Happy Holidays Washingtonians

Christmas DC at dusk from Flickr user Shane Bee

"Christmas DC at dusk" from Flickr user Shane Bee, Creative Commons

Hello from my stomping ground in North Haven, Connecticut. I knew I was home when two little girls ages four and 18 months woke me up yelling that Santa had come. 4:07am. My stomach was still grumbling from the massive 7 inch Santa cookie I ate while playing Saint Nick only a couple hours before. Living in DC makes coming home to a small suburban town like North Haven almost surreal. There is something to be said for spending time with family and old friends, but going from Inauguration fever in DC to “are all the roads going to get plowed?” fever in No.H. is nothing short of unnerving.

Today is at once a day of celebration and a day of sobering reality for the families of those folks who fell victim to the mayhem of Christmas Eve. Millions of families nationwide had to make cutbacks and sacrifices in light of tough economic times, but some resorted to theft and violence. NBC Washington reports 5 robberies in 90 minutes in wealthier Northwest neighborhoods in DC, an elderly man who was beaten to death near the Watergate Hotel, and a shooting occurred at Westfield Mall in Wheaton. These incidents only represent the tip of the iceberg. Here in Connecticut, my sister reported from her job at Burlington Coat Factory that dozens of people attempted petty theft during the day yesterday. It is a desperate time and many are suffering for it.

Today we would be right to spend a few minutes counting our blessings and thinking about the other families who will be struggling to put food on the table after pushing budgets to the limit for Christmas. We should reflect upon the family who will not have a grandfather at the holiday table today, and who will never look at the Watergate Hotel the same way again. And then we can celebrate; this is, after all, a holiday. We should enjoy being with those whom we don’t see often enough. We should enjoy the good food and gifts.

I set out to write a happy and upbeat Christmas post, but I guess it is a good thing that it is tempered by the reality of our current state of affairs. Holidays are not an escape from reality. If anything, they get us closer in touch with the realities of the economy, a culture of crime, and continually strained family values. Yet that understanding allows us to celebrate good fortune and togetherness, and therein lies the true meaning of Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

1 Comment so far

  1. wkhang on December 25th, 2008 @ 11:31 am

    Happy Holidays !!!

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