Merry Christmas!

Here in Minnesota, Christmas morning dawned clear and cold–in fact, where I live, the temperature isn’t expected to rise above zero today. So we are battening down and enjoying our Christmas presents.

Through the miracle of Google, over the last 48 hours more than 11,000 people have made their way to this “Merry Christmas” post from 2015, presumably because they Googled “Merry Christmas.” Not sure why anyone would do that, but today’s post will at least yield a more up to date search result.

Christmas has evolved for us over the years. When the kids were young, we had a succession of very large trees–up to 20 feet or more–so that in one or two years, we had to put up scaffolding so the kids could decorate the upper branches. With kids out of the house, our trees have shrunk and become artificial; this year our tree is about four feet high and stands on a table. But it still looks pretty good in a closeup shot:

This was our first Christmas with a grandchild old enough to more or less understand what is going on. That was fun. Also, a gift recommendation: one of my daughters has carried out a life-long battle against the insect world, so we got her a gun that shoots bursts of salt at bugs and, presumably, kills them. The Bug-a-Salt:

My daughter lives in Texas, where bugs are more of a problem. When the temperature drops to -5, you don’t see a lot of them.

Finally, this is also the first Christmas season when I have been sick, suffering from a horrible cold. My wife assures me that I will live, but I’m taking no chances. After a final “Merry Christmas!” to our readers and friends, I am going back to bed.