A Holiday Editorial Comment: It has been a bit difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year. It’s not about a specific religion, as every major faith and culture notes some kind of solstice observation, but the season’s spirituality seems to keep getting more deeply buried. Strident commercialism, polarized politics and partial collapse of the social contract seem to have pushed the holidays’ true meaning into deep background. So many charities and politicians have been begging incessantly to meet artificial deadlines “or the matching fund expires” (really, if they’re a few dollars short of their goal, will the matching donor really walk away?), and every imaginable retailer is having a now-or-never sale followed by yet another one. Black Friday and traffic jams almost subsumed Thanksgiving, once the last uncommercialized holiday, and now the Christmas/Hanukkah/solstice season now seems to be measured by how much one buys or “gifts.” (Note from my late English-teacher mother: “gift” is not a verb.)
It’s hard to remember that there is still good in the world which one can find if one looks for it, and that life doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Perhaps our view is colored by friends and family passing, other friends moving, and so on. But my wife decorated our Christmas tree, we lit our menorah, we have great friends here and around the country and world, we try to focus on doing things rather than amassing stuff, and we are doing our best to stay optimistic. Good friends and good adventures go a long way to make that happen. And making what we hope is good music helps it all go down more smoothly! Thank you all.
Best wishes of the season,