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Wednesday, December 13, 2000

I think I've worked pretty hard at getting into the holiday spirit, decorating, shopping, writing cards, and even thinking about getting a live tree to shed needles on my white carpet. I wrote a flowery paean to the season about a week and a half ago and meant every word of it, and I still do even if my heart's not in it quite as deeply as it was then. (Okay, I just reread it and it's not all that flowery and not even a true paean, per se, but I think you can tell that I came out in favor of a version of Christmas that is all about love and peace and joy and togetherness and, you know, that kind of thing.)

The stress I'm feeling, which is sapping the spirit right out of my body, actually has nothing to do with the holiday anyway, except that everything seems to be happening at once.

For one thing, I have this audit to prepare for, and last night was Tuesday so I was working until after 9:00, and I'm dealing with payroll taxes and insurance applications and all kinds of petty things, and then we slam right up against the end of the year and all that's involved with that, and every time the phone rings it's some new fire I have to put out or some salesperson I have to put off, and I still don't have a Christmas tree because I couldn't pry myself away from the phone and off the computer and out of the house yesterday afternoon. (That was more than one thing, wasn't it?)

And it's been cold and drizzly, not as miserable as it is almost everywhere else in the country, but a lot more miserable than I like it, if that makes any sense, which I don't really care if it does or not.

And then the Supreme Court tells Gore that there isn't enough time to count all the votes, even if they could figure out how to count them, but what they don't say is that it's Bush and his cronies (mostly his cronies, because he doesn't think of these things on his own) who have done everything in their power and a few things outside the boundaries to delay it right up to the deadline so that there's no time to count the votes and it's apparently more important to get things done fast than to get them done right, so we're going to have a president for the next four years who didn't get a majority of the votes in the country and probably didn't even get a majority of the votes in Florida, just a majority of the votes they had "time" to count. (Or plurality, actually, because nobody got a "majority.")

So if it seems as if the Christmas spirit or whatever is slipping away from me, it's not because I want it to or don't believe in joy and all that rot, it's more from the weight of all the stuff that seems to be going wrong, or at least not the way I think it should go or would go if I had my way. And I'm almost sure I'll have something more coherent to say at a less pressing time, when I can breathe again and my heart rate returns to normal.

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Jessie, Blueberry Hill, December 11, The Zen of Hallmark

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I won't be made useless
I won't be idle with despair