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Happy Hanukkah to all! It is the third night. But many of you may read this on the fourth day. So happy pre-emptive fourth night of Hanukkah to all those who celebrate. May your lamp oil last a really long time.
I find I’m less cranky this year than last in regards to the holidays. For those who remember last year, I was a bit of a mess. It turns out it had nothing to do with the holidays, and pretty much everything to do with the shitty upstairs neighbors I had. They just really hit a peak of ultimate critical-shit-mass somewhere after Thanksgiving and leading into the Christmas season. My wife and I were miserable. We still refer to it as the Dark Winter Of 2014. All behind us now, thankfully. Got the house, got some peace and quiet, I built a studio downstairs, no more podcasts disrupting the dining room table, and all is right with the world. I find this year that there is a very low level of crankiness, but that’s mostly pointed at the overall consumerism of the season, which obviously would have been there anyways. But I’m doing my best. I’m trying not to yell at retail displays. I’m trying to just let folk have the season in whatever way they choose. Which brings me to another point.
A lot of my friends have kids. I love that, mostly. They post photos of their kids all in holiday matching clothes, sitting under the tree, or with Santa, etc. It’s adorable. No, for real. I’m into it. But here’s the thing. These kids have these looks on their faces like their eyes are going to just burst out of their heads with Christmas joy. They are staring into the camera like Christmas is freakin’ tomorrow. And it’s not. The’ve got more than two weeks to go. I just feel that maintaining this level of red-alert excitement and anticipation can’t be healthy. Whatever the pay off is on the morning of the 25th, it can’t possibly measure up to what they’ve got going in their heads. Nothing could. So, my advice to those with kids (I know, who the hell do I think I am?) is to maybe tamp those expectations down a tad. Maybe just tell them to relax, that Christmas is coming in a bit, and that we’re all excited, but there’s still day-to-day life happening. Is that too much to put on a kid? I honestly have no idea. Let me know how it works out.
On the show this week is Josh Kinney, the editor and founder of the newly resurrected Philadelphia Evening Post. He has taken the modern idea of the newsprint weekly magazine, and put an old-timey feel to it. There are stories about the history of the neighborhoods and parts of this city that have never been told. It’s really quite amazing. And the look of the magazine, it’s tight. I’m not a visually capable guy, but I know what i like to look at, and this paper is something I like to look at. There’s a careful, underlying structure to the whole thing that just lends it that little spark of genuineness. It’s a great publication. If you go to their site, you can see pretty much the whole thing, which is great if you don’t live in Philly. And for those who want their mits on the real thing, there’s an interactive map that shows you everywhere you can pick it up. Do so if you can, it’s a truly great addition to the city.
Jeez, I get all chatty this time of year. I hope you all are enjoying the season, and planning to spend it with people you love, be it family, friends, a combination of both, however you want to do it. I know it’s easy to get overwhelmed by what seems like obligation and tradition, but let me empower you. You can do whatever you want. You’re an adult. Keep the season happy for you, as well as for others. But try and do you first. It’ll help in the end, I promise.
Until next time, be well, enjoy the conversation, and grab a copy of the holiday edition of the Philadelphia Evening Post. Ain’t no nostalgia like holiday nostalgia.