“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.” – Benjamin Franklin
As I’ve done every Christmas since ETR began in 1999, I’m spending the day at home with my family. I am writing this very early in the morning. It will be another hour or so before this magical day begins, but I’m full of energy and have snuck up to my little writing studio above the garage, thinking about the fun that lies ahead and wondering what you are doing.
We’re going to have a blast today, doing all the traditional things one does on Christmas.
The stockings, hung by the chimney just hours ago, will be opened first thing. I especially like the stocking stuffers – unexpected little trinkets that will almost surely never be used.
Christmas breakfast will follow. Here is where I take command. Eggs, bacon, pancakes, and muffins. Coffee, juice, and Champagne cocktails. There will be a great flurry of activity in the kitchen. Fast, forward-looking eating in the dining room.
Afterward, the “real” present opening will begin. Will it be a mad rush this year? Or will we be more civilized, each taking time to save the wrapping paper?
During the day, friends and family will come by and more presents will be opened, more thank-yous said, and more kisses given. Eggnog may be present. Bloody Marys, too.
Christmas dinner will be for 20. Or more. It depends on who comes by. K is in charge of the food. It will be elegant and sumptuous.
At dusk, we’ll light the lights outside, light the candles inside, and continue to enjoy one another’s company as long as we can keep our eyes open.
Late tonight – probably much too late – I will fall asleep counting my many blessings.
I hope you do the same.[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]