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I don't get worked up over Easter, perhaps because its secular aspects (new clothes and Easter bunnies) seem both self-serving and silly. The coordinating of the solar and lunar calendars is interesting. I'm fond of repeating to people how Easter is calculated. But it's possible to consider such things even in the absence of glazed ham and peas. For our first Easter together I rounded up bags of Bordeaux Easter eggs from See's Candies. They had to be Bordeaux. I drove from one See's to another, four different stores in three different towns, to accumulate them. My wife was just past midway in her first pregnancy. As I downed a late breakfast or brunch somewhat bleary-eyed, having worked past midnight the night before, she downed a pound or so of high quality Bordeaux eggs. The climax of this strange event was that she ran to the bathroom and threw up. When her head stopped spinning, she called her sister and sat there chattering with the phone in one hand and a nicely decorated half-pound Bordeaux egg in hand. I wondered if she thought — of course, thinking itself was at the core of this problem — that in the United States all Easter eggs had to be eaten before noon. She cycled through this process with and without calling her sister until every last crumb and globule of Bordeaux was safely gone, and then went back to bed. After many more trips, she showered, got dressed and was ready for Easter dinner. When I look back, I see nothing but warning signs, one after another, that I was too young, too inexperienced and too optimistic to heed.

But, this is Christmas, not Easter, the grand secular holiday of holidays. Nothing holds a candle to it. And yet, the single most wonderful day of the year is now the day after Christmas. What's done is done. What wasn't done can no longer be expected to be done. The presents are opened or missing or excused. The mystery and anticipation is put finally to rest.

On a side note, the Senate passed a health care bill this Christmas Eve to the consternation of many. I'm convinced it's the word Care in Health Care that causes so much trouble. Mandatory caring is something only a communist would favor. People should be free to care or not to care. When the House and Senate versions are harmonized, or rectified, or whatever they do, we'll find ourselves with some sort of national insurance program. If they're smart, they'll eliminate the words Health Care altogether, which would leave us quibbling over nothing more than monetary considerations, for which there is an easy answer. It brings us, oddly enough, back to Christmas.

If we change the nature of Christmas, its accepted nature, from a day of gift giving and caring for others to a day when people give to themselves the one thing or things they've wanted all year, if we bypass altogether the necessity to care either for or about others and add a December surcharge on all gifts with 5% payable directly to Goldman Sacks, we could easily fund an insurance program that would benefit… Well, that would benefit us. Without having to specify beyond us those who would actually benefit, the economy could be healed, doctors could charge what was convenient, the wars could go on, and almost everyone — except grandmother — could live happily ever after.

Under my plan, a plan that I expect to be far more successful than Easter eggs, the best day of the year could once again be Christmas itself.
 
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