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I apologize in advance for pushing some more worthy diary off the list. I am sure this is totally shallow compared to some of the more enlightend offerings that have graced the diary list lately. But I am feeling rather mellow right now.

For just for a couple days I am going to forget the health care debate and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. I am not going to worry about the financial crisis facing my state and the school where I am principal ... for a couple of days. In the next few days, I will not think about the negative impact the Arne Duncan's Race to the Top will probably have on education in Michigan.

I prefer to focus on the The World's Most Beatiful Granddaughter.

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The girl who has capturd my heart has been our guest for the past couple of days. In her eyes I see the wonder of the season, the innocence of childhood. The train under the tree is one that was given to my brother and myself in 1957. My son played with it and now it enchants a third generation.

Z.train

She loves trains large and small. She rode on a Christmas train last weekend and happened to run into old Saint Nick while the fellow was on a coffee break. She was engaged in earnest conversation when this picture was taken, though I'm not sure she realy grasps the concept yet. She is excited about the giving of gifts, but doesn't quite understand the getting. My wife and I make an effort not to focus on "things" and choose to spoil her in other less materialistic ways.

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This past week another group of people lifted my spirits. Our school is located in a poor rural area. Many of the children are unable to afford band instruments. The band teacher and myself began a drive to have people donate or loan old instruments to our grade school. In the end all but two of our fifth graders joined the band, and all had instruments. The staff is aware of my commitment to the arts, so this Christmas rather than giving me a gift, they  tripled their usual donations and purchsed an instrument and gave it to the band in my name. It was the best gift they ever gave me and represents why this staff is so special.

Finally, I will be flying out for the wedding of the son of my oldest friend. Unfortunately, he has Alzheimer's and is fading quickly. This may be one of the last times he actually recognizes me. The wedding is occurring toward the end of our holiday break, and I am very greatful that I have both the time and the opportunity to share in this happy occasion with him and his family.

So I am going to step away from the keyboard for a few days and enjoy life. And in the spirit of the season I offer my special "Obama Christmas Card" to the fervent and not so fervent supporters of the President.

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I confess that though I am way to the left of President Obama, and though I think he is much too close to the DLC wing, and though I disagree with his policies more than I agree, I still have my Obama bumper sticker on my truck. It drives the bigots and racists crazy.

I've gone Gavin Newsom on a couple of folks. "Yes. He is African-American ... and he is The President of the United States ... whether you like it or not." And yes, after years of Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush the War Criminal, it sure does feel good.

So in this holy season, may the blessings of the Invisible Pink Unicorn ("May Her Holy Hooves never be shod") be bestowed on you and your loved ones.

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23.4394 degress axial tilt of the earth: The reason for the season.

Happy Holidays.

Originally posted to Don't Panic on Wed Dec 23, 2009 at 10:45 PM PST.

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