-------------------Getting back to the agony and ecstasy of Christmas -- several years ago I decided to enter holidays with no expectations. That way, I'd always be pleasantly surprised. It's worked well for me. A neutral state of mind allows me to accept the disappointment if I goof with a gift for someone who clearly wanted something else. It also allows me to be thrilled when an unexpected gift (one not on the person's official list) brings pleasure. Besides, too much changes from year to year -- family members move away, or loved ones die. Traditions that were the glue of a family celebration just can't hold up to those transitions. So, in closing -- I believe that Christmas is for children and adults need to back off. Our only role should be reiterating the reason we celebrate on December 25th. It's not to make merchants happy and wealthy; It's not to see how much stuff you can get; It's not to compete with your friends to see who gets the latest gadget first; It's not to snarf-down pounds of fat and sugar; It's not to gripe if you don't get that thing that "everyone else has . . . whine" Christmas celebrates the birth of a baby in a barn of all places about 2,000 years ago. Because he was special, cool stuff happened after his birth and the world changed after the baby grew up and started walking and talking. Keep it simple.
Merry Christmas, y'all!