It’s Christmas!! I’m sitting here in my Fairisle knit jumper with reindeer and snowflakes on, I’m listening to Idina Menzel forcefully emote glorious Christmas music at me, and I still haven’t bought all my presents or finished putting the decorations up. The festive season is definitely upon us.
All of that is slightly beside the point for the purposes of this blog post, but damnit, I just really love Xmas.
Oh wait, sorry – not Xmas, Christmas.
This is a common complaint at this time of year and gets people really riled up. A quick poll of my small corner of Twitter (disclaimer: I did this last year and was so slow to write the post that I saved it for this year) shows that pretty much everyone prefers to write Christmas over Xmas. For some, it’s a matter of principle, that they don’t like shortening or abbreviating words, or because Christmas
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I admit it: I feel a bit nerdy confessing I collect stamps.
I’m not sure how it all started, but I think it’s my father’s fault. He used to travel a lot for work, so he had friends all over the planet. And occasionally these friends would send us a letter, like this one:
Within a few years I’d amassed maybe a dozen such first-day covers, and I’d saved several hundred stamps from my father’s correspondence. (I especially looked forward to Christmas each year.)
Before long I was saving my allowance for the local stamp-swaps and mail-order offers. I’m sure I got swindled a few times (I was only eight or nine). But still, it was fun.
Then my collection sat idle for a few years, largely forgotten while I attended college and married and started a career. It wasn’t until last year, in the aftermath of The Great Flood
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