For years, I bought Christmas trees from charitable nonprofits. Those clubs and churches apparently have left the business, so I now look at commercial options. My choice this year, the local nursery where I acquired an inexpensive Frazier fir, already in its stand, which I will return after the holidays to receive a store credit. The store's staffers were pleasant. One ably tied the tree to the top of my car, and I headed home with little exposure to the Buckhead traffic.
After taking the holiday boxes from the attic, I decorated the tree with the old familiar ornaments of Christmases past, now shifting into Christmas present. Once again, those made by my children in elementary school, those sent by my father's long-dead boss, those handmade ones sent every year by my late mother. Snow White. Mario Lemieux. Lou Gehrig, who lost his bat somewhere along the way. White doves, Victorian carriages, blue and red globes, snow men, stars, a red sports car.
While decorating, I listened to NPR news on the radio. The FBI chief talking about terrorism, how ISIS is not like your father's Al Quida, but likes small, homegrown projects like the San Bernardino attacks instead of the big splashy statements like 9/11. Still, Mr. Comey backed off the previous reports that the San Bernardino Mom and Pop terrorists had connected with ISIS on Facebook. They were entrepreneurial, self-starting terrorists. At the start of the report, a policewoman sings the Star Spangled Banner.
In Baltimore, a hung jury in the trial of the cop charged with manslaughter and other crimes in Freddie Gray's death. A legal expert reported that the cop was supposed to testify against other cops, and now might not, because of the Fifth Amendment. He could be retried, or maybe not. Helicopters are flying over the city.
The new Star Wars movie was about to open. A review without spoilers. The movie's good. Rejoice, America. We can still make great Star Wars movies! Harrison Ford is back. So is Carrie Fisher. So is writer Lawrence Kasdan. George Lucas gone, but TJ Abrams gives new vitality to the mythical themes. A character reminiscent of Darth Vader. That's not a spoiler?
GOP candidates, ignorant about Mideast, want to start World War III. Janet Yellen raising rates, but who can understand what she's talking about? Nobody understood Ben Bernanke or Alan Greenspan either.
Yellen sounded more transparent than Ben or Greeny. Bottom line: A vote of confidence in the economy! Was it Star Wars setting record? Warm weather boosting Christmas tree sales? Low inflation, OK employment? Everything's jellin', says Janet Yellen.
Stock market likes the news. Happy Days are here again. Europe still dragging. Argentina devaluing the peso. China lagging too.
Outside, 70 degrees. Rain on the way, but warm weather to continue. No mention of climate change at GOP debate.
I finish the tree. Another Christmas almost here, another year almost gone.