Day 277: We are authentically White

Merry, Christmas, my friends.

Deb and I are well. Having celebrated our family Christmas in Cincinnati last Saturday, we’re home today, voluntarily snowbound at Second Chance Ranch.

From mid-December through the 24th of the month, every meteorologist has to keep answering the same question: “Will we have a ‘White Christmas’?” Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always thought that “White” is pretty easy to define — I mean, there’s either snow or there’s not.

Now I know better. This week I heard one of the local weather guys explain that having less than an inch on the ground technically robs a Christmas of its Whiteness. An inch or more and Bing can stop dreaming.

So that’s the standard. One inch.

Wednesday night and into Christmas Eve we got a good bit of rain. Wet changed over to White quickly as temps plummeted throughout the day. By the time the snowfall ended, around midnight, we had our authentic “White Christmas” — six or eight inches, in fact, and with bitter cold staying with us for the next 36 hours there’s no chance of a late disqualification.

As of mid-morning it’s snowing again. A wintry wind, a chalk sky, a soft quilt of snow draped over the landscape… it’s a beautiful White Christmas Day here at the ‘Ranch.

One of social media’s great payoffs is being able to see what my friends are up to at any given moment. You share what you choose to share, stuff that’s important to you — joy, sadness, journey and destination, solitude or crowd, you present me with bits and pieces of your American Life.

For the last week I’ve been seeing an endless parade of group photos. You’ve gathered families, friends, neighbors and pets in front of your decorated trees, at dinner tables, on poker nights and at local pubs, huddling close and capturing the warmth and smiles of this Christmas.

As I said yesterday, “Christmas, and the way we celebrate it, lives in each of us and all of us, and we decide how we’ll observe it.” And that’s exactly what you’re doing — just like always.

Whether you know it or not, People, you’ve given me hope. I thank you.

General George Washington called together his shivering, defeated, ill-equipped Continental Army on Christmas Eve of 1776 and ordered that they be read the words of pamphleteer Thomas Paine:

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered.”

Twenty-four hours later, 244 years ago tonight, Washington famously led his troops across the ice-choked Delaware River, the first move in launching a bold surprise attack against Hessian forces quartered for the winter in Trenton, New Jersey. In the engagements that followed, three Americans were killed (some accounts say four) and six wounded, while 22 Hessians were killed, 98 wounded. The Americans captured 1,000 prisoners and seized small arms, powder and artillery.

It’s Christmas Day 2020. Most of us have the day off. Let’s not forget, though, that under the helmet and behind the badge, in communities nationwide and in faraway lands, Americans stand in the gap on our behalf so that we can celebrate in freedom.

Like Washington and his Army — who didn’t take Christmas off, either — all of these men and women deserve our gratitude. They have mine.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath #MerryChristmas