Here's to all you Christians and the birth of the world's most famous Jew. However you do (not) celebrate Christmas - may the true spirit of the day share at least some of the time and energy you expend.
Right around the time I got my masters degree, I decided I was "over" the notion of learning and education and sitting in a classroom and endeavoring to get wiser/smarter/more astute/whatever. That was in May, 2000. By September, 2001 (let's say the 11th-ish) I had decided the world I thought I knew so well was way, way bigger than I had thought. I went to Borders (stop laughing) and bought a copy of the Noble Quran and started learning again (spoiler alert - terrorism has NOTHING to do with Islam). Fast forward 15 years and three months and I'll still scratching my head at the world.
Here are the ten biggest/best/most important things I learned this year . . .
10) Common Core is NOT stupid/absurd/whatever - it is just a totally different way to use one's brain than what "we" learned when "we" were in school. Do I think it is better? Nope. But I was raised Catholic and am now a proud, proud Jew. Change is good.
9) "Goy" is (potentially) offensive. Much like "shiksa", "bitch", and other words that are considered pejorative by many but embraced by the bold (?) - calling someone "Goy" (gentile/non-Jew) can either be a simple clarifier of their religious stance or dismiss them as "less than". I had always meant the prior, you could presume the latter.
8) Twitter is Stupid. I've often struggled with my relationship with social media but if 2016 taught me (and the rest of the electorate) nothing else - it taught me that Twitter is no way to communicate or go through life. I had my Twitter password changed for me about a month ago. Haven't missed the stress, anxiety, or shouting at the wall one bit since.
7) I'm an XL/XXL Hat. I'll talk more about this in the coming days but I'm getting super, super bald and I went and had my head professional "measured" (not "shrunk") and my face shape assessed by a true professional/legend and I'm now fully, fully obsessed with protecting my noggin.
6) Nascent means "new", not "negligibly small". I'm 40. I consider myself a word/language lover. The actual definition of this world is, for me, nascent. What other words am I butchering on the regular?
5) Voting Trump doesn't mean you're a sexist, racist, xenophobic, dismissive boor. It means you're a person who values your fellow man/woman/child so little that they would look the other way for someone who is all those things (and worse). Yes. That is what you did. It is. Seriously.
4) If you don't monitor your goals, you won't hit them. 2016 was one of my greatest years in many, many ways. But if you look at my goals and objectives - it was an actual disaster. More to come on this one, too.
3) I can still find delight and joy in the world . . . even when I really, really don't want to.
2) Our democracy and sense of values is under attack - but not at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But, instead, in the North Carolina statehouse, the Sedgwick County Commissioners' meeting room, and countless other venues. I told you all - forget the Presidential election, watch the locals.
1) I'm screwed. Soon enough. But I'm not going down without a well-read, well-informed fight.