Our news room tree is up and decorated – gently – as we thought it was pretty enough to go au naturel this year, secretly hoping that folks up in Oregon won’t miss it and want it back.
We stood back and looked at it for some time this year, thinking about adding the usual baubles and bobbers and after a couple of cups of egg nog found ourselves saying: “You know, it doesn’t need all that.”
So the boys settled for a mesh of small, white lights and a 1937 American Flyer locomotive that hasn’t been under a Christmas Tree since FDR was president, added a few preliminary presents (that sure looks like a bottle of single malt there, men. No?) and left it alone.
Adam came up with a new Spotify playlist with Der Bingle belting out the standards along with the stuff that gets us all singing here in The News Bunker – a lot of Blues and Rolling Stones – and we settled in, feet on the desk ’cause we’re casual but committed around here, and looking forward to the festivities to come.
This time of year is traditionally quiet, though not without its rumblings. The veteran scribblers among us were hoping for a Christmas Truce, a time when the car boosters, grifters, and backdoor burglars stood down and went home to put up their feet like the rest of us. We have to say that does not seem to have come to pass, with people driving better cars than ours ripping off everything from Chardonnay to Chevrolets, and shoplifting appears to have been elevated to a Holiday sport of sorts. Be good to each other, cops and crooks, everyone has families or what passes for family and we don’t want to see anyone getting hurt.
Oddly enough, at a time of year when fellowship and good cheer and great smells wafting in from the kitchen should be the norm, we are hearing of some nasty tidbits coming out of our local school systems. Apparently, school bullies don’t stand down over the Holidays and they were chipping away at a little girl in Walnut Creek, who took their words to heart and very nearly took drastic action – leaving her mom angry and hurt and vowing to call out the bullies. We know, kids can be cruel and the supposedly strong have always preyed on the vulnerable but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. We don’t.
And, apparently, the adults are it it, too, with potentially career damaging consequences at stake as the current dynamic bringing down state senators and movie producers appears to show no signs of abating. Our old press room at the Hallowed Hall of Injustice used to have a real transom and tipsters made good use of it, slipping manila folders containing everything from blackmail pictures to arrest reports through the slot so the Night Man could find it and phone it in to the City Desk the next morning. It’s a little faster these days, with our “transom” always open and digital – but that same stuff continues to flow. We’ll let you know if anything comes to fruition.
It’s all part of the game around here. Another Christmas is upon us. There will be joke gifts and toasts and hopefully not what we used to call “The Christmas Horror” – a really bad story of a family fighting because someone wanted to watch the Saints instead of the Steelers or because the parents just don’t understand why Taylor is dating a motorcycle mechanic with a couple of teardrop tattoos. We’ll soldier through. But we’ve vowed to stay relaxed.
This is our very favorite time of year.