Susie has always had to share her day with New Year's Eve at the worn out tail end of the Thanksgiving-Christmas holidays. By then, the idea of giving more, and getting more, seems unnecessary.
If you're going to break The Christmas Rules, don't settle for a misdemeanor: go for a full-out felony.
ixty-six years ago today in Winona, my parents were married. Fify-five years ago in Dallas, President Kennedy was killed, just months after my sister and I had shaken his hand at the Ambassador's Residence in Rome. We were in Washington, DC, on the final weekday of Dad's transition from Press Attaché in Rome to Public Affairs Officer in Bogotá.
I once sipped champagne with Ralph Lauren in a walled garden at twilight; tottered on a rain-swept rooftop alongside Jimmy Carter; saved Uma Thurman from calamity; royally ticked off Lauren Bacall; and earned words of praise from Gloria Steinem.
In South Dakota, where my dad's from, you swim in a crick, you put a ruhf over your head and you set down ruhts. In the Foreign Service, where I'm from, they sent Dad and Mom and Susie and me back to his ruhts every few years to remind us that we were Americans. It was called Home Leave.