Refusing to Rant For Christmas

Easy enough to do. Ranting, that is. And I really want to, except that it’s also the last thing I want to do. I have to believe things will get better. Despair helps no one except those who seek to inflict it.

So, in the spirit of the season, I wish everyone reading this Happy Holidays, whichever you celebrate. And if you don’t have a holiday, celebrate anyway. We’re pulling for you, and each other.

Happy Monday

December 25th. Happy Holidays to everyone who has a holiday around now, which is most everyone, if not entirely. For those who’ve managed to escape all that, Happy Monday. We’ve definitely got a white one, as in the old song. Granted, the snow is falling sideways, which often happens down here in a river gorge in the Mohawk valley. Probably something about the way the gorge channels the wind, but it can get quite dramatic, and especially when it’s snowing.

First Reader bought me a DNA test as a Yule present so we can find out if I’m really human. I mean, probably, but now and then over the years I’ve had my doubts, as have those nearest and dearest, hence the test. Whatever it turns out to be, I know I’ll never be as English as she is. She tests out as more English than most of the people actually born there, with a little Irish, Italian, and Finnish/Slavic thrown in. Regardless, we can now settle the matter of my genetic classification, even if we’re still working on all the others.

Be all that as it may, I hope you’re having a happy whatever you celebrate, or just a really fine day. I think we’re all due one.

Third Time’s Not Necessarily Charming

esc-skunkThird time refers to one more medical incident I won’t go into detail about and yes, I’m fine, but I am so over 2016. Far too many people passed whose work had meant a lot to me and that hurt. Too many people in this country have apparently lost their minds and that also hurts. I hope 2017 is a better year, but there is a chance, if for no other reason than the bar is so low.

Considering how things were going, it seemed very prudent for me to finally get that $#%# story finished and sent out. I had almost forgotten how freeing it feels to get a story out into the world. Once it leaves your hands you’re no longer bound to examine and second-guess yourself and what you did or should have done. It’s time to move on to the next project, and progress is always a potential in the next thing you do, never in what you’ve already done. That’s how progress works. Proud as I am of the work I’ve produced over the last few years—and I do think the story turned out well–the work I’m mostly excited about is what I’m going to do next, and that is the way it should always be, for all of us.

Interesting times are ahead, but then we’re interesting people. So buckle up, and don’t forget to tell your stories.

Happy Holidays.

Celebration, Come On!

Two For ChristmasThe last thing I want to do in this joyous season is start an argument, but in order to proceed with what I want to do here, which is wish everyone Happy Holidays, I feel the need to point out that there’s a reason many people say “Happy Holidays” rather than simply “Merry Christmas.” There’s a lot going on this time of year. Let’s break it down a bit:

Chinese New Year
Winter Solstice
New Year’s Day (Western)
Bodhi Day (Buddhist)
Pancha Ganapati (Hindu)
Soyal (Zuni & Hopi)
Hogmanay (Scotland)
Quaid-i-Azam (Pakistan)
HumanLight (Humanist)
Dōngzhì Festival (East Asia)
and yes, Christmas.

And that’s not everything by half. So here’s the thing, and it’s got nothing to do with either being “PC” or any imagined “War on Christmas.” To automatically say “Merry Christmas” to someone whose background and customs you may not know is an example of unexamined priviledge and cultural assumptions that are as likely as not unwarranted, not to mention just plain rude. Sure, I’ll say “Merry Christmas” to family and friends in person, but even then only when I know we’re on the same page, which is not always the case. To say it here, on this blog, when I know darn well that not everyone reading this shares either my background or beliefs is to use the season as a club, not a hug. Sometimes I am a jerk, but I try not to be, and that’s the beginning and end of it.

So Happy Holidays, everyone, because no matter what those holidays are, they should be happy, and that’s what I wish for you all.