And a Merry Christmas to You

Merry Christmas and all the other Happy Holidays to the world! 

I figure if I start on a forced positive note, the positivity might carry me through the remainder of the post. We shall see.

I awoke extremely late this Christmas Day, due in part to multiple pee breaks during the night, along with several cat-based awakenings. Consuming a second gummy in pursuit of both sleep and the eradication of various and sundry bodily pains probably contributed to the lengthy time in bed last night.

We do not exchange gifts at Christmas (and most other times) because we have reached the point of good fortunate that we can (and usually do) simply buy what we want or need. That tradition having been abandoned, we opt to abandon another one, the big, fancy Christmas meal. Oh, we might “do-it-up” from year to year, but it is not a requisite to experience December 25. This year (today), we’re planning to have spaghetti. One of these days before too terribly long, we may thaw the leg of lamb that waits patiently in the freezer—or we might take the rib roast out in preparation for a grand meal—but for now, we will keep our kitchenining to a more reasonable level.

Speaking of food, mi novia made a remarkably tasty beef stew a few days ago. Hmm. This apparent fixation with beef and lamb is an illusion; our consumption of beef has declined rather dramatically over the past year or two. As well it should. But as I consider the possibility of a worldwide rejection of beef as a food, which so many people would like to see, I wonder about the unintended consequences. What would happen to the millions of cattle now being processed (from pasture forward)? And what about the millions of acres of land dedicated to growing grains for cattle feed? Would the people employed in the beef industry be able to find other work? How about the segments of the transportation industry dependent at least in part on the beef industry—railroads, trucking, etc.—would they adapt to  other streams of business, or would they, too, collapse? Give the matter enough thought and both the expected and the unintended consequences begins to be overwhelming. I am not arguing against abandoning beef (I am in favor of it, though obviously not sufficiently supportive to radically change my behavior), I am just thinking of what might happen if we did.

Happy Birthday to my favorite Patty! (Who shares her birthday with Christmas Day) And today also is the birthday of an acquaintance from church. If I paid closer attention, I might find that I could offer birthday wishes to at least one person on almost every day. But I am not prepared to pay that much attention.

Much to my chagrin, I began to develop another headache last night (to replace the one I just overcame). It is still sniffing around my skull, so soon I’ll probably take some low-level, essentially worthless, pain killer. I am in favor of much stronger over-the-counter painkillers, but I feel sure the reasons against easy-access are much more persuasive than the reasons for easy-access. How can this kind of twist take place? I was expressing myself about my headache…but suddenly I’m about to create a conversation about legal controls on pharmaceuticals. Some people say I’m crazy. On occasion, I think they may be right.

Onward toward Christmas Day. I wish the world, as especially you, a Merry Christmas.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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