Our Gossip Girl sends holiday joy to one and all!
“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” as Santa yells back when his sleigh pulls out of sight.
This is a Christmas for me when the object of my affection, a young boy who is my godson, is 12 years old and the light has dawned that Santa is just another urban, suburban and country myth.
If we are lucky enough to live and see our children well and healthy, all adults seem to go through this slightly sad, mystifying experience, where they grow up before our very eyes. But my boy still loves all the traditions he embraced so fondly through his years. He still wants to spend Christmas in the countryside with friends and family, overlooking the magnificent Connecticut River. And I won’t be surprised if, on Christmas Eve, he tells me, smiling: “We better leave some milk and cookies for Santa and a few carrots for the reindeer!”
He knows that I am a bigger child than he is. I have fought for years to impose a Texas tradition on the Yule. But my friends and loved ones in the east keep insisting on not opening the stocking presents on Christmas Eve after church, dinner and the carols are sung. This year, I finally convinced them that if they do it my way, we won’t have such a confusion of gifts, gadgets, paper, ribbon, lists to keep and tinsel to wade in on Christmas morning. I got my way at last!
As you can see, I am a big believer in Chistmas; not in Happy Holidays, not in putting the Christ out of Christmas but simply observing all traditions – mine and others – as well as Hannakuh. You can’t ignore history, even history as myth. Why should you?
Now I want to show a writing about love at Christmas done by my friend, the former Governor of New York State – Mario Matthew Cuomo. (Should you ever meet this great man, who would have been such an effective U.S. president, you should know his first name is pronounced “Mary-o!” He is not only New York’s former governor but is about to become the father of New York’s new governor, Andrew Cuomo.)
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Gov. Mario Cuomo: “Christmas: Everyone seeks it, and when it’s found, it makes everything else seem no longer worth seeking. It costs nothing to give and it can’t be bought. It’s best when graciously received and then passed on. It brings with it warm smiles, deep contentment – sometimes tears of joy. Wise men analyze it; poets romanticize it, but no one can improve on it. Our word for it is ‘love.’
“Some of us believe it was best personified two thousand years ago in a manger, in a stable, far from here. Others see it embodied in other symbols and other events. Almost all of us celebrate festivals to it at this time of year. Doing so, we are reminded how good a whole year could be – if only we were wiser. We want to join with you in sharing it, joyfully, this Christmas season.”
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WELL, dear Governor Cuomo The First, I do join you and your wonderful wife Matilda. One of the fun nights of my life was in seeing this lovely couple made “Living Landmarks” by the New York Landmark Conservancy.
So, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! From me and Santa.