Of particular note in the Sauerman household this yule was my father's first viewing of one of my favorite Christmas movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and my first viewing of Meet John Doe. Also, it was the first Christmas with a baby of someone from my generation--my cousin's six-week-old son, Nicholas.
What follows are a few thoughts on Christmas that I hadn't had time to push out before (which is a shame, given my family's obsession with the holiday).
A) Christmastime in Washington, DC is very neat
From my trip to the capital for work, I was able to see the National Christmas Tree and the Capitol and White House decked out for the holidays. I wasn't able to make it down to Mt. Vernon for their yearly yuletide clambake. It's the only time of year that you can visit the third floor of the building. That would've been neat to see. Anyway, I love Washington and I love Christmas, so the two together us almost too much for me to handle.
B) A Christmas Carol is worth reading, even if you hate Charles Dickens
Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
Mind! I don't mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country's done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.
C) The Swedes really like Donald Duck, or Kalle Anka
Read this article and be amazed. I never knew the Swedes loved Disney. I think that it makes me like the Swedes even more.
D) Christmas is an excellent time for reflection
Unlike Love Actually's assertion that Christmas is the time you tell people what you really think about them, it is a great time to reflect on many things. No contemplation of the season can begin without thoughts on the meaning of the central Christian mystery: God entering the physical world as a child. Many gallons of ink have been spilled trying to understand that mystery, and I won't add my two cents to that here, but it is comforting to do what we did on Christmas Eve and remember the prophecies of the Advent, the birth itself, and the taking of the Eucharist. God didn't enter time and space simply to exist, but to die and to defeat death. It's worth remembering at this time, that while we commemorate the beginning, we celebrate the end of the story.
So, here's hoping you and yours had a Christmas Day full of happiness and merriment and that the upcoming year will be as refreshing as it is new.