A Christmas Eve missive

To: The Scrooge on Steroids

You know, this holiday season is about as grim as it’s ever been in my lifetime as we shuffle inexorably to over 350,000 Covid deaths by year’s end. Have you seen the CDC’s projections for mid-January – once the fall out from all the Christmas travel starts hitting? They’re telling us it’s realistic to expect that the toll will be 420,000 by then, and it’s not as though there’s some magic balm that’s going to be released at that time and the deaths will stop. No. We might have picked up a compass and found a cache of dried berries to help some of us through, but we’ve got miles to go before we’re out of the woods and enough of us are vaccinated that the death toll will slow appreciably.

And do you give one hair on a rat’s ass? No. Your bullshit, last second gambit purportedly to increase the amount of the stimulus checks can’t be sincere except insofar as you sincerely want to implode the system. Well, bully for you sir, you may just succeed this time as it looks like this little move might not only blow up the stimulus package, but also shut down the government. Yet another early Christmas present for your BFF, Vladimir, huh?

And you aren’t finished yet, are you?

But I wanted to err on the upbeat side of things this Christmas Eve so I’m going to switch gears and tell you about two women I read about in the WP today. The first is Chwane Kimber, a Black quilter who does incredible work. Here’s her blog: https://cauchycomplete.wordpress.com/quilt-gallery/. Her trademark is that she pieces very small bits of fabric by hand (and quilts by hand) that include written messages. The quilt the WP shared is from 2018 and it says “I miss hope.” The one she’s featuring on her blog right now holds a poem she wrote. It was quoted in the WP so I think it’s ok to share it here (plus you’ll see it if you click on the link)…. It goes: “I am / I am still / I am not still / I am still not free.” Read that over to yourself a few times and let it sink in – all of it. So many layers there.

The second woman is known as Queer Santa. Really. Linda Warren is 77 and she’s been putting on Christmas for LGBT kids for the past 22 years (after her parents shunned her for being lesbian). Warren made some incredible lemonade out of those lemons. She’s been raising money to buy personalized Christmas gifts for youth in the Denver area year in and year out so they’ll feel seen and loved no matter what their families are like. Here’s the WP article about her: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/12/24/queer-santa-gay-youth-christmas/.

As I was mulling over telling you about these two women earlier today, it occurred to me that it’s going to be weird come January 20th when Joe Biden takes office and I switch over to writing to someone who might actually care about the people and issues I write to him about. (I’ve not yet decided the letter frequency and whether I’ll build in vacations, but I’ve decided I need to keep up this discipline since I’m in danger of getting seriously complacent once you leave office.) I’m going to miss getting to be super snarky and I’m anticipating I won’t be exercising my righteous indignation muscles nearly so often, but honestly, I think in so many ways, it’s going to be really nice to write to someone I don’t hate and who I actually think is a decent human being. Weird, but nice.

We’ll see. I might get bored out of my mind and give up after a month or two. I hope not, but from here it’s hard to say. In the meantime, we’ve got 27 more days together and I’ll try to make the most of them – you lout.

May we be safe as the clock ticks down on this nightmare.
May we be willing to look for ways to make lemonade out of this ungodly number of lemons.
May we be strong and healthy and courageous for the duration.
May we accept that 1/20/21 is not the time to stop pushing for change.

Tracy Simpson

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