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