That December Glow

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"i wish that glow would never fade away," is a line from the lamentably overlooked perry como song, "i wish it could be christmas forever," featured in all his christmas shows. it is a cd i most heartily recommend.

it's all about the glow december bestows-in the lighting, the music and more frequent smiles and kindly exchanges. whatever our background, we are affected by places, sounds and social mores whether we know it or not. for those of us who most keenly see, hear and feel it, keep a string or two of decorative lights burning at home, in public places and on every street block throughout the year for that visual glow. and, of course, eschew the people- and place-hostile energy-efficient bulbs. the official earth-saving emperors blindly decree that these will soon be the only bulbs that can be manufactured legally. no smiling at that, rather some real getting mad as you-know-what and shouting, "no way! excessive lighting's gotta go, but not only in entertainment venues."

and doggone it, also lower the speed limit to reduce emissions and traffic-tragedy injuries, too, many of which are heart-breakingly lasting or fatal. surely the resulting grief is permanent. traffic tragedies are enormously dollar-costly, which seems to concern most emperors more than their cataclysmic human cost. what's needed, you unclothed emperors, is all-out support for life and planet-saving mass transit with expanded, not reduced, service. and no free rides for those who can afford it-or for those people using pedal-powered vehicles in a high-density city.

a santa concerned with traffic safety would bring no more scooters to ever-more crowded streets and walkways. indeed, if santa saw how many kids-and some parents-now scooter, instead of walk to and from school, he'd order an immediate recall.

forget high-speed rail plans; restore the more affordable, enjoyable and safer medium-speed kind. ditto for buses. slower's the way to go-on foot, too. my umbrella sports both "slow down, please!" and "smile!" directives. my gifts this year are stocking caps, gloves, tote bags, kitchen potholders and towels inscribed with the word "smile." use magic markers, nail polish or, if ambitious and able, embroider, knit or sew peace-, goodwill- and health-enhancing reminders.

and to keep that holiday/holy day musical glow, sing alone or together some g-rated lyrics and music. yes, virginia, they do exist, like son jeff's, "happy birthday to a little girl" country ballad. singing, like smiling, is good for what ails us-and especially for the "youngers," who've been conditioned to think smiling and family love songs are strictly uncool.

conditioned as well is the notion that these december holidays are only for children and young people. as with birthdays, the more there are, the more they deserve celebration. and december birthdays should never be short-shifted, nor should any birthday be anything to hide or make snide or rueful jokes about in a just society.

and in that just society, grandmas in the white house and everywhere else would be seen, heard and heeded, at least as much as the grandkids and the family dogs are. so would grandpas and all responsible elders-another countercultural message/lyric to hammer out big time-all over this land!">

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