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The Value of Closing Shop

December 25, 2018

It’s Christmas.

This morning, I had several pieces of Whitman’s chocolate for breakfast–a childhood dream (smile). And like an adult who understands digestive action and consequence, I followed that chocolate dining wonder with a bowl of bran cereal, for I know the time will come to, ahem, “pay the piper,” so to speak.

Christmas is a slow morning for me, providing a relaxation that I savor. This afternoon, I will meet up with family and friends to visit at likely several homes today. For now, as I leisurely watch perhaps my all-time favorite Christmas movie, A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott, there is time for this brief Christmas message.

A particular Christmas Day joy of mine is lengthy yet pleasant drive to visit family made different from those of other days because commerce virtually comes to a halt.

No other day on the American calendar yields more closed businesses than the day of common observance of the birth of Christ. Shop after shop is closed, and I my heart swells at the glorious stillness.

Americans are not very good at reflection. So much vies for our attention. On Christmas Day, even with other distractions, I think we stand more of a chance.

May the stillness of the closed shops capture your attention today and provide a moment, however brief, for the calibre of self-reflection and attendant thankfulness that is all too rare in our fast-paced, harried society.

Merry Christmas.






  1. Laura H. Chapman permalink

    This is wonderful. Thank you.

  2. Daniel J. GRANFORS permalink

    I am obliged to disagree with you on the merits of George C. Scott’s Ebenezer Scrooge. Although he is one of my favorite actors (along with John Gielgud and Charles Gray), the 1951 version with Alistair Sim must hold dominion over all. Merry Christmas!

  3. Threatened Out West permalink

    I had a chance to experience alsolute silence this summer in the Quinalt rainforest in Olympic National Park in Washington state. Only myself and my two companions in the the entire forest, and even sounds of nature stilled because of the great height and thickness of the trees. It was profound. We need more of this in society. Thank you for reminding me.

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