d like to support me, consider signing up for my newsletter, which is 100% free. Still do please tip your wait staff, musicians and artists as much as you feel comfortable parting with. I know they will appreciate being recognized for the ways they enrich our lives with their work.
Have a great week!
Mary had the right idea. She wanted to honor work that she appreciated, but in the absence of a way to pay for it directly, she decided to pass it on to others. I thought, if only for the next couple of weeks while Mary remembers that she posted this comment, she will be giving the gift of financial recognition to people that provide some of the things that make our lives full. In a way, I just tipped some street corner guitar player in Cleveland or wherever Mary is from.
This is when I realized – there is in fact a Santa Clause, and it is you and me.
Every time we give somebody the gift of recognition, an act of kindness, or a little cash to say “thanks for the work you do” we are sharing the Christmas Spirit. This is truly the memory of Old Saint Nick, even the fantasies that come with it coming alive in our everyday lives. If only we could all have just a little bit more Mary. If only we could BE a little more Mary.
If you’ve received a gift of someone giving you their best; art, a great story, thoughtful customer service, whatever it may be, be like Mary. Be your own Mary incarnate.
Thank you everyone for reading and sharing. Please pass on the kindness. Give the gift of a Mary Christmas.
Happy Holidays to everyone.
Bonus: How to Make Things Worse.
My home state of Indiana has earned the rank of “worst” when it comes to Covid. Indiana’s Vaccine rates are among the lowest and hospitalizations are among the highest.
Meanwhile, the local government is considering blocking employers from vaccine mandates because they are great at timing. Local lung doctor Gabriel Bosslet testified at the State Capitol and was later interviewed on the Rachel Maddow Show. Here’s the video of the interview.