I Won’t Be Home For Christmas

I won’t be home for Christmas. And neither will you. And in fact, very few people throughout what was once quaintly called Christendom will be home for Christmas.

When I was thinking about this post, I was going to say that we’d never spent Christmas on the road, but that’s not precisely true. Our technically first Christmas together was spent in Portugal. See, our wedding was on the 28th of December, so we went over a little earlier (about a week.) For one, I needed to have fittings on the gown. No, don’t ask. Yes it was insane.

But that was arguably better than our second Christmas, when we were alone. Being childless and away from all family, even though I’d cooked a turkey breast for lunch, we found ourselves all out of sorts, so we went out in the evening to a steakhouse, and that was worse, actually. Because the place was filled with lonely souls, hunched over their plates, looking lost.

The next year we’d learned and ran an “orphans dinner” for Christmas (and thanksgiving.)

I’ll be honest, except for the period of about 8 years when we had a writers’ group, and people came over because ours was the gathering space, most of our married life, Christmas has just been the four of us. A far cry from the Christmas of my childhood, where the entire extended family got together at grandma’s. Well, the extended family in Portugal, which made it all of 14 people or so. But then we’re very different sort of people, and I wouldn’t do well with the sort of tribal politics, infighting for who brings the roast, and– No. Just no.

But this year….

This year with no church. This year with no lights, no walk through the botanic gardens light trail (because they make you wear masks. Outside. Without being near anyone!) this year that hasn’t had any other holidays, any other gatherings, all to defeat a virus that is no worse, and frankly might be better than a bad flu year….

I don’t know what this is. I look around at a strange land in which the governor tells us we’re a society of laws, and his word is law, and I wonder where I’ve gotten to, and how.

And this election showed us we can’t get rid of our tormentors. They’ve “Fixed” things so we can’t get rid of them and their ridiculous, over the top rules.

But worse, much worse, is seeing our institutions go along with this ridiculous nonsense, including our mainline churches, which jump in to demand you reserve seats online, and oh, yeah, you trace contacts (which even restaurants refused to do) because those martyrs through the ages who suffered for their faith were apparently chumps who risked themselves and others for faith.

We’re traveling. Because if we can’t do anything else, at least we’ll see family. And hey, stupid mask mandates are everywhere, but at least in other states you can still eat out.

But nothing is right. This morning, at a diner, most of the tables — even allotted tables — were empty. And people sit at their tables looking lost and dispirited. It’s worse than that steakhouse on Christmas. It’s worse than it was in Fall.

It’s like EVERYONE is looking around, with completely confused eyes going “where are we? And how did we get here?”

When I was little, in a land faraway, amid a boisterous, sociable tribe, I’d often think “I want to go home.”

I had no idea where home was, or with whom I should be, but there was a strong feeling of not belonging, and also that there was a place SOMEWHERE where I belonged.

Well, I found that. And I had it. We all had it.

We should have guarded it better. But I don’t know how. It wasn’t up to any of us. And our institutions were long corrupted, before most of us were born.

All I know is that this Christmas, like wanderers in Egypt, we are far from home. And we must go home again, however long it takes however hard it is. We must, all of us get back to America. Constitutional America. The USA that counts. The true USA where religion is not constrained, where we’re allowed to show our faces, where we can’t be arrested without due process, where governors words aren’t law, and where our votes count for something.

Let’s work towards it, and way from this painful land of our exile.

Next Christmas in America. Next Christmas in the USA.
Let’s work on it.

331 thoughts on “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas

  1. As I stood in line buying a gift this week, with rbg action toys, anti Trump calendars, Obama books, and woke Xmas pictures around me at the corporate store, the clerk asked the person in front of me, “would you like to donate your change to American essential workers ?”. The customer responded, “no, I’m no longer an American”. The clerk responded, “no, neither an I”

      1. As long as we are making up silly donation targets how about “Donate for the people who didn’t get the chance to stock up enough munitions”?

          1. FACT CHECK WARNING: this claims has been judged QUESTIONABLE, since there are no photos. Or the address of the store.

            1. And yes, I am joking.

              Though a friend of mine got Zuckerbook fact checked today for the first time, for a quote from the actual text of the porkulous Covid bill re all the moolah getting sent to other countries – they FACT CHECKED his post because it had been discussed elsewhere.


              I told him I’d visit him in the Zuckerbook reeducation camps.

              No longer in America, indeed.

        1. *bounces up and down* Dear Sandy Paws, I want three boxes of .22 magnum, and two of .357, because I’ve been a very good little kitty this year, really and for trues.

                1. Hum. Guess I better start working on my .45 cal air gun like Lewis & Clarke carried ‘cross the continent(.46-caliber Girandoni air rifle).

                  Need to buy the 4500psi 300bar 30mpa Stainless Steel 3 Stages pcp hand pump For Air Gun Hunting Paintball from Amazon or elsewhere and the rest is pretty much grunt work.

                  1. No, no, no!!!
                    Air rifles are BB guns, nothing more!
                    How dare you make up something so unbelievable!

                    NOTE: the above is satire which I’ve added to tease Her Highness.
                    In point of fact, it is a paraphrase of a comment Sarah received when she submitted a rough draft of Uncharted. This from a fairly high up back bencher at a Publishing House she used to work for.
                    Idiot was too incompetent to even attempt to do a simple Wiki search on the topic.

                    1. The Lewis and Clark expedition only took the one as they were rare, expensive, and rather delicate. But in those days of flintlock muzzle loading flintlock rifles one could get off perhaps two or three shots in a minute while a good bowman could fire ten aimed arrows.
                      Of course the expedition put on a good show that demonstrated the air gun’s capabilities and perhaps fostered the assumption that every man was equipped with one.
                      Indians were seasoned warriors and no fools, skilled at assessing potential enemies and chose wisely based on what they thought they knew. Similar to the latter day experience when Colt revolvers first became common in the West. Indian tactics were to get a group of armed men to fire their single shots then swarm them before they could reload. Their rules of engagement changed rapidly once they met Mr. Colt’s equalizer.
                      Still, my point was that an officious bastiche of an editor did not bother with due diligence and the least bit of historic research, because of course he knew better than the author.

                    2. Not to mention the Henry rifle aka “damyankee gun they load on Sunday and shoot all week.”

                  2. I seem to recall those could bring down bison. And the native Americans were EXTREMELY impressed when they didn’t require powder to operate, and could fire multiple rounds in the time it took to load and fire a flintlock. (Apparently L&C didn’t make an issue of actually hitting anything in their speed demonstrations, and never pumped the guns while the natives were watching so they never knew how long it took to pump them up.)

        2. Currently accepting donations in .22, .223, .32, .38, .40, .45, .50, .308, .338…

          No donation too small, no donation too large. Give generously. It’s all for a good cause.

        3. I knew I was going to screw myself waiting too long to sight in an AR-15 I built with a friend of mine just before I left San Diego to come back home to the Soviet of Washington/Seattle. Now the ranges are full, you have to reserve a spot, it’s hideous.

          Outdoors I’ll go, in the Pacific Northwest Winter, because goofy didn’t do it this summer. 🙂

          And then there’s the utter lack of sufficient ammunition for the weapons. Sigh.

        4. I got a nice box of 200 rounds of 5.56 ammo a couple weeks ago at less than a dollar a round.

        5. While playing the new video game Cyberpunk 2077, I had one of those weird moments when I realized that I really was in some very strange, alternative California that bore little resemblance to the real California. I passed by a vending machine that sold guns.

      2. “THEY’RE WORKING.”

        That’s exactly what I said. I’m an essential worker (banking industry). I haven’t stopped working. While yea, everything is more expensive, and leaving the house is ANNOYING with all the mask rules etc. (although Florida is far from as bad as other places). I’m fine. Collect money for the NON-Essential workers who have lost their jobs people!

        1. They haven’t lost their jobs, their jobs were destroyed. Not by a virus, but by the willful and calculated acts of tyrants petty and gross.

          They think they’ve fixed their problem by fixing the elections, but all they’ve done is guarantee that there will be bloodshed, most of it theirs.

          1. We have had economies that have turned bad before, but this time around the economy was murdered and it was murdered purely in the partisan pursuit of absolute power by those who used it to steal and presidential election and who wish to rule over every aspect of our lives, forever.

            They have always wanted to “fundamentally transform America” and going all the way back to Cloward-Piven have been quite open in their intent to wreck the country so that they can achieve that transformation.

            We need to show them that for them, “forever” is going to be a very short time.

            1. And not only was the economy murdered, but the representatives in Washington think offering “gender programs” to Pakistanis (what the heck is a “gender program”?) than making sure that Americans get the help that the need while their government keeps them from making any money.

          2. They’re so feckless they will have shocked faces when we come at them, however we do it.

            1. “They’re so feckless they will have shocked faces when we come at them, however we do it.”
              They will scream “no fair!” Bullies and tyrants are always amazed when their victims resist.

              1. It’s the natural order. We were born to be ruled, they were born to rule. Just ask them. That’s why the Festering Corpuscle of Failure Fauci doesn’t even feel guilty about lying to the American people during this pandemic. We, unlike him, aren’t smart enough to make our own choices about our lives, so he needs to filter the information he presents to us to guide us in the proper direction.

                1. And remember, it’s not even the first time he’s admitted to lying. Remember when he changed his story on mask effectiveness?

              2. The ghosts of Mussolini and Causescu ought to be able to remind them what happens to tyrants eventually – but they’d never listen.

                1. Hard to believe that it’s been over 30 years, uh, today, actually, since Nicky went to pay for his misdeeds.

      1. Didn’t get to finish that thought…damn, they’re saying it out loud. That’s a good thing. And, yeah, essential workers are going to work and getting paid. It’s those who are “non-essential” and have been laid off who need the donations, but they won’t get any, because…non-essential. Learn to code. Anger is growing.

  2. We all feel it… Something’s NOT right in this country. The election was fraudulent and we MUST stop it. If you can, I recommend everyone show up to Washington DC on Jan. 6th to PROVE how many believe there was fraud and to DEFEND our rights.

    1. I said it a few days ago, but the best summary I’ve had locallymwas from a server at a little restaurant in Tennessee – “Everything’s coming slowly unglued.”

    2. That day is going to be huge. I think a lot of people, million(s) are planning to attend.

      On TheDonald everyone is making sure everyone leaves their children at home. We’re also trying to connect with people who will be there, and those who won’t. Getting legitimate information disseminated quickly will depend upon all of the citizen journalists with cell phones and a willing heart.

      Those who can’t go can help at home with logistical support, prayer, information dissemination, the sorts of things you can do from the home front.

      1. Take a stand alone camera, and faraday your cell phone 100 mikes away.
        I think that the Stingrays will be out in force collecting a little list of those most needing “re-education” at the “special facilities”.
        Stay gray, find the points of influence, SSS, teach American.

        1. I tried making the lightest mask practical ($SPOUSE vetoed the apple-bag mesh mask) and I still could not stand it. I haven’t had asthma in over 20 years, but I could feel it trying to come back. My body really doesn’t like an excess of CO2, even if it’s my own.

          1. I hear you.

            The only way I can shop with the diaper on is to wear the surgical version, then keep the bottom pulled out so it’s essentially allowing full, free air into my face. I have to let go to check out, but that’s it. And that beast is off the moment I’m through checkout, regardless that I’m still in the store.

            I cannot wear the things. I need air.

        2. I’m desperate to go as well. It will take a miracle financially. Plus, I cannot wear the diaper, I just can’t, so flying isn’t an option.

          I trust that we’ll be where we need to be, but boy, the longing is strong for this one.

          Road trips are therapeutic for me as well.

          1. I’m thinking of going. My wife is vehemently opposed. But I feel that if I miss it, I’ll have lifelong regrets.

            1. That your wife vehemently doesn’t want you to go is reason enough to go, in my book. I’m sure your wife is lovely, but women have been destroying men’s ambitions for generations. We need men to stand in their masculinity, if they do nothing else.

              I’ll support either choice, and applaud the desire, and appreciate the difficulty.

      2. I wouldn’t depend too much on those cell phones. Turning off the cellular service is a “standard riot control measure” now.

        You can still take pictures and video, though.

        1. I hadn’t thought of that, thank you!

          Walkie talkies are cheap, plentiful, and go quite the range these days.

        2. Nah, turning it off is obvious. Assume the cell signal you get is being provided by Stingray, though.

  3. I’m feeling all out of sorts as well. It’s not as if we’ve never spent Christmas with just the two of us. But that has happened because in the past, I traveled with students every other January, so I didn’t want to fly to California, fly home, and a couple days later fly to Europe. But this year would have been a non-Europe year and here we sit in Philly and not in California with both families. And yet, the streets are empty of cars so I know that most of the neighborhood has left to be with family (good for them). It’s just weird being here having had our families tell us they didn’t feel safe if we showed up. Sigh.

    I heartily second the idea that next Christmas we will have taken back our country.

      1. I’m sorry, Sarah. That’s awful. My brother is in Ireland and I wasn’t able to get there this year, obviously. I’m now at that point that come hell or high water, I’m going next year.

      2. This. My inlaws aren’t getting any younger either.

        If we could just get them here . . . though if things get really horrid, I suppose we’ll be sending the children to them there if we can.

        Yes, we’re thinking along the lines of what would trigger sending the children away.

      3. Have you told the Portugese government that you have renounced and abjured all allegiance and fidelity to it(1)? I neglected to update the Israeli government of that oath, and therefore they let me in to visit my mother in October. I had to spend two weeks in isolation. But then I spent three weeks with my mother, which cheered her up wonderfully.

        (1) For those who don’t recognize it, this is from the US oath of naturalization (https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learn-about-citizenship/the-naturalization-interview-and-test/naturalization-oath-of-allegiance-to-the-united-states-of-america)

            1. I still don’t regret it. I am where I’m supposed to be. And if the last, best hope of mankind might be lost, then I’m also where I’m supposed to be, doing my own Long Watch.

      4. Some of the problem is that some of those we’d want to see have bought into the whole “be a subject of your leaders” mindset. I told my sisters in PA that I would happily violate their insane governor’s mandate (14 day self-quarantine for any visitors from Tennessee among other states) to attend our father’s interment service. They decided to postpone it instead of allowing me to flout Gov. Wolf’s (Gov. Weasel would be a more apt name) completely unconstitutional diktat.

        1. They may be the only ones worried about “flouting” Wolf’s orders. My understanding is that the 14 days is “recommended” and not required. Our legislature did win the concession from Wolf that he and Levine cannot simply impose orders.

          There are all kinds of license plates around here and I seriously doubt anybody is quarantining themselves. Of course, I’m in Philly and we’re not well known for following rules.

        2. This.

          This is why I am not with the nieces and nephews today. It has also reopened a little of the wounds that lead me for so long to see them as “not my heirs” and thus not give a Damn about the world I am leaving them.

          Add to that I’m still worried I won’t have much stamina left when the fun starts and won’t be able to get in the thick of it and I’ll just be glad when the holidays are over like I used to be 15 years ago.

          Doesn’t help these two are on Friday and thus create 3 day weekends which I tend to hate.

          1. Judging by your powerful, literate comments, I’m thinking you’ll be in the thick of things for sure. Not with the physical body, maybe, but your heart, your intellect, your words, your connections, your desire. All these are powerful and are needed in the fight.

            Read Sarah’s short stories. They may help you find a spot where you feel comfortable fitting in. Her characters are of all sorts. And magnificent in their own way.

      5. I’m feeling the heartache for you and your parents, Sarah. I’m so very sorry.

        Next year, America. Next year, Home.

    1. California’s also banned family gatherings for the holidays. Many sheriffs are ignoring the instructions from Sacramento, so I don’t know whether the area you’d visit would be affected. But it does make visits to California right now even less likely than they already were.

      1. In a saner world, one where television comedians performing live on Saturday night were not tools of the nomenklatura, this would be the basis of a hilarious skit, starting with the police hauling in the Walton* family on charges of having four generations at the dinner table.

        *Not Sam but John-Boy and his kin.

      2. Violation of the 1st Amendment right of assembly. Also a violation of the 5th Amendment. Together, those comprise a right to freedom of travel.

      3. As is proper. The sheriffs don’t owe their position to Sacramento, don’t have jurisdiction in Sacramento, and don’t answer to Sacramento.

        They owe their offices to, get their authority from, and are responsible to their counties, who elected them. And despite continual efforts by the Fed and various states to subvert them into their “law enforcement” hierarchy, they’re not a part of that circus.

        Things vary somewhat state-by-state, and even county-by-county, but in my county, not even the Quorum Court (as the county government styles itself) can give orders to the Sheriff, nor can the Governor. And though he “works with” the municipals, the State Police (answerable to the Governor) and the Highway Police (answerable to the legislature), it’s on an entirely voluntary basis, and he doesn’t take orders from them, either.

        That’s why it was so hilarious when Secretary of State Clinton announced she was ordering the DOJ to “do something” about Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona. Sheriff Joe worked for the residents of Maricopa County, not the DOJ. You’d think with a Juris Doctor from Yale and a bunch of postgrad work she’d know that. Well, she probably did, but didn’t think it applied to her…

        1. Sheriff Joe worked for the residents peasants of Maricopa County

          So he should have bowed down to Queen Hillary…

  4. steakhouse, and that was worse, actually. Because the place was filled with lonely souls, hunched over their plates, looking lost.

    In the meantime the people who never celebrated christmas are analyzing this alien culture to understand why people would quietly freak out if they are alone at this time…..

    1. Because for people who do celebrate Christmas, this is a family gathering time of year. For those who do not celebrate Christmas it is at other times of the year and I imagine that there were some freak outs from people not able to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, or Eid al Fitr with family, and if this continues, the lunar new year celebrations. The freak outs are because one expects to be able to see and celebrate with family at certain points in the year and is then told by the government that family gatherings are verboten. It’s less about Christmas and more about the absolute invasion of private life by government.

        1. Also that people see that the tyrants issuing the decrees don’t actually abide by their own decrees, in true Leona Hemsly “rules are for the little people” fashion; of course her family actually EARNED their fortune even if her attitude was that of feudal nobility.

          1. They need to be reminded that the piece of paper that they’re ignoring is the only thing that says we have to care about their opinions.

            1. Well, the barrels of guns held by LEOs happy to be the Cheka as well as Antifa (the unorganized Cheka) mean we have to care.

              Of course, they forget it is possible those who don’t want to obey have more barrels than the would be Cheka. In which case some of us could go on not caring after sufficient exchanges.

      1. Because for people who do celebrate Christmas, this is a family gathering time of year.

        Right, I know that what it is. But that is still an alien concept that requires analysis.

          1. Ian had a bit of a weird upbringing, he is a little younger, and he finds that it takes effort to figure out common human behaviors.

              1. To me “extended family” means one grandparent (only intermittently at that), and that less as a direct grandparent relationship, than “parent of parent”.

                Also only child.

                  1. The advantage of getting married is that you get to import a bunch of new relatives!

                    The disadvantage of getting married is that you have to import a bunch of new relatives……..

                    (speaking in future terms)

                    1. Now now; I am reliably informed by the random vagaries of culture that the main purpose of such things is that the couple hate each other’s guts, and that all the relatives hate each other in new and interesting ways!

                      Dare anyone suggest that soaps aren’t completely real? Of course not! No one would go on TV and be unrealistic.

                1. Funny how many of the same leftist governors who consistently denounce traditional families are issuing decrees that define families in ways that describe traditional families.

                2. To me “extended family” means one grandparent

                  We had 3 sets of grandparents once mom’s sister married (before any of us kids were born), as she married an only child, so his folks grandparent adopted all the subsequent grandchildren that came along.

                  But now that all 3 sets of grandparents are gone, and mom and dad’s generations have become grandparents, and great grandparents, the super large gatherings are history of 30 or more years, now. What is happening now is our children are discovering the joys of having to swap between family holidays or now with 2020 just saying “Oh. Heck. With this.” and staying home. I suspect over the next 10+ years or so or once mom passes (she’s 86) we’ll see us breaking into just “us” family groups, with mom spending some holiday time with each of us, if not on the day itself. She spent Christmas Eve at the oldest grandchild’s with the great-grandchildren, Christmas Day with us and and one sister. Leaves for the other sister’s place on Monday, finishing out New Year’s with her brother. Just we (hubby & I) have fewer choices … we’ll go/stay where our one and only is, with his significant other, should there ever be one.

            1. [waves “Clueless” flag]

              Many novels, movies, and much of Real Life(tm) is a mystery to me, as the meat puppets and pod people move about randomly and often against their own interests.

          2. *All* foreign concepts require that. Even if it is only surprise followed by “oh, yeah I guess that makes sense”.

            Though it wasn’t about the existence of family gatherings; even I know that. Rather that people value them so much that *not* having one screws their head up.

            1. existence of family gatherings … Rather that people value them so much that *not* having one screws their head up.

              Holiday gatherings have been tapering off since the oldest 3 of the next generation graduated from college, started working, are getting married, and having their own kids. 2020 was probably an hurrying up of what is coming anyway … But still. To go from not only Thanksgiving, and 3 days or more at Christmas of gatherings, but Easter, Halloween, mom’s birthday, and “just because” extended family vacation *gathering say at Sunriver or somewhere on the coast, to small just sisters, our husbands, and mom for her birthday, only 4 at Thanksgiving (us and mom), and 6 for only Christmas day is just weird. I mean we can’t even pretend to avoid politics tomorrow because all 6 of us are on the same page 🙂 I mean when you remember gatherings of 60 to 6? Wow! Just Wow.

              * Growing up. You didn’t dare avoid extended family gatherings even if you wanted to. Those who weren’t there got gossiped about. I tried to avoid them … I really really did. Even being on a wildfire (small district one) wasn’t an excuse for being late! (I was one day over my last day for the season, so had no excuse for sticking around.)

            2. We tapered off family get-togethers, too. When both of my maternal grandparents were alive, we could get as many as 17 family together for Christmas. Once Grandpa Pete passed away, it started getting smaller. Still, through college and for several years after moving from the Midwest to California, I’d try to get back home for Christmas. Missed one in college because of weather, but made it home for New Years.

              As family dynamics changed (divorce, people moving away from the area), we shifted to summer reunions, but still had some kind of Christmas gatherings. I got back about 10 times over 30 years, but the travel is harder and the families are more dispersed (and some aren’t talking to the others. Sigh.) 2000 miles to see some of the family. Not any more, thanks. Telephones are good things.

              So, “home” for Christmas is right here. The two of us, one senior dog and the memory of a not-quite-so senior dog. My mother told me she and my brother got together with that side of the family earlier in the week.

              1. Travel was expensive and time consuming. Letters passed on news and gave some sense of connection. Telephones were expensive – “long distance” could eat up a day’s pay in half an hour. Gatherings were important.

                But now… phones, email, and “social media” are almost free, and you can talk as much as you want to someone anywhere in the world. So physical gatherings are much less important than they used to be.

                1. “So physical gatherings are much less important than they used to be.”

                  I’d be wary of that statement. I believe it is the precise opposite, and screamingly so.

                  We’ll die without physical touch. We’re better off without FaceTime or texts.

                  1. Were physical gathering unimportant nobody would go to a co when there are blogs such as this to visit.

      2. Makes me wonder what the suicide rate is going to be for this holiday season. And please, please, please, if you’re susceptible to suicide, say something here, or say something to somebody.
        Do not despair.
        You are not a waste.
        You are not a failure.
        You are a gift, and we need you.

          1. A few years ago, I got a “Die Hard Christmas Storybook” as a white elephant gift (probably the *only* white elephant gift I’ve received that I actually liked). It’s quite amusing.

              1. …aaaaaaand, when I went to meet family living here in Houston they had Die Hard on when I got there. I suspect my nephew is the culprit, though maybe my brother-in-law. 😀

                1. Babylon Bee has a video on twitter asserting a wide range of Christmas movies.

                  I recognize a character from one that I have, but think it is a little too graphic for me at the moment. I’m thinking of watching instead the romance starring a sixteen year old girl, with vampires dismembering each other with swords. But it is about time for bed, so maybe tomorrow?

      3. *derp* Responded to part, and forgot the rest of the post….

        For those who do not celebrate Christmas it is at other times of the year and I imagine that there were some freak outs from people not able to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, or Eid al Fitr with family, and if this continues, the lunar new year celebrations.

        Nah, not that we didn’t celebrate Christmas, but that we didn’t celebrate any holidays whatsoever. Though birthdays did receive some small recognition, even if Officially Definitely Not Celebrated.

        The freak outs are because one expects to be able to see and celebrate with family at certain points in the year

        See: “alien concept”. The idea of “family” (extended past immediate household (who you are around 100% of the time anyway…)) as something that exists, let alone something you would engage with and celebrate* with is a strange and difficult to understand and dimly jealousy-making idea.

        * didn’t realize until typing that sentence that “celebrate” is another concept I don’t have the best grip on…

        1. No celebration? Religious reasons? I know the Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate holidays or birthdays, and I think there’s at least one more notable Christian denomination that doesn’t (though I can’t remember which one off the top of my head).

          1. If I’m putting the clues together right…

            Imagine being raised by people who are utterly selfish to the point that it counts as being ill. People who don’t value joy in others that serves no utility for themselves. Ties of kinship are simply an excuse used to exploit others. (Those once kin of the selfish may have learned about these people, and cut them off before Ian showed up.)

            Anyway, celebration and the kinship network are both things that the folks I am imagining would not find worth resources. The interpersonal version of ‘everything within the state, nothing outside the state’. In this case, liking Ian around so that they can make him twitch, because it amused them. Him having any sort of joy outside their control is a waste or a negative in their accounting. Him having personal connections and social skills would make it easier for him to escape.

            1. Woah woah woah! Nothing quite that bad.

              Ties of kinship are simply an excuse used to exploit others.

              More like that was how all kin relationships were perceived. Also with certain kin that needed to be kicked out. Plus *puts on broken record* homeschooling in the 90s, when everyone refused to shut up about what a terrible idea it was.

              The interpersonal version of ‘everything within the state, nothing outside the state’.

              Hmm. Not actually that far off. “Parent’s responsibility is to raise their children” is true and all, but it might be going a little far when having a little old lady teach german — with the parent present — starts counting as usurping the parents.

              In this case, liking Ian around so that they can make him twitch

              No no no. Even if the effects aren’t much distinguishable…

              Him having any sort of joy outside their control is a waste or a negative in their accounting.

              No. Actually something much sadder than that: it was considered evil for everyone. So while toys might be evil, the things he liked were evil as well.

              Him having personal connections and social skills would make it easier for him to escape.

              That illuminates the clearest breach between intentions and reality: because According To Plan, there would have been a launch. But nothing went according to plan due to various issues, and then right as things would be approaching need to work at this now there was effectively a family-wide nervous breakdown (almost like you can’t cheat reality). Yay 10 year long dead zone…

              Thing is most of the really crazy stuff is long in the past, and we have been moving away from it for much longer than it was in effect. But they call them the “formative years” for a reason.

              1. Ahh. My error.

                It was a little late, and I may have been extrapolating a bit too much from what crossover has described of her own upbringing. I think you both may have discussed the ‘raised by narcissists’ reddit some.

                Had an interesting time examining my own family relationships in light of the ‘how do they handle holidays’ question. Fair number of weird types that sometimes have difficultly sustaining the long distance relationships. Add in that I was not very social, and did not enjoy travel, and taking me anywhere becomes difficult. Throw in tight funds, and fatigued adults, and there was a fair number of missed opportunities.

                Some family events, but I can’t think of any over fifteen attendees. Ten or fewer may be more common. Even then, rare enough that after some folks have passed that doing nothing during a year would not seem unusual.

          2. Yes. Less about specific denomination than a sort of anti-chestertons-fence position of gut everything that might give meaning to life. After all; there is nothing so innocent that you can’t find someone who will give you a twisted version of reality that makes the thing in question evil.

            The downside is that years later later when you realize all of that was incorrect, all the “meaningful stuff” is still meaningless to you.

            1. A lot of “meaningful stuff” starts out as doing stuff “chust for nice”, or just for fun. The meaning comes into it as it becomes a fond memory and a good experience that is repeated, especially with other family members, or close friends and loved ones.

              So basically, although you don’t have customs already in place in your mind and heart, you can make your own, or adopt those of others that you like. And if you like doing them enough to do them again, you’ll soon have your own meaningful stuff.

              The time right after Christmas or right after New Year’s is a good time to celebrate some fun, cheap custom.

  5. For the first time in almost 20 years our Christmas family gathering had to be postponed. My wife, three of her four daughters and two of their partners got sick with flu-like (WuFlu tests taken, results not yet received) illness this week. The grandkids & I have avoided it so far but it’s not a good time to congregate. So our celebration will have to be put off a week – but it will happen. Life goes on and so shall we.

    1. y wife, three of her four daughters and two of their partners got sick with flu-like

      Oh. Heck. When I was growing up? Late ’50’s, early to mid ’60’s? That was SOP. Every. Single. Christmas. Come Christmas Day … the flu hit us kids (No! I did not throw up the *cream corn because you made me eat it!), eventually some of the Adults. We’re talking upwards of 40 to 60 people at one house Christmas Eve with dispersed households on Christmas Day. Both sides of the family, that could make it, were there (which made the swapping of Thanksgiving/Christmas between his and my family each year a very huge shock to me … What? No combined Christmas? WTH?) Note. Spring Break was reserved for mumps, chicken pox, etc.

      Not only will I not eat cream corn as an adult … I won’t even buy it. Same for liver and heart. I won’t eat clam chowder either but will buy the cans for hubby. But I digress.

      1. One or two sick has happened in the past, but not this many with fevers all at once.
        I may be delivering turkey to the other households tomorrow since it has to be cooked…

      2. Yeah, flu is a standard problem during the holidays. I’ve lost at least one Christmas to the flu. It’s called the flu season for a reason, and I’ve heard that the body’s defenses tend to relax a bit when you finally anticipating a little leisure during the holidays.

      3. I’ve heard rumors that liver can be cooked so it’s not like bitter shoe leather, but that ability never manifested itself in our family. (Grandma Pete tended to overcook things, and her daughters carried on the tradition. Sigh.) OTOH, I like liver sausage, but seldom eat it.

        Creamed corn? Shudder.

        Clam chowder? Manhattan or Boston? Yes to either, or both!

        1. Clam chowder? Manhattan or Boston? Yes to either, or both!

          Neither. Grandpa’s Clam Chowder. Hubby called it scorched milk with clams the one time he had it after we were married … Grandpa was from Montana, but I don’t think that counts or was the reason. I’ve had correct, thicker clam chowder since then. Don’t quite have the same reaction to it as Cream Corn or organ meat (which is an auto gag reflex at minimum and will not have it in the house), but not something I will order or make for myself. Will heat it up for hubby, no problem.

          Was with mom and a friend of her’s when I learned how to get around dealing with it … I am now allergic to clams 🙂 … I shouldn’t make light of it. Mom’s friend is allergic to shell fish including clams. She ordered the beef stew and they brought the clam chowder … major oops. Luckily she had her anti allergy medications with her and didn’t go into allergic shock.

          1. Like a most of “seafood,” clams are in the “technically edible, but would be facing actual starvation before eating one” category.

            – TRX “inlander”

            1. Put them on the porch in a bucket and I’ll swing by.

              Clams are a delicacy that I urge others to dig for.

        2. 1. Soak liver in milk overnight. The milk will draw out some of the bitter substances, as well as being a little like marinade. (Throw away the milk afterward. It’s good for your garden.)

          2. Cut the liver into thin slices or small pieces.

          3. Fry the liver, or pick some other fast method of cooking those small pieces. That way, you don’t get rubbery chewy liver.

          1. My mother’s twist on that was to dip the liver in non-fat dry milk as a coating before frying.

              1. Mom did liver once a week when she was on Weight Watchers one year (I was home from college at the time). I did my best to arrange an alternate dinner on those days.

                  1. My father liked lutefisk, but we children thought it pretty yucky. Like durian fruit, lutesfisk is a food that smells worse than it tastes — and it tastes like fish jello… Lefse, on the other hand… My older son is nagging me to make it, which I can do, but getting it thin takes a practiced hand.

                    1. My brother in law has never had aebelskivers, so I’m on the hunt for a pan.

                      And lefse, maybe, though still an acquired taste.

                    2. I went on an aebleskiver pan hunt a year or so ago. I have four in the basement, mostly from eBay. They weren’t something we did growing up, but they’re awfully cute. Should get them out and use them…

                      (What is *wrong* with WordPress recently? It’s impossible to stay logged in.)

                    3. Grampa Pete liked akavit and Grandma would serve lingonberries at holiday dinners. If Grandpa liked lutefisk, it wasn’t allowed in the house. He liked kale, but Grandma said it had to be cooked in the (separate) garage. Grampa was Danish, while Grandma was from Iowa, mostly English ancestry, with some Breton thrown in.

                  2. Yes! I left out the lute. Should have included it.

                    Milk is magic, but it can’t make the inedible edible.

                  3. I thought it was copious amounts of aquavit… that only almost help?

                    I’ve never had the nerve to attempt dining upon lutefisk.
                    And $HOUSEMATE will (in an ever so silly manner) claim that I have a thing for eating and drinking “yuck.” No. I do not. I *avoid* such. That $HOUSEMATE is confused about a few things, now THAT is the problem.

                    1. Milk is essential to the proper (?) preparation of lutefisk, aqvavit aids in the consumption thereof . . .

                  1. Oy polloi. I’ll leave the mackerel to you and the dolphins. 🙂

                    The fellow who taught me to fly fish down in the Florida Keys (Big Pine and Key West) loved to make his own sushi. He’d go fishing out in the back country and would come home and start preparing bait for everyone else. For me? He had his offshore fishing captain buddy bring in a nice, fat tuna. I got tuna steaks from the grill, with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Everyone else ate bait with this fiery green stuff.


                    And… I have never liked salmon, in any form, ever. And I live in the Pacific Northwest.

                    1. And… I have never liked salmon, in any form, ever. And I live in the Pacific Northwest.

                      Folks used to commercial fish salmon, ’70s almost through ’90s out of Winchester Bay Reedsport Oregon. When they could still use the same boat to sports fish before opening season they did. Weekend between finals and my first day of seasonal work in ’76, the boat limited out (probably me chumming the water, I hate the ocean and boats). Got handed 3 big salmon with a “here is your meat until you can afford to shop” … That year it was six (6) weeks before I got my first summer check (timing). Six weeks of salmon grilled, baked, loaf, patties, in sandwiches, … It was decades before I could cook salmon again. Even today, 44 years later, it isn’t something we stock up on. I’m the same way with trout. Whenever someone gives us free trout or salmon my reaction isn’t “Oh! Goody!” Happy Dance. I’m polite about it. They get thanked. Hubby does the happy dance. Me? Inside I’m going … “oh dang it”. I make a good salmon. I just don’t want it very often.

                    2. Ha! Great story. Very Pacific Northwest.

                      My Dad fished for salmon commercially as a young man to make extra money. They almost died one day going out in a storm off the Oregon coast. Had to be rescued by the Coast Guard and the boat went down.

                      He liked salmon. Fortunately, when he took me fishing I always caught ling cod, which I love to this day.

                      But the oily, greasy fish? Nope, thanks. Not unless there’s no other option.

                    3. 🙂

                      That summer I scored a dog (German Shepard). Just couldn’t leave her unattended (which meant tied out at the RV situated on jetty camping, at least then), so I couldn’t go out on the boat anymore 🙂 (We weren’t “illegally” chumming. I spent a lot of time hanging over the side of the boat … I hate boats. I get sick on floating docks!) That isn’t Why I got her … but that was an excellent side benefit!

                      Salmon didn’t further endear me that next winter when she was about 14 months old. Somehow she picked up Salmonella from where she got walked around the apartment where I went to college. One very, very, sick big dog. She survived (lived to be 14 years old).

  6. My kids are with their mother for Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning. My “winter holiday” is Yule anyway, so not really as big a deal for me, so I’m happy they can “have Christmas”, well as much as they can manage anyway. My Ex’s family seems to have lost it, and the kid’s Grandma (Ex lives with her mother), has been tasked with going around like a demented Santa-like-object and picking up gifts and dropping them off where they belong, because they all refuse to leave their houses.

    Sigh… I think the world has gone crazy.

      1. This.
        More generally there’s been a social inversion. The rural “peasants” are now the literate, cosmopolitan, technically sophisticated ones, and the credentialed urbanite “elite” wannabes are backwards, superstitious, narrow-minded, and parochial. That “View from 9th Avenue” New Yorker cover is now too realistic to be funny anymore.

  7. I’m luckier than many — my 3 grown sons (21, 24, 29) are all here plus my oldest’s girlfriend. But I feel like I’m faking it, tired and drifty. My house feels like a spacestation floating in the void, with only a tenuous connection to the outer world. Sigh. I really hope next Christmas is better, and I’m determined to do *something* to help make that happen. If I can only figure out what that will be.

  8. I’m a bit hesitant writing this ’cause I definitely don’t want to add to the discomfort of those who won’t, but I’ll/we’ll be home for Christmas, just like almost every other year.

    I do wish, to all men of good will, a joyful and Merry Christmas! If nothing else, remember fondly Christmas past and plan for a future, better, season.

    & best wishes throughout the New Year!

    & yes 2021 could end up worse than 2020, but with a smidgen of luck and a heck of a lot of work I truly believe we can make it better, and once the steam roller’s rolling, it’s be hard for “them” to stop it.

    1. I don’t think good fortune/planning needs to be apologized for, really. Congratulations and well done.

      You’re a light to your community, I’ll bet.

  9. I am grateful to live in a small town in a Red-dominated state without large-scale voter fraud. The cities in Missouri are Left and stupid, but here in the rural areas people are living as close to normal as they can. The churches are active, the restaurants are busy, the majority of people are contemptuous of the fearmongering… and the local real, freedom-loving Americans are organizing to take control of our city government in the next election (in April).

    1. I talk to my therapist about your town every week. Everything in my heart longs for the wilderness, the small town, the feeling of being among my people.

      Circumstances require me to be here right now. But not forever!

    2. Heh. I want a Trumpian version of It’s a Wonderful Life, in which The Donald sees what America would have been had he never been born and we had eight years of President Hillary.

      Okay, six years, tops, because the Elder Gods would have returned midway through her second term.

  10. I have a couple of positive things.
    First we got our annual letter from an old friend in Washington state who is not conservative, and she referred to, “the covidiocy.” If she’s disgusted…(itoh, she’s also someone with a goodmgrwsp of history).
    Second, EVERYBODY down here is saying, “Merry Christmas,” even clerks at big corporate stores. A lot of them are saying it first, not just responding. It’s almost startling.

    1. I haven’t been doing extensive shopping, though I’m the designated grocery getter for the duration. I have heard one(!) instance of “Happy Holidays” this year. All the rest are “Merry Christmas!”. And yes, to Mr. HH, I responded Merry Christmas. (OK, there have been a few who ignored the holidays, but I’ll give them a pass. In the Socialist State of Oregon, we are not allowed to pump our own gasoline, and the Californians who occasionally visit tend to get testy. The regulars know better, or should. Still, unhappy gas station attendants are a reality.)

      I think that the OR health-nazis have figured out that our tiny town isn’t safe for bureaucrats, and that’s why one cannot find a masked person at the store. Ever.

  11. I am still hopeful that America will become America again. I’ve been hearing a lot from my Democrat friends saying they aren’t happy with the way the Democrat party is going, and it doesn’t look like the Democrat party is planning on changing directions anytime soon (unless it’s swerving even further Left).

    Most of my Republican friends are mad as heck.

    Sounds to me like 2022 might treat ol’ Joe much the same way it treats most 1st term Presidents. With any luck, the Republicans can retake the House and increase in the Senate. Then we see from there.

        1. I think the resolve on our side to fight this battle now has escaped the people who like to tyrannize others.

          New Gingrich, of all people, wrote an excellent piece a couple of days ago titled “Yeah, No. He’s Not. And You Can’t Make Me Think So.” Newt also published a short video about General Washington and his army crossing the Potomac. Newt reminded me the army went from 2,500 in September to about 250 on Christmas Eve, or something like that.

          When we purpose to do something, we purpose to do it. Regardless.

      1. This.
        However, too many people seem to have a attitude of “We will allow a Great Fraud to succeed just this one time, for the sake of deposing the Bad Orange Man. Just as murder is a crime, but sometimes a jury will return a de facto verdict of ‘he needed killing,’ so this time we’ll return a verdict of ‘he needed frauding.'”

        1. Yeah. No.
          Look, Trump isn’t ideal, but the other side are not just commies — I could live with that — they’ve proven over and over again they want to be aristocrats, not responsive to we the people.

      2. Because there is only so much fraud they can get away with. If they keep going the way they are, they are going to hit that limit. It’s up to us to lower that limit as much as we can by demanding fair and open elections. Unfortunately, the Dems won’t do it, and the Republicans are too lazy, so it’ll be up to we the people. I have to believe that’s possible, the alternative is giving up.

        1. Honestly, I’m not so much fighting, as I’d love to believe you. Everyone kept telling me there was only so much fraud they could get away with this time. Turns out, not so much.

          1. Except that they’re NOT getting away with it. They’re being exposed and called out. And even if they successfully steal and take the White House, that will end in either secession (in which case they don’t get to rule us anyway) or civil war (in which case they die).

            They’re not getting what they want.

              1. The steal hasn’t gone through yet. *IF* Trump is ousted, then it becomes inevitable. But no sane person on the right is going to kick things off now when Trump might still pull it out.

                1. Battlespace prep.

                  Information so far is that the Dems have not resisted the urge to steal the Georgia run offs.

                  Another event to provide evidence that will persuade another increment that election was frauded, courts refuse to remedy, and maybe we are dead if roll over. (We are dead if we roll over, but the evidence for that is not entirely the same as the evidence for fraud.)

                  Maybe Trump does something by, on or after the sixth.

                  If you can get actionable intelligence on a target before Christmas, you can probably also get actionable intelligence on a target after the sixth. Christmas is the first obvious chance for things to go badly for the Dems. Sixth is the second. We’ve picked up a few more folks today, family conversations that resulted in fence sitters changing their mind. We will pick up a few more on the sixth. Maybe those are important increments.

                  Shooters are useful, but the more thoughtful and disciplined, the fewer folks we drive to the other side. And convincing moderates to definitely fence sit instead of possibly supporting the other side is also useful.

            1. > Except that they’re NOT getting away with it. They’re being exposed and called out.

              They’re not only getting away with it, they’re rubbing it in your face.

              Being exposed and called out just shows that they have the power to do as they please, and there’s nothing you can (or are willing to) do about it.

      3. Presidency fraud is something you can do in a few states with locales you control well enough to get away with it. Congress fraud is harder, you have to do it in the states where you want to commit the fraud whether they have sympathetic locales or not.

    1. Turkeys are noisy, but not nearly as loud as the ‘cocks. You can hear turkeys coming for miles practically out in the forest.

      But I give. Why not?

  12. I’ve been baking like mad. LOTS of cookies given away.

    I also recorded my vampire version of A Christmas Carol and managed to get it up on YouTube after much travail. (They don’t state that there’s a length limit on the upload screen. Or anywhere easy to find. After all, “verified accounts” can put up whatever length they want, so they’ll let you suffer through a long upload just to say they can’t process it… Anyway. Cut into segments and re-loaded.)

    AND I found a Baby Yoda Funko Pop! figure. On MONDAY. At a Hobby Lobby, of all places. So hubby gets an extra gift.

    1. Nice!

      I -finally- got delivery of my Santa gift today, the Dwellers in Castle Phantom needed a fun toy and Santa came through. Bless you, FedEx man! ~:D

  13. Christmas makes my Odd act up really hard. I feel like somebody died half the time, and the other half I’m just numb. Starts around Dec. 23rd, lasts until ~27th-ish. Makes me fun at parties, for sure. But then it goes away, so yay for that.

    But this year, everything is organized not so badly for my brain to process. This year, I only feel like somebody died when I hear Christmas music. And since I’m not running around today doing last minute shopping, I get to decide what’s playing. (I’m not running around because lockdown’s a-commin, and because there’s a friggin’ ice/snow storm going on right now. Not enough for sledding, just enough to get you killed on the road. Go 2020, the year that keeps on giving.)

    So, I’m out in the barn making stuff for the denizens of Phantom Central, and life could be worse. Got some tunes going, got my chisels nice and sharp, the alligators in the moat are enjoying their new fur coats, and I’m doing okay.

    For those of you traveling around today, my condolences on the weather and I hope everything goes well. Keep a space blanket in your purse/pocket/glovebox in case of alien invasion etc.

  14. This Christmas I know that many folks are asking Himself for many different things. Puppies and kittens, cars and computers, books and bourbon whiskey. All well and good, that. A healthy dose of ambition is a good thing.

    Other folks wishes tend in another direction. Power and control. Over other folks, of course. Self control is rarely a gift asked for with as fervent intensity as those seeking power. The desire to control others is rarely dressed in honest clothes. “For their own good” is as much as saying “You are evil.” Helping hands seem to gather at the neck all too often.

    For myself this season, and for all of those like me I have a different wish.

    I wish for nothing.

    Specifically, no helping hands. No promises of free this or that. Fewer gifts given that come from my own blood and sweat, minus a percentage for inflation, for government salaries, and for graft. No more regulations to protect me from myself, no more laws to keep me safe from viruses with a 99.9% survival rate. No rules that prevent me from dining out at my own risk, from gathering with whom I choose (and contradicting the very *first* Amendment to the Constitution, no less). No more “help” for struggling Appalachia or inner city. No more condescending aid to people with colorful skin, and no more “studies” on aberrant human behavior- let them get by on their own, too. Protect my rights the same as any other citizen of any other strange orientation or looks. Stand a bit less between folks like me and the sun.

    Whether we get our wish or not, well. That’s still undecided as yet.

    May each and every one of you be well this Christmas. Healthy if you can manage it. Happy if you so desire. With friends and family much as they can stand you, and you them. Merry Christmas to one and all, from home and hearth to far from The World. Y’all keep the powder dry and look after one another.

    1. Your comment reminds me of a friend of mine that I haven’t connected with in a long time.

      His license plate when I knew him in southern Cal was a variation of “Flintlock”.

      He helped me build my left handed AR-15. Which I still haven’t sighted in. But I never got a serial number for it either, since I machined the upper receiver assembly myself. [There’s a cool machine that does the work. Very fun.] The weapon serial “number” is “The LORD is a Warrior; the LORD is His name” from the book of Joshua.

      So Merry Christmas. I’m glad you’re out there, and right here.

          1. 😀

            I’m off to the closest range-of-meaningful-distance (100yd, 60mi away *grrrrrr* Illinois) on Saturday to sight in a 20″ AR I built up a couple months ago.

            Alas there is no mk262-mod0 available to sight it in, but sighting for m193 will work for now….

              1. I am happy to report that it is now sighted in, getting ~2ish-MOA when trying for accuracy. Which given this is the first time I’ve ever used a scope or bipod is fairly good.

                  1. I have it on good authority that the average person’s accuracy is 0.001 MOA off-hand one-handed while looking in the other direction, running, in the middle of the eye-wall of a hurricane.

                    What, you don’t think someone would just go on the internet and lie? Who would do that!?

          2. Er… to be clear when I say “built” I mean I assembled the lower, and attached a pre-built upper to it.

            Built on the PSA VA lower, a DMR-like rifle seemed appropriate for that one.

            1. Over the summer PSA was offering lowers with various graphics; I ordered a “No Beto” one. They had a bunch of others, but as far as I can tell they never shipped any; at least some others who placed orders never for theirs either. They had no problem shipping standard lowers, though.

              In other news, I may have found a place where I can sight in my .50 Beowulf AR. The local range won’t let me shoot it there; they say it would tear up their rubber backstop material. Well, that’s reasonable. But it has taken a while to find some private land that I can A) get permission to shoot on and B) is clear downrange, and C) doesn’t have neighbors close enough to complain.

              Bear Creek .50 Beowulf upper, complete: $220
              Bear Creek lower, FFL: $35
              assorted parts to finish it off: $150
              $30 for two “.450 Bushmaster” magazine followers and a loading tool
              mid-2018 was a good time to be buying gun parts…

              I already had two Alexander Arms 7-round .50 Beowulf magazines, which I bought directly from them. They appeared to be unmodified 20-round .223 magazines. They didn’t work. As in, I had to grind the front of each magazine down to clear the case mouths, or they wouldn’t feed at all. And they had standard double stack .223 followers, which gave the fat .50 cartridges a wedgie. I replaced those, and still had to polish off the sharp edges on the feed lips, which deeply scarred the brass.

                1. I already load .45-70, so the SOCOM was my first choice years ago… except brass was out of stock everywhere, and Beowulf was “in stock.” Ten months later, it was actually delivered. Late 2008 wasn’t a good time for gun stuff.

    2. I’m sticking to Solomon’s wish for wisdom.
      The wisdom to see truth from falsehood.
      The wisdom to choose the right path.
      The wisdom to not let my emotions control me, but to control my use of emotions.
      And the wisdom to act at the right time, and in the right way, for the good of my family and my nation.

  15. Come to rural Texas. Our church never stopped in person worship. Most folks don’t wear masks. Not many Karen’s either. For the most part, life is fairly normal, for now.

    I don’t know what the future will bring, but I’m in it for the long haul. Hoist the Bonnie Blue!

  16. Christmas, for me, usually meant “that day the airport is empty, and I can cut through the pax side just as fast as the Mx tunnels to get to destination. Nobody in sight but a few folorn pilots, who are happy when I stop to tell them where the food is still open.”

    Being single and childless for the longest time meant I took Christmas and Thanksgiving shifts, and I could both get my work done without interruptions, but also kick back and relax. Now that I’m married but childless, I generally try to take the day off to be with my love, but sometime it’s sweet, sweet overtime pay and sweeter sending subordinates home.

    I type this from work right now, having shooed one stressing-out coworker out the door early, and performed a shrug when the other had last-minute “but I can’t make it!” I only wish my brain were working well enough to write fiction right now, but as it is, I have the coffee exactly the way I like it, and the box of donuts is mine, all mine. Muahahahaha!

    And I’m cheerfully wishing clients Merry Christmas. Because if you’re talking to me today about federal regs, you need a friendly, cheerful voice in your life. And, well, I’m here, so let’s crack some jokes and try to make you smile while we’re at it, eh?

    Tomorrow I’m taking off to be with my husband, and all the rest of the North Texas Writer’s, Pilots, and Shooter’s Association. There will be so much food it’ll take three days to eat, and we can all swear to diet in the new year.

    Here’s hoping you all have some light and cheer in your lives, and remember…

    Christ the saviour is born!

    1. Have you been following the rulemaking process for the Trump executive order on removing and appointing civil servants who make policy? Is there anything you can tell us about that?

      *Grins, ducks, and runs away.*

      1. Officially or unofficially? Do you require help in my work capacity? If so, are you paying me?

        Thbbbbt! 😛

    2. One year I flew to the Midwest (SFO to ORD) on Christmas Eve. The plane took a long time to arrive, since LAX was fogged in, but all dozen of us enjoyed the flight. An empty L-1011 is a fun airplane, with a right quick run for the takeoff, though the fog that enshrouded Chicago made the landing. (I knew there was ground somewhere, I’d just hoped that the ILS and the pilots were talking to each other.)

      Ah, back when flying commercial was still kind of fun.

      1. While the Boeing 707 was still in its testing stage, the factory received a visit from a group of Soviet pilots and engineers, for some reason that probably made sense at the time. The factory had a test pilots give them a ride in the prototype, which resulted in a bunch of very sad and dispirited visitors. Empty and with a minimum fuel load, the 707’s performance compared favorably to the fighter planes of a decade before, plus the pilot was demonstrating maneuvers that wouldn’t ordinarily be done with a passenger aircraft.

        Apparently the Soviets were working on their own jet-powered passenger aircraft, which didn’t compare at all well against the 707…

        I’ve “flown” a full-motion 747 simulator; one of those that has the cut-off nose of an airplane mounted on giant hydraulic cylinders. When set for “empty” and “minimum fuel” the 747 will honk right along, too. At least until I crashed. Any time I got near the ground, it was only a matter of (not much) time. It’s accepted that it might take tens of seconds for nerve impulses to travel the length of the some of the larger dinosaurs; a jumbo is like that. You make a control movement, and nothing happens for so long, you wind up in a positive feedback loop and then you auger in.

        The sim belonged to an airline, and back then they were charging over a thousand dollars an hour for other airlines to use it for pilot training. It had a row of old-school minicomputers that you had to boot by flipping toggle switches and pressing an ‘enter’ button. Some demented electrical engineer had put the switches down below belt level, so each machine had a prayer mat to kneel on as you entered the lengthy bootloader sequence from a stack of flashcards.

  17. I did a google search for something today, and ended up at Brad’s comment page about SadPuppies3. After reading most of the way through it, I contemplated what happened a short time later ( 2016 ) and then what happened THIS year. DAMN. The same cohort that were so eager to totally sink the HUGOs to “save” them were hard at work ever since, to “save” the country, using rather similar tactics. And it is looking like they have had similar “success”. Yeah, I would love to go “home” again, as well. Hanging out in various veteran group pages, there are a LOT of us who miss the “good old days” in service, despite how horrible they sometimes were. Because there was a camaraderie, a brotherhood ( of ALL members, not just the males ) of honor and dedication. THAT was a form of “home”, as well. I had friends among the gay cohort, and THOSE guys were, for the most part, far better and more sensible than the Democrats who claim to “defend” them. This was well before “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” became an official policy. How did the lunatics take over the asylum ???

    1. Easy enough. They find out what the publishers have in their queues beyond their official announcements, which gives them time to commission similar novels to ride along on their marketing coattails. Do you remember the rush of “Da Vinci Code” knockoffs? Something like that, except they’d be hitting the shelves on the upswing of the sales curve instead of down on the tail.

      More maliciously, they might commission knockoff and push it to some limited distribution immediately, wait until the “real” book comes out, then snarl it up in court with charges of plagiarism.

  18. I had hair appointment yesterday, and Beloved Spouse did the driving for reasons having to do with clutch pedal and a half-a-knee. Afterwards we went to IHOP (our preferred indy diner having closed for reasons of stupid government.) We’d a very pleasant brekkers and enjoyed a variety of conversational topics. I don’t know about the other customers, but I refuse to permit my happiness depend on others – I can spoil it perfectly well with no outside help.

      1. Not that I disagree with the sentiment, but I thought the aardvark thing was Mary’s schtick. Is that actually a communal thing?

        1. Back in the day on Baen’s Bar, there was a sub forum called something like Sarah’s Diner. There was a consensus regarding fictional play in a shared setting, the Diner. I’m not sure if the Aardvark thing was something only Mary was doing during that play, to me it seems clearly a continuation. I know I’ve seen other people doing the game here, but it seems like a lot of that has died down lately. But I was always on the grimmer and more depressed end where that was concerned, so you would not expect me to be focused on continuing the brighter side of the play into sterner days.

        2. Like Fluffy and the sea serpent in the minion pool, they can frolick about..

          (Fluffy, for the newcomers, being the oldest. When the dragon decides he wants the collar with the name Fluffy, you agree.)

  19. Got word my brother had a heart attack and is in the hospital. I thought about calling him last night. *Sigh.*
    But son and friend and their dogs are here. That’s good.

  20. This is my first Christmas totally alone, just me and the pets. I used to always host Christmas, but everyone else still wanted to meet back up at the family home in the People’s Republic of Illinois for some bizarre reason. At least here in Louisiana I can get into the dollar store, the feed store, and Latin Mass without being hassled by mask nazis and covid cultists. I wish I could go home and work a shift at the old garden center, go to Mass at my home parish, and swing by the local breweries for music and a belgian trippel. But that home is gone forever. Even if I tried to go back, everyone there has gone mad with covid mania.

  21. My parents and I are having Christmas together, my older brother is stuck in Northern VA but has his dog, and my younger brother still is afraid of giving my parents ‘Rona and is staying home. I mean, theoretically my parents could get the Coof, but they were hanging around me last December when I was coming down with it, and so was he! So chances are that they’ve all already had it, asymptomatically.

  22. Since I am a Christian, this world is not my home. In that vein, If This Goes On in ’21 as it has begun in ’20, it may very well be that I will be spending next Christmas at Home, with the One for whom the season exists.

    In any case, I wish all of you the very most Peace and Joy the day may bring to you.

  23. No, I won’t be home for Christmas…but I did at least get to see family over Thanksgiving, and put 2600 miles on the car doing it. (And the day after I got home, traded off that car…though that was *not* the plan!) One friend who is knowledgeable about the Wuhan Flu started to give me a hard time about taking the trip, but something serious happened that led him to think that maybe there was a higher power that led me to take it. (Everyone’s fine, now, but it was looking hairy there for a bit.)

    I don’t know if I’ll see my 80-year-old dad again. He’s in better health than I am, so the chances are pretty good, but…

    And yes, I want my America back. I don’t see it happening without a lot of bloodshed; the court system will not save us, nor will future elections, so we’re going to have to do it ourselves. I just wonder if, and when, the people will actually rise up against the destruction of our republic. Lots of rhetoric, but no action…

    1. Lots of rhetoric, but no action…

      I think there are some open questions about the nature of American society. I previously had answers I was confident in, but right now I suspect we are in a non-linear place, and that the essential qualities of Americans are more sensitive to small changes than would normally be the case.

      Key issues are ‘how warlike are we’ and ‘what are we doing socially around imminent combat’?

      US had a lot of little wars. At some point, those may have drastically decreased. My theory was that we were still as warlike, but that the telephone and the highway meant that there were unpredictable risks to escalating, and we behaved more cautiously.

      Small area only drawing reinforcements locally means you can potentially know strangers of different backgrounds well enough to predict who would back what side of the fight.

      Current situation is a long term continuation of the wide area trend.

      What I’m seeing looks like what I’d expect of the preliminaries.

      The Dems are juggling furiously, and it may all come tumbling down soon. If they did not oppress us enough with the lockdown over the holidays, they may find it difficult to reimpose it later.

      Quiet stage of preparing for a fight can look like freezing. And of people picking flight or fight or freeze, it is clear that some are fleeing. Leaving California, etc. Fleers do not realize that there is not really anywhere to flee.

      Trump is apparently making promising noises about Jan. 5 and Jan. 6. Something could occur. Potentially, he could mousetrap the opposition when they are unable to resist cheating. But he could be betraying us, trying to spin things out so we don’t have time to get started.

    2. “Lots of rhetoric, but no action…”

      Ah yes, another member of the “confess to felonies online or nothing’s being done” brigade.

      Ever notice, from Dr Birx to CA, how many “health department workers” are finding other careers? Pretty sure that isn’t a coincidence…..

      1. Yes, indeed…there are plenty of “experts” finding other fields of work and complaining about public pressure. If you can’t stand the heat, and all that.

        I’d love to believe that I’m not alone in thinking it’s time to break out the fourth box. But I don’t know where the line between “lone kook” and “revolutionary movement” is drawn. How many of us will it take to be taken seriously? Is there any reason to believe that oeople will move from rhetoric to action?

        1. a) We’ve spent a number of years arguing the theory of a second civil war.
          b) Steve here realized ten, fifteen or twenty years what most of us only really realized and accepted this year, or after the election. So he is processing things faster than some of us, and may find it it challenging to try to walk someone through the basics.

          1. It is known that Federal law enforcement organizations have been spying on and perhaps undermining small theoretically right wing organizations for decades. Throw in the GOP establishment false flags, and where-ever three or more conservatives gather, there is federal spying, someone undermining things with mind games, or both. Expecting any sort of revolutionary movement in the leftist style is a result of not thinking the fundamentals through. The left theory of revolution is embedded in all the entertainment, is not actually correct, and the parts that the Feds don’t have answers to are things that conservatives don’t have the ideological tools to be as effective with.

          2. Where do we start with a sound theory of civil war? You are going to need some sort of broad coalition to win the thing, and bring it to a peaceful conclusion. Right now, the potential factions are fluid. I’m pretty sure the path to a broad coalition is letting the left alienate people, and not outdoing them in alienating people. I most mean being careful in target selection by that, because when people is hurt, revenge is desired.

          3. I’ve been hypothesizing that there is a group of people with skills to be dangerous who haven’t yet aligned with a faction in a civil war, and that these are the most important constituency to recruit in the civil war. These are people who have the skills for effective civil war, and do not try to start it for trivial cause because they care for peace, or at least security. They are likely to be mad at whoever can start a civil war.

          4. Left’s answer, though they may not be formulating the problem that way, seems to be use FBI, false flags, and the media to pin violent acts on the right, and use that as justification for later steps. You can see this in how they’ve been trying to spin school shootings, etc.

          5. Hypothetically, if there are two conservatives who have skills and trust each other, the way to cooperate is absolutely not by using the internet for any form of communication. Internet uses less manpower for monitoring, and ‘wherever three or more conservatives gather’.

          6. We may yet have acceptable alternatives to violence. Looking less possible, but not yet technically impossible.

          7. There may be a preliminary phase where the violence is lone wolves, after which networks may be safer to form. Risk of trying to wait through that and join up later is that things might instead proceed directly to the left rounding up everyone. Anyway, basically this is what I was talking about in above comment, civil war version of the monkey dance in the American culture.

          8. Two alternatives to violence. i) holiday lockdown failure proceeds directly to peaceful revolt. ii) Trump has some plan that takes effect early January.

          9. If you can’t coordinate, and can’t cooperate, that means planning on your own, according to your own time table, or in response to some external event. Say nothing, pick a target, plan, service the target, and repeat if you get away clean. This is basically the strategy for when it definitely makes sense to spend your life. Where suicidal depressives are concerned, the limiting risk is sloppy target selection driving people to support the opposition.

          10. Anything you say risks alerting people, and making this more difficult. The only reason I have calculated that it makes sense for me to give a primer is that I’ve looked over what I can do, and don’t have anything this compromises. i) I probably don’t actually know how to do stuff, or what I’m talking about. ii) I’m possibly betraying myself because I’m not as depressed as I was five years ago. iii) I forgot what I was saying here, long conversation on a different topic interrupted.

        2. The media is pretty good at unhappening things.

          Everyone knows about Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing; it was news for *years*, and there were movies and TV specials. But most people probably think of “weather app” if you mention the Weather Underground, and have no idea they set off hundreds of bombs, including the US Senate, the Pentagon, a Chicago PD precinct station, a judge’s home, an NYPD precinct station, Bank of America and First National Bank branches in NYC, the Presidio Army Base in San Francisco, a Marin County court house in California, court houses in Queens and Long Island, the Capitol Building in DC, Department of Corrections offices in California and New York, the California Attorney General’s office, a California office for HEW, Gulf Oil’s main office, a Department of Defense office in Oakland, and “much, much more.”

          Rather a big deal to drop down the memory hole, da? It’s not *hidden*, it’s just non-news. “Nothing to see here, move along.”

          If you care to read up on it, you’ll see the FBI was both corrupt and incompetent at their investigation, and the fix was in for the WU members that were caught; only a handful got more than token sentences, and some are pulling down fat salaries in the collegiate swamp now.

          1. They blew themselves up decades before your average American was born, TRX. Anybody old enough to remember it can draw social security.

            Yeah, they aren’t playing it up any– but OK city is in our (I happen to be median US age, right now) living memory, and then the internet hit so it doesn’t have to be looked up, it can be referred to.

            1. Fox, almost nobody knew about the Weathermen *then*. In the cities where they were blowing things up, yes, it made the local news. Briefly. What happened elsewhere just got a line or two somewhere, or wasn’t reported at all. Not many people outside the media had access to that information.
              For most of the country, it was memory holed as it was happening.

              1. None of which changes the point I made– they aren’t able to un-happen things, especially not while they’re happening, in current-starting-30-years-ago settings.

                They try to twist it, yeah, but ANYBODY can find McVeigh’s writing, just like Hitler’s.

                And we’ve learned the questions to ask. Most of the push back I get is from people who were old enough to remember the WU bombers, if they’d been paying attention.

      2. Even the Left, which can openly plot felonies on Facebook and Twitter, maintains SOME operational security.

        And they tend to go for random violence. I suspect that their foes will be — rather more prone to target.

    1. As I said in another thread, there was a recorded warning from the RV that it’d be exploding (starting at fifteen minutes counting downwards).

      1. Yeah, saw that– with the source being “lady whose family lives across the road,over the family business, RV has been tehre since Thursday night/afternoon”– who decided to GTFO when she heard shots adn then heard the annoucement.

        1. Love to know what that was about. It obviously wasn’t intended to kill anyone, so… Maybe a warning that armed resistance is about to begin?

          1. I have since heard the human remains were found but the cops aren’t even sure they have something to do with the explosion.

          2. The RV was parked in front of an AT&T switching station, knocked out communications for a large area. Could have been a test, could have been (name your Telecom conspiricy meme)

            1. The Epoch Times has an article about just that very thing. Turns out AT&T is even more evil than I thought.

              1. Ma Bell has given me cause for decades now to exhaust English swears, then move on through two or three other languages. I’ve threatened to call the state attorney general on them for harassment a time or three as well.

                1. There are reasons this film is rarely seen since its original 1967 release.

                  That “break-up” was just a ruse.

              2. “The phone company” (all of them) got rolled up into the NSA when Truman signed them into law.

                And if you think AT&T were evil, check out ITT. Not a big name now, but they used to be. Not only known for obtaining telco monopolies in small countries by methods that would be considered immoral or illegal in most of the civilized world, but also for directly supporting the Reich Ministry of Propaganda and the Abwehr while assuring the US Congress that no, those were simply vicious rumors with no truth to them.

                Bell gave us Unix and the C programming language. C is definitely evil, but we still don’t know about Unix…

                  1. C is… well, I dunno. C++ is certainly evil. C#? I do not know enough to be sure.
                    Unix? I can deal with unix. Even if it is daemon-infested.

                    Meh. Depends on what you want to do with it. Full user interfaces … um, ack, eek, gulp. Small plugins, pass data to process … well cleaner than VB or Delphi options. C# … eh, depends. The thing is, no matter what tool one uses, one needs to understand how the language is handing data, and what is it’s pointer equivalent. From my observation people afraid of C/C++ is they are really afraid of pointer constructs. Everything else hides them from you. Me? I have to figure out how the other languages are hiding the concept from me. Then I can make it dance.

                    Yes. I have to handle Unix regularly (which I haven’t so I’m really rusty), but not a big deal, just gotta keep the daemon’s under control. 🙂

                    1. >> “Everything else hides them from you. Me? I have to figure out how the other languages are hiding the concept from me. Then I can make it dance.”

                      There’s an indie game developer named Jonathan Blow – he made Braid and The Witness – who’s working on a C++ replacement language named Jai. It’s highly focused on letting you directly see and control everything, fast compilation and being easy to work with. He’s been at it for several years and the language has undergone changes since the initial concept video, but it’s reached closed beta and will probably hit open beta in the next year or so. I don’t know if it’ll be the next best thing or not, but I’ve been checking on it from time to time and I’m looking forward to tinkering with it when it comes out.

                      For any programmers interested, the original concept video (which is the start of a long playlist on Jai’s development) is here:

                    2. “Jai”

                      Interesting … Retired. Haven’t coded anything for 5 years now … Might be cool to play with. OTOH this is a deep rabbit hole for me … I don’t have a lot of addictions (reading), but programming is dang close, something I find hard to stop once I start … helps that I also have to have a usable goal. Good addiction to have when you are a programmer/developer. I did have to learn to stop, and say “this will wait until next work day … it will …” usually well after 5 PM. Plus tell client’s (maybe not directly or in these words but it was the intent) “your emergency at 4:55 PM, when it was due at 5 PM, isn’t my emergency.” Finally got good at that my last 6 months … What were they going to do? Fire me? Really … just got good at deaf regarding avoiding the phone after 4 PM …

                    3. Before ANSI C was widely adopted, compiler libraries were so diverse that each compiler was a kingdom unto itself. Plain K&R C was so spartan that it was of little use in the real world.

                    4. “ANSI C”

                      That is about when I got involved programming with C. First introduced to C++ in late ’80s as it was rolling out. But didn’t use it for another 5 years.

                    5. 1989. I was taking my co-op job and the first thing that happened was that we all — all my co-workers, regardless of seniority — were rounded up for a class in the Great New Idea in Programming!

                      Object-oriented programming. In C++ as it happened. Sometimes those Great New Ideas stick around.

                    6. Mostly because it gave us all ways to see real world things and we could translate them for the computer.

                    7. 1989. I was taking my co-op job and the first thing that happened was that we all — all my co-workers, regardless of seniority — were rounded up for a class in the Great New Idea in Programming!

                      Object-oriented programming. In C++ as it happened. Sometimes those Great New Ideas stick around.

                      Similar. Only I was still in college for the CS degree. Didn’t actually use C++ professionally until ’95. There were C programs that needed to be maintained. Then ’96 – 2002 used both C and C++, utilizing Visual Basic for the visual aspects. Truth be told the program output was C code (for DOS programs for handheld scanner computers – Intermec/Symbol/Falcon). A program for *programmers, but not a compiler (it used a free C compiler to compile the generated code, or user’s could use MS or Borland C compilers).

                      * Programmers that didn’t know C or scanner libraries. For DOS … do you know how many times I got told late ’90s that DOS was dead? Trust me it didn’t truly die (I might be mistaken if it is true dead) until late ’00s if not after 2010. I had to maintain a DOS program for Intermec without the above **tool. Intermec & Symbols have proprietary libraries for their scanner computer keyboards and scanners. The DOS versions you actually had to build a memory “image” to load to the machine, which was essentially your drive. They did better with their embedded Windows and finally Win10 equivalent versions. Still a proprietary scanning library, but no more images to load serially.

                      ** Company that owned it went bankrupt. Divisions were parted out. The software itself was shelved when the company (DataLogic) bought the handheld computer and flatbed division, and their first Windows handheld rolled out. The software in question was never more than a pull through for the handheld computer, technically a lost leader. But it made enough annually to pay to have me maintain and expand it to target the target (Falcon) hardware upgrades. Not much but a net profit.

                      I can’t say I’m a C/C++ expert. It has been too long. Even with building the Embedded C++ then C# Win10 programs. They got built, then really didn’t touch them again for the last 10 years … no reason to once they were fully debugged. The programs were a very small part of the system. Not to mention I’ve been retired for 5 years 🙂 (FYI. When I retired they hired a firm where the hardware was bought to deal with program changes … Same firm they had in 2004 when i started, only the boss wanted the software to be in house … and I opened my big mouth 🙂 )

      2. “I’m a thirty-second bomb! I’m a thirty-second bomb! Twenty-nine! Twenty-eight!…”

  24. I also think back to Christmas as a child and how different it seems. The five of us (six once the surprise happened when I was 16). Sometimes a grandparent or two. Often a student boarder who we referred to as “Uncle Joe/John/Bill” because it wasn’t appropriate for us to call an adult by their first name but would have been weird to call someone who lived with us Mr. So and So.

    Cousins lived close by so they would come over on Boxing Day (day after Christmas for those of you who don’t know). Best friend’s parents also had a Boxing Day party where they invited everyone they knew. Their huge house would be jam packed with adults and kids, starting at noon and running until whenever. When my friend’s dad passed his mum kept the party going for a few more years, but then two of her kids moved away and it became to hard to keep going. Also the people who generally attended were probably gradually dying off anyway.

    Until a couple years ago my parents had family friends from our childhood (two parents, one daughter) come to Christmas dinner with the rest of us at their house. They are all three in poor health and my parents are finding themselves unable to host due to their age. I have tried to host but my house is small and old and there isn’t much room for a ton of people (especially when you add in two wheelchairs). This year, with the border closed, half the family can’t come anyway.

    We are also having fewer children to populate these gatherings. I have three siblings, my best friend’s family included three kids. Most families that I knew had three or four. My grandfather was the youngest of ten so lots of cousins, but now? I have no children, my brother has two, one sister has none. Family gatherings are odd and disjointed with the brother out of area who doesn’t ever come home for Christmas, leaving no kids but the other sisters’. It’s an odd dynamic. I get overwhelmed easily with crowds now-a-days but I miss the family Christmas.

    I hope I don’t sound whiny but I am waxing nostalgic as I sit alone in my house on Christmas morning. I was invited to a friend’s house but didn’t want to intrude with their extended family coming and the Chinese COVID around. Maybe I should have. Either way it will all work itself out, I will enjoy my day to a certain extent (I have lots of wine and eggnog and some presents under the tree to open when I feel the urge). Next year will be better and maybe I should start thinking about what the family tradition might be moving forward, if any.

    Meanwhile, here’s a song that doesn’t help as it mirrors what I have seen happening in our family as the generations have passed. It is also one of my favorite songs about the Christmas season, perhaps because of the personal connection.

  25. Proof that literal turds are wiser than the GOPe:

      1. Cue the 1959 tune ‘The County’s in the Very Best of Hands”…

        Ain’t nothing changed, really, except it’s gone from haha-only-serious to oh-[MANURE].

  26. Yesterday I heard “I’ll be Home for Christmas” in my mind and ear all day. It didn’t feel like home though. I didn’t even put up a tree. I do miss the lights.

    1. We have a front porch hipped into the main roof. I had to pull the “ceiling” of the porch out to make some repairs before the roofers came and did their thing. Right now it’s just open framing.

      Mrs. TRX decided translucent fiberglass would be a suitable replacement for the aged plywood I removed, with strings of Christmas lights wound up and through the framing as a “porch light.” I thought that was a fine idea, and I waited for the annual sales near Christmas. Wal-Mart and Dollar General usually had packages marked down to a dollar or two.

      So, this year… bupkis. I asked where the lights were, and it turns out the stores only got a few packages of lights, all sold out by late November. No deliveries in December.

      Well, rats. I guess I’ll check eBay…

        1. I found some “light mesh”, basically 2×3 meter nets with LEDs at the junctions. Fifteen bucks, what the heck, I have some on the way.

          Apparently they’re used for general decoration, like putting behind curtains or stringing across the ceiling.

  27. Hi Sarah,

    You don’t know me; I live in Denver, but I’m tied up Sat. evenings, so haven’t been able to make one of the meets.

    You’re not alone in finding this unrecognizable, nor in your bafflement at the silliness of the churches. I’m writing to let you know that it’s not all like that; some of us have no intention of showing up on the last day and trying to explain to Jesus that we totally woulda fed the poor and offered the sacraments and all that, but Governor Jared said we couldn’t. Jeepers. Naw, we ain’t goin’ out like that. In front yards and living rooms and even (gasp) church buildings, things continue to happen. Relatively few people have chosen the highly visible route of suing to have rules struck down, but TONS of us are simply going about our business regardless of the diktats emanating from the governor’s mansion or wherever. If they want to make carve-outs for us, well and good; if the First Amendment covers us, great; if the Nine Prunes deign to agree that the First Amendment covers us, better still — but if not, we continue. Jesus is King; we have people to care for and responsibilities to tend to, no matter what this week’s Caesar says.

    On Thu, Dec 24, 2020 at 12:59 PM According To Hoyt wrote:

    > accordingtohoyt posted: ” I won’t be home for Christmas. And neither will > you. And in fact, very few people throughout what was once quaintly called > Christendom will be home for Christmas. When I was thinking about this > post, I was going to say that we’d never spent Chri” >

      1. Tim: Email me or pm me the service. At this point….
        Also, we’re planning on doing breakfast Saturdays at Toast in Littleton, if the weather is decent for first Saturdays (they have an outdoor patio.)
        Watch this space.

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