Minor Thoughts from me to you

Archives for Christmas (page 1 / 1)

The Spontaneous Gingerbread House Tradition

The Spontaneous Gingerbread House Tradition →

Way back in December, Sarah Skwire shared a story about how one family tradition came to be.

When I was growing up, we made gingerbread houses every year. They grew increasingly ornate over time–crenelations and portcullises were standard, and melted crushed lifesavers made exceptionally good stained glass–and they were always a highlight of holiday pictures. We kept the house around for weeks.

One year either my sister or I knocked the house off the dining room table. Lower lips began to quiver. Howls of despair and recrimination were JUST about to begin.

Mom stepped in.

“Oh good! You smashed the house on New Year’s Eve. That seems just right. Now we can eat it.”

So we did.

And now, Skwire family gingerbread houses are ritually smashed (with a meat tenderizing mallet) and eaten on New Year’s Eve.

Because it’s tradition.

May your holidays be filled with delightful and delicious emergent orders of all kinds.

This is a holiday tradition that I can support wholeheartedly.

This entry was tagged. Christmas

Ceasefire on Christmas Card Guilt

Ceasefire on Christmas Card Guilt →

I endorse Brett Trepstra's suggestion.

I would like to take this opportunity to call for a cease-fire on the card guilt thing. You’re totally allowed to use that space in the closet that will be left open when you finally throw out that box of cardboard pieces bought at stores and hastily “personalized” by someone who doesn’t remember giving you the card at this point.

This entry was tagged. Christmas

Morning Links

Paul Copan busts some "First Christmas" myths over at Reclaiming the Mind.

  1. There would have been no inns in a backwater town like Bethlehem. They would be found along main roads or in cities.
  2. The word for inn (katalyma) is the same one as the "guest room (of a private home)" mentioned in Mk. 14:14 and Lk. 22:11 --the room where the last supper was eaten.

Shikha Dalmia and Reason Magazine unload on Detroit's bailout request in It's 65 Million B.C. for the Detroit Three.

General Motors alone burned about $5 billion a month for the last quarter and is expected to completely exhaust its kitty by the end of this year. (The other two will follow suit shortly after.) At that rate of cash burn, the bailout money translates into five more months of life.

A comeback in that time would be hard to pull off even if these were the best run companies on the planet, rather than ones debilitated by decades of labor intransigence and management incompetence, two characteristics that show few signs of abating.

Indeed, United Auto Workers (UAW) Chief Ron Gettelfinger, who has been accompanying the auto CEOs on their taxpayer shakedown missions to D.C., had until this morning ruled out any new concessions to the Detroit Three.

... Gettelfinger is also unwilling to overhaul the rigid workplace rules that have long crimped labor productivity. For instance, these rules prevent workers from doing multiple jobs, which means that they can't be quickly redeployed in response to shifting market conditions. Nor will Gettelfinger allow the immediate shuttering of the notorious job banks program that pays laid off workers nearly their full salary for years on end.

Maybe Gettelfinger is just posturing. Happily, he has convened a UAW meeting tomorrow to "mull" some concessions. But if the threat of imminent death won't persuade him to pull out all the stops to restore the auto companies to profitability, why would he do so after receiving a $25 billion life-line from Uncle Sam? In effect, this means that the bailout will force non-auto workers--who should be saving in the event they get a pink slip themselves--to subsidize unemployed auto workers so that they can continue to draw fat checks for a few more months.

Finally, Dave Barry gives some gift recommendations in his Holiday Guide 2008: Gifts - For the Naughty (washingtonpost.com).

A man buys a gift only when he sees a clear and present need, such as he remembers that his wedding anniversary was last week. Otherwise, when a man is in a store, he is looking for practical items.

If he happens to pass by, say, a little ceramic statuette of two little smiley-face turtles with "BEST" painted on one shell and "FRIENDS" painted on the other, he is not going to give it a second glance, because he can't imagine anybody having any use for such a thing except as an emergency substitute for a clay pigeon.

The gift guide includes such jewels as the Uroclub (#2), the wearable sleeping bag (#5), the gun-shaped egg fryer, and the Zombie Yard Sculpture (#11).