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5) Baby, it’s cold outside. Please make a note to thank your mail carrier and that newspaper delivery person, if you still get that paper thing at your door. On the latter front, let me take this opportunity to thank you.
6) Consider using paper goods. Still washing the crystal while everyone else went out to a movie? I once interviewed a woman on Christmas Day who told me, “There’s so much hype around what you’re supposed to do. Dinner in a certain way, use your special china. I just want to erase that and use paper plates and be with family.” She was all of 18.
7) Mend when, and what, you can. Sometimes I’m a columnist, but mostly I’m a professional listener. I find it sad that people in this community turn to me and my colleagues because they have no one else to call.
Last week, I spent quite a bit of time talking with a heartbroken woman who wanted just one thing for Christmas. That was a visit from her estranged brother who lives in another state. He’s the only family she has and he has shut her out. I have no idea about the back story here and I do know how complicated family dynamics can be. I also know that the pain in her voice was real.
If you’re on the fence next year about whether to give a family member another chance, please consider dialing their number.
8) Lastly, for clarity and comfort, look around. Behind us is the winter solstice. The days are getting longer now and the thought of it certainly is lifting my mood. And today begins the brilliant seven-day African festival called Kwanzaa, which honors seven principles: Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
A year from now, it will be hard for any of us humans to top that.
612-673-7350 • @grosenblum