What Christmas Means To Me

I really like Stevie Wonder’s song from the late 60s written by Anna Gordy Gaye, George “Horgay” Gordy and Allen Story. The song lays out what Christmas means; candles burning low, mistletoe, snow and ice, carols right outside my door.

I grew up celebrating Christmas and it was always a special time for me and my family. Decorating the tree, midnight mass, Christmas dinner, and gifts. I remember it fondly.

When the Gotham Gal and I decided to raise our family Jewish, I negotiated for and got Christmas. And for the many years, our family celebrated Christmas mostly the way I celebrated it as a child.

In recent years, with adult children and travel and many other things, celebrating Christmas has become optional. Some years we do it. Many years we don’t.

But Christmas retains a special place in my soul.

Christmas means family, it means winter (we got six inches of snow last night), and it means birth. A feeling of hope and optimism going into the new year.

As Stevie sings in that wonderful song:

I wish you merry Christmas baby

Oh and such happiness in the coming year, oh baby

That is what I wish for all of you and your families on this wonderful day.

Merry Christmas.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Rob Underwood

    Merry Christmas Fred. Your childhood Christmas’ sound like my own in Maine.The 6″ of snow is what I want to focus on though. May this Christmas bring you steep bowls and knee deep powder. Get some!

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks. We will be getting uncut tracks at 9am today!

  2. awaldstein

    New powder is to me as sweet as it gets.Enjoy!

  3. Vendita Auto

    Health & Wisdom to you and yours in 2020

  4. kenberger

    I married someone Russian-born who is nominally Jewish, raised with little knowledge (and even denial) of Judaism. It’s important to her and her family to now reclaim that connection. They enjoy this week my long-memorized reciting of the Hanukkah prayers (that I’ve never done since leaving home but smile while conveying now).She negotiated for and got the “New Years tree” (communism eliminated religion, but not end-of-year celebration), despite my learned aversion to such during childhood. I’m happy to say that’s a good thing.

  5. Erin

    Merry Christmas, Fred and Joanne!

  6. Pointsandfigures

    Merry Christmas. Went to the Family Service last night. Loved the babies crying and the small children making a commotion. I love kids Christmas plays and junior sermons.

  7. Tom Labus

    Thanks, Fred. Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that you are with family and friends and that your tree smells great.

  8. WA

    A powderful Christmas post. Happy and healthy holidays to you, yours and all in the community.

  9. Mac

    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and New Year to the AVC community.

  10. harris497

    Merry Christmas Fred! Thanks for a year of wisdom and civil discourse.

  11. Richard

    I thought this post was going propose that god operates on a blockchain and a not a centralized storage system. Instead it’s about skiing. Well maybe next year.

    1. jason wright

      God is distributed in each of us. We don’t need blockchain for that.

  12. jason wright

    De-dollarisation, de-globalisation, and de-democratisation,… and snow in LA.I have an ominous sense of foreboding about 2020.

  13. JLM

    .Merry Christmas to all.May the gift we all receive be peace, the peace of the Lord on the celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus.Happy holidays!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  14. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Merry Christmas Fred, your posts are daily gift

  15. sigmaalgebra

    Big Christmas today! With family, we had five adults, kids 6 months, 7, and 9, and two dogs, platters of food, toys everywhere, Christmas decorations inside and out, outside reindeer, angel, tree, and inside a big tree, piles of presents, and decorations everywhere. With the three kids, never a dull moment. The three kids were getting constant attention from 1 – 5 adults.Yes, growing up, my parents had a big Christmas for the family each year. So did my wife’s family. Often my wife and I would celebrate with our own tree and dinner, then with my parents, then drive 900 miles to celebrate with her family. I had a big sack of Nikon camera equipment and a Honeywell flash that was smart, that is, had a photocell and turned the flash off when enough light had reflected back. So, got some automatic exposure when using flash. So, we got a lot of pictures!Growing up, there were lots of gifts and gift wrapping. There were lots of Christmas decorations for the house, dinner table, and the tree.There was (i) shop for the tree, (ii) decorate the tree, (iii) shop for the presents, (iv) wrap the presents, (v) have a nice dinner Christmas Eve and watch the Christmas TV shows, and (vi) Christmas day fixing and eating a big turkey with Dad’s old fashioned, high fat, highly flavored stuffing inside the turkey, Dad’s gravy from the roasted turkey, Dad’s biscuits, Mom’s cranberry sauce, etc. and Dad’s apple pie for dessert. Dad was better cook than Mom and learned the turkey, biscuits, and pie from his mom in dairy farming country a little south of Buffalo. Dad’s turkey approach from his mom was intended for a lean, wild turkey; used on a Butter Ball turkey it was even better but definitely overkill! I had plugged together a good stereo, and we had lots of Christmas music. With my wife’s family, we would go to a Christmas service at their church.My family and I made a mistake: When I was 14, I met a girl 12, by a wide margin the prettiest human female I ever saw in person or otherwise. I kept seeing her for about 18 months. We had a misunderstanding; I handled it poorly; Mom and Dad didn’t help; and the girl and I broke up. Looking back, there is plenty of evidence I can understand now that we were both really sorry about the breakup.She was one of two girls, unrelated, adopted as babies by a single Jewish woman, a bright, dedicated mother. I think she liked me! Her daughter I knew wanted to be Methodist. So, I SHOULD have had her over for (i) — (vi). My family would just have adored her, and she would have been deeply warmed (safe, secure, accepted, praised) by (i) — (vi). And I should have taken her to the youth group of my church where the congregation was relatively young, wealthy, and large and with a very active youth group. Going as a couple we would have been easy to talk to and, thus, fit in well. She could have met a lot of really nice girls. And we could have gone to some of the Christmas services. BIG mistake.Ah, but Christmas today was terrific!

  16. Jeremy Shatan

    I grew up in a Jewish family that celebrated Christmas for all the reasons you mention! We’ve continued the tradition in my mixed marriage and I would certainly miss it if we didn’t. Happiest of all holidays to you and yours and here’s to a fantastic 2020.

  17. aminTorres

    So confused. hehe, I simply assumed you grew up on a Jewish household.Merry Christmas Fred. I grew up celebrating Christmas as well but Tovi my son thinks he is Jewish… he questioned why we do not a Menorah?… I said, I do not know what that is… and he said he would sing me a song about Hanukkah. Also confused hehe: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v