I love Christmas. No, let me try that again. I REALLY love Christmas. And I like it even better when it's cold and snowy outside (as it is just now in Cleveland and much of the east and midwest), and when I have some pre-planned time to stop a little and enjoy the season, spending time with those I care most about. In my mind, this is a week for looking back at last year and then ahead to next. A time to take stock of personal and professional plans and goals, committing them to paper (sorry, much of that will remain private) so as to hold myself, at least, accountable for when I look back next year at what I wrote this year.
Yes, I know some people do this kind of thing in the form of those long, maudlin brag letters they send around with Christmas cards each year. You know the kind I mean: the ones that go on about what Bobby accomplished and what a genius dear Susie is (as for the family photos, why don't they ever include the parents?? Why kids-only in all of these holiday photos? My currently operative theory: middle-aged parental vanity). But as my close pal and valued SPJ colleague Wendy Hoke wrote recently on her excellent, even soul-stirring, Creative Ink weblog, most creatives never get around to sending these out at the holiday season. Hell, we're lucky if we even send Christmas cards, which we often don't think of until it's too late.
Anyway, here's the thing. While I know that Thanksgiving officially occurred about a month ago on the calendar, my personal thanksgiving season happens to land during the week leading up to Christmas and the days between then and the New Year. In other words, beginning about now. So I'm going to try to spend the rest of what small portion of the year that remains telling you, precious reader, about the things I value most, the people I hold the dearest, the things I couldn't, or at least wouldn't want to, live without. I'm going to celebrate them aloud. Actually, I cheated a bit, beginning that theme last week, with my little riff about Loganberry Books. Look for more of the same in the next couple of weeks. For years, my friend Roldo B. issued a special holiday-season special issue of his Point of View newsletter, in which he conferred his "Scroogies," tongue-in-cheek anti-awards to those local Dickensian characters whom he thought did the best job of ripping off the public or taking part in some such similar offense. But unlike Roldo the Old Testament guy, with his emphasis on fire and brimstone, I'm afraid I'm rather more of a New Testament guy. So in coming days, look for a celebration of those glasses half full, and those people who are doing wonderful things. But don't worry: We'll get back to those Bush gangsters and other scofflaws, fools and brigands early next year.