Voluntary Holidays

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s that time of year where the whole country is rushing around, making plans to spend the holidays in a traditional fashion with their blood relations. Not me. For the past several years, I’ve chosen to break that cycle. Not because I have anything wrong with spending time off with family. It’s because I want the holiday to be voluntary, something people do only if that’s what they really, truly want to do.

Think for a moment about how most people conduct their holidays. There’s an event set in stone from the very beginning of the year. Depending on your level of participation, you have to, at a minimum, show up and be cordial, all the way up to planning, executing, and financing a perfectionist feast while performing the role of chief diplomat at an intimate gathering of mortal enemies. For some very few of us, everything works out perfectly: you all live close by, get along, have the same schedule, food tastes, interests, and genuinely like and get along with each other. The holiday itself doesn’t matter, since you would be doing the exact same thing anyway, even without a festive excuse. [Read more…]

I’m Thankful

thankful

The time of year has come when we are supposed to give thanks for all the numerous blessings we, as Americans, enjoy. It’s been a rough last few years, but, as it turns out, there’s a lot to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for my health.

I’m thankful for a place to live and food to eat, while so many others don’t have the same.

I’m thankful for the sunset. It simply never gets old.

I’m thankful for a job, which has allowed me to retain everything else I just mentioned, even the sunset. After all, how can you enjoy a beautiful sunset when you’re too busy worrying and scrambling for a job?

I’m thankful for holiday-themed lattes. Most signs of the season I don’t care much for, but this one is a notable exception.

I’m thankful for the French. Without them, we wouldn’t have won our independence from Great Britain. And they did give us that wonderful Statue of Liberty.

I’m thankful for the Internet, and with it the ability to effortlessly communicate with anyone in the entire world. [Read more…]