Over the years, this little gem has become the way we usher in the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and while I'm still having a few doubts as to how wonderful this one's going to be, here goes.
Actually, I'm going to work on having a Merry Little Christmas, although I'm putting off listening to the ur-version of that particular song for a few more days. I think this of all years needs a little light in the darkness, a little warmth on the cold December evenings. This weekend I'll get the decorations out, and maybe cook up a little something that recalls days gone by. It's a good time to think, when time allows, about the past and the future, things remembered and even, possibly, a few likely better left forgotten.
The fantasy of Christmas, I think, at least since the time of Mr. Dickens's Carol, is that somehow, if the fates allow, the errors and losses of time can be put right - the little crutch by the chimney not left all alone, the phantom children out in the cold not doomed to remain unfed, unclothed. This, though, is the Christmas of Aleppo, the season of the kudzu-like apparition of what we so inadequately call the "alt-right" (say its real name: chaos; speak its truth: hatred), the dawn of Trump.
The lights of Christmas seem faint indeed against the gloom. Here, this year, we have our own little crutch, our empty space, and on top of all the world's troubles that seems a further cloud. But goddamit, I'm going to try. I need a little Christmas, and so let's start with Miss Jones and Pee-Wee. Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum and all...