Well, the last "Ho! Ho! Ho!" has been heard for the year. I ate the cookies and drank the milk left out for Santa and went to bed. I slept well, without encountering visions of dancing sugarplums.
Now we're caught in that awkward limbo between Christmas and New Year's when everything is put on hold.
For me, in a strangely pensive mood, it's a time for contemplating one's navel, i.e., trying to solve the puzzle of life, dealing with things understood and not understood. Little things, bigger things. Bear with me while I address some of these.
I don't understand why the Old Reliable wasted precious newsprint on that latest messenger of doom who has chosen May 21 as the newest "Rapture" date. Is it not written in the Good Book that "Ye shall not know the day or the hour"? Rapture probably won't happen until America pays off the national debt, a probability that in itself promises a century or more of unlimited longevity.
In China, 201l is the Year of the Rabbit, predicted to be gentler than the expiring Year of the Tiger.
Let's hope the Year of the Rabbit will be kinder to President Obama, who has been the national punching bag for a disgruntled America during the past year.
Admittedly, he brings some of the slings and arrows on himself, as in his latest miscue at the news conference during which he and former President Bill Clinton explained the whys and wherefores of the controversial tax bill.
Somewhat abruptly, the president looked at his watch and said, "I've got to go. I've kept the first lady waiting for over 30 minutes!" rushing off stage like a frightened child.
As expected, his critics pounced: "Unmanly," "Girlie-man President. "Hen-pecked husband, putting his wife's schedule ahead of the affairs of State."
If the man actually walked on water, some tea-sipping bystander would insist, "So what? The water couldn't be more than 3 feet deep."
I suppose the president should have just said, "Sorry, I have another appointment."
I don't understand why people make New Year's resolutions they have no intention of keeping. Friend Evelyn Hill once told me that the only New Year's resolution she has ever kept is to never again eat stewed okra, quoting a mountain woman she once heard say, "I ain't putting nothing in my mouth that I don't have no more control over than I do stewed okra."
I don't understand why the management of the new Raleigh Amphitheater should be disappointed over the attendance at concerts this past year. What can you expect when performing groups go by such monikers as Slightly Stoopid, Barenaked Ladies, Goo Goo Dolls, Vampire Weekend, etc.?
I doubt that, for example, many restaurants would have diners breaking down the door after advertising such lunch specials as Cream of Doodlebug Soup, Pressed Possum, Slumgullion Supreme or Sautéed Skunk on Grits.
I don't understand the need for 40 post-season college football bowl games. When Hector and I were pups, there were only four: Rose, Cotton, Orange and Sugar. Football season ended with the Carolina-Duke game sometime around Thanksgiving. A bowl team had to have an 8-2 or better season to get invited. Now almost any major college team that wins one game more than it lost can pack up and go. As a result we now have football in February.
On a more serious note, I don't understand why we are still fighting a two-pronged war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Is it because the war, with fewer than 6,000 casualties in 10 years, isn't bloody enough to stir the kind of public outrage that finally brought the Vietnam War to a halt?
Is the public's involvement so benign because the horror of war has not swept the nation as it did, for example, in World War II when 416,000 Americans were killed in the four-year conflict? Or is it because the men and women fighting today volunteered for war as opposed to being drafted in the majority of cases?
In closing, I warmly thank each of you for visiting here every Sunday. I wish for you in the Year of the Rabbit much sunshine in your face and a gentle wind at your back.
Do be careful about falling into rabbit holes. Remember what happened to Alice.