I’m passing on you filling my stocking this year and request you fill a few for others on my behalf. And best wishes to the Missus who each year goes unmentioned except in a few ho-ho-hum songs. Let me start with something personal and move out into the wider world this holiday season.
The Synonym Finder for Dermatologists and Ageists
Don’t you think after all these years they could come up with something better than the word “barnacles” for skin blemishes you get if you live long enough. And, just for fun, how about a solution to the “coming at you” horrifying silver cannister that looks like WD40 and blasts your face? Can you tell I’ve had a recent “derm” experience?
And – how about coming up with something more kind than “liver spots” on the hands of our beloved elderly? What about “honor freckles” or “survivor spots?” But—are we really all that beloved? And have we earned it is always a ? in my mind.
A Present for Congress –Coal in their Stockings!
Coal is actually too good for these people – who work for us and yet have managed to do almost nothing since March—except to fund more weapons and endless wars. Naughty (not nice) hardly covers it.
And no salve for the butts they’ve been sitting on while millions of their constituents are living through the Great Depression 2.0. Congress has played politics – both parties – and ignored the needs of the homeless and soon to be homeless, the jobless and soon to be jobless, and local businesses to keep going.
A Present for Middle America – A Large Bottle of Respect
Matt Taibbi recently wrote how the people where I grew up (Missouri) are viewed by people who don’t live anywhere near there “as one great sea of mass insanity.” Respect for each other is long overdue.
It’s not about hating the people (nearly half of the country) who didn’t vote the way we did. Who don’t watch the TV shows and the talking heads we prefer. Who didn’t go to college or more likely can’t afford to now, who were told to “learn to code” when their mining jobs ended. The expiration of all kinds of pandemic emergency benefits will make it harder for poor and working-class families – everywhere – to make rent payments, afford food, feed their kids, and keep up with utility bills. Fill their stockings to the brim with help, health, and hope.
A Present for Writers and Readers
Give writers the gift of words and the fortitude to bring them to life. Give readers the books that bring new insights or staying up late to read just one more chapter, and bookstores and librarians who provide the métier to make it happen.
And a sleigh full of gratitude to those brave and hard-working people who are keeping us fed, safe, tested, cared for, and housed in the worst year in recent memory.
Photo credits: Santa – hue 12, Lump of Coal – Sam Magodam, Santa and Sleigh – Ella de Kross, Row of Stockings – Brooks Rice, Ornaments – Olesia Buyar
Sobering but always fun too, your posts! And since I first read it, still no aid from the “good-for-nothings.” At least the end might be in sight from part of this nightmare, both election fall-out and Covid. My daughter-in-law, a geriatrician at Yale Medical in CT, gets her first shot today…she says now she will have to do all the grocery shopping! I completely agree about books…my daughter has just written one! Thanks for your insights Barbara, keep ’em coming.
Will do…I just hope 2021 is less stressful and more helpful to humans and planet earth.
I think of myself as a bicoastal heartlander and maybe you do too. And so I can never be just one or the other for long. And even there I must admit that I never knew as much about the Midwest as I told myself that I did, based mostly on some time growing up in Missouri and Illinois. Only in more recent years have I had a chance to spend enough time in Minnesota to realize how much I would still have to learn even about the Great Lakes region, let alone the vast heartland. But I think more about class than about region. I grew up in the working class, and I’ll never forget Agnes Smedley’s meditation in her great novel “Daughter of Earth” about the “deep pit of unknowing” in the class, which affects almost everything about everyday life. Most of that problem results of course from people being preoccupied almost every day about near-term or longer-term survival. But it’s made even worse by all the inequalities of America and by cunning politicians who exploit those anxieties and “unknowings” for their own gain, and that of the lobbyists they work to please. We have a long way to go.
Pat – thanks so much for reading the posts and commenting. Well said about class as a major factor. At this point in my life I consider myself a heartlander living on a coast.
There is so much love in your challenges. Thanks for bravery and kindness.
Hi Jennifer. It’s a gift to find your comments. Hope you are well and zooming with family to – loved the FB post.
The voice of Missus has been heard, well spoken! Thanks, Barbara, as always, spot on. Thank you.
No, thank you for your comments. It gives writing these more of a point when the comments are submitted. Thanks.
You said it all….telling truths that even my liberal friends don’t see….Thank you Barbara!!!!
Hi – I’ll do my best to keep your liberal friends in the know! As always – thank you.
I nominate you to become and train your replacement as Santa, no modifier or salutation needed – Just Santa. Though I caution such a burden of a nomination- so much need and you already give and have given so much. Maybe our leveling up this lifetime is we each be the Santa everyday we can and take up where others need rest and have each other’s back – all that, I believe you wisely and humorously said in your well written post. Always a joy, thanks!
Oh. Stephanie, how I miss you. I’d give my new scarf my daughter’s knitting for me for Christmas to have a chat in person. How lucky I was to have met you when in person was sooo normal.
Hope you and your family are well and hope you’ll stay in touch.
I grab with both hands and my heart the idea of such a lovely gift made with love. I’d give my inflatable Santa, the only nod I have to the holidays this year to see you and chat. Seaside was a gift wasn’t it! I too feel lucky to know you and watch your adventures unfold and learn from your wisdom.
Let’s talk soon!
I like your selection of gifts, Barbara. As a fearless writer who speaks your truth to power, go for it!!!
All best for the holidays, Barbara!
The same for you, Catherine. Hope your book is coming along and I’ll soon get an email announcing the pub date. Until then, thanks so much for your comments.