Christmas: It is a wonderful life

T.A. Barnhart

it's Christmas Eve and the dinner is cooking.  Jesse wanted lamb, but lamb was $17 for a small piece.  sorry.  however, safeway was unloading ham, so i got a massive great one at more than half-off, and he loves ham.  so we're happy for dinner.  the spuds is boiling, and the butter with garlic-sage is ready, and i have my 8 personal brussel sprouts.  we'll have apple tart for afters, and i'm going to try a caramel sauce.

listening to Jimmy Buffett's "Christmas Island" as i write this.  sipping a Wassail Ale.  we have no tree, no lights and few presents.  i don't know if he's disappointed or not.  i hope not; i'm disappointed enough for both of us.  but considering the lack of money right now, we're lucky to have anything.  life in Corvallis continues to be financially difficult.  however, against that is the fact that for the past 4 years, i've been no more than 10 minutes away from my son.  we both enjoy that.  just the fact we're together is precious.  still i'm hoping that 2006 i can do a lot better for him.

i saw Alex this afternoon; he was closing up the coffee shop.  he's been sick and said he was going home to sleep and get better.  i did not invite him over; i have no present for him and nothing's really going on.  i should have.  This is a strange time in our relationship.

and i've just learned: i am a great uncle.  my niece had a baby a month ago; i didn't even know she was pregnant.  she was 5 months or so pregnant when i saw her mom in july; somehow it slipped her mind to tell me (of course, we were in Florida to bury our mother, so maybe that's understandable). 

it's a good Christmas Eve.  a nice dinner with my younger son, exchange gifts and just enjoy being together.  in the morning he'll go have Christmas with his mom; they'll do it up more traditional.  if i was all he had for a Christmas, i'd probably have to resort to robbing a few stores or something.  as much as i'd like to think what a terrible Christmas, how little we have -- we have so much more than most people in the world.  we've not had our home destroyed, we're free of disease, the streets are not paved with landmines, we don't have to spend 10 hours working in the fields or a factory.  we have food, warmth, goodies, an internet connection, each other and a future that actually looks good.  i would like to do more, and i intend to, but i will never think i have it badly.  as i enjoy my Christmas with my son, my only heartfelt wish for more and better is not for us, but for those who truly need it.

god bless us everyone.

ps, the caramel sauce was amazing.

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    Here's a link to warm the heart from another muse on Christmas... Skid Row Santa

    God Bless you and yours T.A. Have a great 2006!!

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    Merry Christmas, T.A. :)


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    I caught a little of It's a Wonderful Life on TV last night, as it happens. I'm sure most Americans deeply connect with the values in that movie--as I always have. I realized as I watched it what a deeply liberal statement it is. George Bailey is the great collectivist, depending on his fellow citizens to work together to improve their lives. He is set against the evil Potter, who is a classic version of today's "screw the poor" supply-siders. He not only does not wish to see society improve, to see his community grow spiritually and physically--he thrives on division and poverty and turmoil. We see in the "what if" scenario of the life without George Bailey what that vision begets: a harsh Bedford Falls--er, Pottersville--in which the fabric of society has been damaged.

    Liberals looking for a populist blueprint could do a lot worse than George Bailey. His wonderful life is what we all aim for, isn't it?

    Joy to all in this season of peace--

  • George (unverified)

    Unfortunatly today's liberals have banned "It's a Wonderful Life" from being shown in our public schools.

    All that talk about angels, wings and bells along with religious Christmas songs no doubt.

    Who's Potter?

  • wonderful propaganda (unverified)


    It's worth noting that George Bailey worked for a Savings & Loan, as opposed to the Department of Health and Human Services or some governmental entity.

    The movie also features a humorless bank examiner that is doing Potter's dirty work: hardly a ringing endorsement of the government's role in the economy.

    Free enterprise doesn't have to be "collectivist" to serve the community. Washington Mutual is the largest originator of mortgage loans in Oregon.

    Aren't liberals supposed to hate S&L's after the "fat cat bailouts" of the 1980's...

  • Skip from Gresham (unverified)

    Well put George....I doubt seriously if any of our true "progressive" friends would identify with George Bailey. He actually worked for a living. Our liberal friends on the other hand may indeed feel something special in that movie.

    Now....if we can gently ease the far left radicals who have hijacked the Democratic party out of the way and go forward maybe we can put those liberal ideals back to work governing Oregon and the country. Until we do, the under employed "progressives" in the coffee shops around town will keep us all marginalized.

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    wonderful propaganda--

    It may have been a S&L; however, it was a family owned, small S&L. It was there to help those who weren't rich to be able to afford a house, expand their business, etc. It wasn't a huge S&L that was taking advantage of its customers and foreclosing the moment they were behind in payments.

    And not all progressives work for a public entity. The vast majority of Dems and progressives I know are all working for private businesses or own small businesses. They range from doctors to lawyers to shop owners to customer service reps to computer tech.

    Skip from Gresham:

    I know plenty of progressives who work for a living. It's too funny that you'd generalize that progressives must be unemployed or under employed.

    There are also those like myself who are stay-at-home parents. We may do some part-time work on the side to bring in a little money, but job number one is raising our children.

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    Wonderful Skip--you guys need to lay off the Limbaugh. It's obviously turned you into mean, uncomprehending Grinches. Based on your characterization of liberals, it's a wonder we managed to get out of bed in the morning, never mind create social security and defeat the Nazis. Which, of course, "Wonderful Life" era liberals were busy doing.

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