Commenter "Deb from Madison" mentioned Christmas wreaths made from computer punch cards, and Christmas trees made from Reader's Digests and gold spray paint, and I about wept. Talk about a shared experience. A Scandinavian was as rare as a sober Kennedy where I'm from, so they'll be no Euchre. Italians play Whist, thank you. But it's just the same, otherwise.
There's a sort of self-examination rampant in modern life that is corroding shared experience. Nothing is done unless it's filmed, dissected, and critiqued. We used to just do stuff, and not worry too much about the deeper meaning of it. The deeper meaning was reserved for the impetus of the holiday. Now they'd write ten thousand column inches, footnoted, about the deeper meaning of using computer punch cards to make a Christmas wreath.
Let me shorten it up for the poindexters: We were poor. Christmas was important. We celebrated it as best we could with the materials at hand. And Deb and I, and I'm sure many others, remember that fondly.
I miss my older brother. He lives in California, and likes it. I miss him especially at Christmas. My brother is a fair sum older than I, would come home from collegefor Christmas and sleep until noon every day, and make icosahedron ornaments out of my construction paper. We'd plead with him to take out his guitar, and marvel at the music being conjured out of the dead splits of mahogany and sitka spruce. There was no video cameras then for us, or YouTube, of course. He could probably cook it up fresh for you to this day, but the recipe and the chef is 2500 miles away from me today. I found this fellow on the Tube, and it'll have to do:
That's very European, that music. It says snowflakes and sleighs and so forth. Let's go south for the finish, and let a culture whose simple piety and joyous attitude toward a holiday makes Santa come right out of the desert, too. My brother lives hard by that desert. Here's hoping Santa comes out of it for you too, my brother.
Feliz Navidad to all, and to all a good night.