Last time, dear readers, I promised you better news and a happier tone. The Middle is definitely getting in a Christmas-y mood. The decorations are up, there was some blustery snow yesterday here in Cream City, temperatures are dropping promising more snow, and Swans are swimming across the land. Lots of craft fairs and Christmas markets cropping up, lots of shopping and eating, hopefully business surviving and even thriving a bit.
However, my improved mood is not matched. We continually get the grumbling and the grouching about the grownups who are setting the standards and telling us what gets us on the Good List and nice things in our stockings: Even if it is Clementines and NoseBags and new school clothes, and not so much the Dom Peringnon, the Xbox and the Tiffany.
I think one thing that I have seen change mightily in recent years—since about 2000—is the failure of folks to recognize when someone is helping, or trying to help, us. Grandma Anja and Uncle Nick are trying to do the right thing. No one can live on more than they bring in, not even countries. Fall is the traditional season of Change, but this year, I think Change is going to continue through the Winter, into the Spring. We’re going to have to decide what we need (socks and undies) and what is going to have to go or wait (diamonds and pearls). Can we do it? Can we make the right choice? Maybe, maybe not. I think the deeper question is whether the wrong choice ever lasts that long. The wrong choice just gets you back to where you were in the first place, needing to Change.
So, let’s try to get in the Swing—of giving rather than taking, of Clementines instead poultry and pears instead of gold rings. The faster we do, the faster it gets better.
Happy Holidays, wherever you are, however you celebrate it, safe and sound.