I guess its a little late to say Merry Christmas, but I'll say it anyway: Merry Christmas! and Happy Boxing Day! Happy New Year (2010!), too, a little early. Hope everyone's holiday seasons are going well...I, for one, am feeling proud of myself for roasting a turkey (okay, a turkey breast, but still). And not going overboard on the holiday baking. Although I have a new cupcake cookbook... Unfortunately we didn't get anymore snow for Christmas, and now its raining. But we're headed up to Montreal for a couple days so maybe we'll see some more snow then. Happy holidays and all that fun stuff.
Upon further investigation, it appears that my Beethoven Fidelio DVD was ordered on Dec. 16 and shipped the 17th thereby falling not on Dec 23 but instead in the middle of Chanukah 2009.
Still further investigation leads me to suspect that Seinfeld is an apostate and that Festivus is an alien holiday that all good men should abjure. My right arm thus invigorated and skilled, I, with all other men good and true, shall endeavor to smite the alien impediments to the restoration of the Tabernacle of God.
Twice this year the Sun has made a feeble attempt to resume the solar cycle. Both times the sunspots fizzled. We now have had no sunspots for 13 days.
I predict we are going to have a cold, cold winter. This past October was said to have been one of the coldest on record. The recent snowfall in Louisiana is said to have been the season's earliest on record.
Buy some long underwear. Stock up on wood as a backup for your regular heat. Buy a generator in case an ice storm knocks out the power. Propane generators are best because of the storeability of the fuel. I have the generator, but haven't done the electrical hookup.
Other philosophical traditions have similar ideas. Judaism has a tripartite concept of forgiveness:
1 mechilá, forgoing the other's indebtedness, the crime remains; only the debt is forgiven
2 selichá. It is an act of the heart. It is achieving an empathy for the troubledness of the other. Selicha, is simply reaching the conclusion that the offender, too, is human, frail, and deserving of sympathy.
3 kappará This is a total wiping away of all sinfulness. Kappara is the ultimate form of forgiveness, but it is only granted by God.
The terms and conditions for granting the first two forms forgiveness are a bit complex in that tradition but are entirely sensible.
Christianity's concept of forgiveness is embodied in several quotations of Jesus with a general emphasis on love, compassion and understanding toward failures of others.
All of these traditions have useful things to say.