Here’s an interesting note heading into the Christmas season. New England didn’t always celebrate the holiday. In fact, the Puritans banned the celebration and imposed fines upon those who defied their edicts.

Still, some threw caution to the winds and celebrated Christmas in a rather nonspiritual way, that was, by drinking to excess, feasting and carousing. Sound familiar? Perhaps some things haven’t changed so much. But until the early 1800s, New England did not even acknowledge Christmas. Schools remained open, as did businesses and government (there were no three-day vacations for state and federal workers).

It wasn’t until the poem, “The Night before Christmas,” came out in 1822 that New Englanders began viewing the Christmas celebration as something wholesome. And then, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” took the world by storm in 1843, after which the church and society as a whole finally embraced Christmas.

And today, both civil and governmental bodies acknowledge the birth of Christ as celebrated on Christmas Day.

Dusty driving

Lack of snow coupled with low humidity have created desert-like conditions. Huge dust clouds follow motor vehicles as they go along, coating roadsides with dust. If anyone could calculate the gross amount of dirt lost, the figure would surly surprise many.


Tony Wieman and Dan Woodrow visited one evening last week and we had Chinese take-out together. Earlier in the day, Russ Arnold dropped by and, knowing that I couldn’t wield a chainsaw, thanks to that recent hernia surgery, dropped about 10 large poplar trees that were shading my garden and making astronomy difficult.

It’s at this time of year that we need to take a moment and reflect upon how much our friends mean to us.

Weekly quote

While being wheeled into surgery, former president Ronald Reagan said, “I hope you are Republicans.”