Merry Christmas, 2019

Today is Christmas Day, and the only news story worth mentioning is now more than two millennia old. One of the first reports was in the Gospel According to Luke, a few decades after the fact, but it hasn’t been improved on since an angel of God first told it to some shepherds shivering in the cold outside outside a small town called Bethlehem.
“And the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all peoples. For today in the city of David there has been born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Except to wish you and all those you love a most Merry Christmas, we’ll leave it at that.

— Bud Norman

Have a Happy Whatever Holiday You Celebrate

Today is the first day of Hanukkah, and to all those who celebrate this ancient and beautiful holiday we a most happy one. Which is not meant to give any offense to those who celebrate Christmas.
These days many people get touchy about such things. Some still consider “Merry Christmas” a slight toward the 13 other religions that have holidays at this time, and now some others think that anyone who says “Happy Holidays” or “season’s greetings” is waging a war on Christmas. We tend to say “Merry Christmas,” and did so even before President Donald Trump gave his permission, but we know all sorts of people and try to accommodate their preferences.
That seems in keeping with the spirit of all the holidays, especially Christmas, but you can offer us your best wishes any way you want. We’ll not let it disturb our Christmas cheer.

— Bud Norman

Christmas Eve at Mar-a-Lago

There’s a longstanding tradition that forbids American politicians from making news on Christmas, but President Donald Trump pays no heed to to even the most admirable longstanding traditions. He mostly kept to the golf course and family gatherings over the long weekend at his profitable Mar-a-Lago resort, and reportedly got a national security briefing and tended to some other presidential business, but of course he couldn’t resist a few controversial “tweets.”
Trump “tweeted” some effusive praise for the military, which does indeed deserve it, but he couldn’t help taking some undue credit for their recent successes. He also “tweeted” a “Merry Christmas” message, which American presidents have conveyed to the people long before the advent of “Twitter,” but as usual he took undue and downright blasphemous-to-our-ears credit for Christmas. For Christ’s sake — and in this case we mean that both literally and reverently — we’re quite sure the holiday would have survived without Trump.
Even on a busy Christmas Eve filled with golf and family gatherings and national security briefings, Trump still found time to criticize a high-ranking and soon-to-retire Federal Bureau of Investigation official for having a wife a who once ran for office as a Democrat, with the usual implied aspersions on the FBI in general, and that ex-FBI head honcho currently running a special counsel investigation of the “Russia thing” in particular. Perhaps it’s because he was haunted by an especially scary ghost of Christmas future, but Trump had to bring up the “Russia thing” even on Christmas Eve.
There’s never a day of the year when Trump isn’t talking about “fake news,” and even the Christmas spirit one feels on Christmas couldn’t keep him from “re-tweeting:a picture of him with a squashed bug labeled “CNN” on his show and  “tweeting” a gripe about the “fake polls” that show both him and his recently-signed tax cuts as widely unpopular. That apparently includes all the polls, as even the outlier Rasmussen Reports has his approval ratings well in the very low 40s and well under water, but we doubt Trump will convince a majority of Americans that a majority of their fellow Americans actually quite like him.
Trump didn’t take advantage of a congressional Christmas recess to fire that ex-FBI guy heading the special counsel investigation of the “Russia thing,” and the economy is humming along nicely, and so far there are no mushrooms clouds on the Korean Peninsula, and we suspect Trump would be polling better if he’d lay off the “tweets,” at least on Christmas Eve.

— Bud Norman

Merry Christmas, 2017

Today is Christmas Day, and the only news worth mentioning is more than two millennia old. It was first noted in print in the Gospel according to Luke a few decades after the fact, but hasn’t been improved on since an angel of God first spoke  it to some lowly shepherds who were shivering in the cold outside a small town called Bethlehem.
“And the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the peoples. For today in the city of David there has been born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'”
Except to wish you and all those you love a Merry Christmas, we’ll leave it at that.

— Bud Norman

Merry Christmas, and All the Rest

If anyone is still waging a war against Christmas, they seem to be losing. Pretty much everywhere we go these days we find some sort of Christmas or another, and at this point we expect that children will awaken Sunday morning to gifts under a Christmas tree and that Christians will give thanks for Christ’s birth in their churches and that the celebration will of that wonderful day forever persist.
President Barack Obama once again marked with the occasion with an all-inclusive “season’s greetings” announcement, which annoyed all the traditionalists, and president-elect Donald Trump defiantly “tweeted” a “Merry Christmas” that made no mention of the holidays that other faiths celebrate during the season, which annoyed all the more up-to-date multi-cultularists, but we’ll pay no mind to any of it. We’ll simply offer our most heartfelt Hanukah wishes to all of our Jewish friends, our hope for a peaceful Ramadan to every Muslim with peace in his heart, share with our pagan friends a gladness that the winter solstice has passed and the days will now start getting longer, try to be understanding of anyone who still mark Kwanzaa, although none of our black friends ever have, and as always we will continue to wish a merry Christmas to all of our fellow Christians.
What with all the gift-buying and bill-paying and bone-chilling temperatures that attend this time year, it seems foolish to complicate it any further with politics or up-to-date theories of social justice. Let Starbucks sell its overpriced coffee in any sort of cup it wants and the local Christian shop decorate as it wishes, let Obama be all-inclusive and Trump be specific, and let the overpaid guys on Madison Avenue and the overworked clerk at the local convenience store offer whatever positive sentiments they might be comfortable with. We’re happy with any kind thoughts these days, even if we are mostly glad it’s almost Christmas.

— Bud Norman