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Showing posts from December, 2011

Resolution Joy

Tis’ the season for making resolutions.

At least for those of us who welcome (and need!) a reason for making a fresh start, the beginning of a new year is the High Holy Day of Resolution-Making.
Again this year, like previous years, I’ve thought about making all the normal, predictable resolutions:
·Lose ten pounds.Well, actually more like fifteen pounds, since I’ve been conducting an experiment on myself since Christmas Day: to never say “no” to a Christmas cookie, chocolate, or glass of egg-nog, on the theory that I will get so sick and tired of sweets that I will be ready for and actually welcome salads, skim milk, and raw vegetables in 2012.(This “binge” theory, by the way, has, as far as I know, absolutely no basis in any scientific research. And it probably horrifies ever y nutritionist, psychologist, or dietician out there. And come to think of it, it doesn’t really even work: I just end up missing all that stuff even more. But it has made the past five days a lot of fun! Yum!)

It's Personal

If you live in or near Leesburg, you've probably noticed posters of downtown merchants. 

The posters are giant blown-up photos of the shop's business owner. In most of the photos, the business owner is hamming it up for the camera, posing, in a lighthearted way, with some prop appropriate to his or her business.
The posters are part of a "Holiday Ad" campaign by the Leesburg Downtown Business Association.
The posters themselves, and the whole campaign for that matter, strike me as a fun, truly creative way to promote downtown businesses.
And oddly enough, they got me thinking about Christmas. Not in the way the ad campaign intended (shop downtown this holiday season), but in a deeper sense.
The posters got me thinking about the true meaning of Christmas. 
Here's why: the effectiveness of this campaign is that they personalize the downtown businesses participating in the campaign.
You can drive by Mom's Apple Pie five times a day and not really take notice, but …

Courthouse Nativity

I've resisted commenting, up until now, about the latest tempest in a teapot in our community: the controversy over what, if any, kind of displays should be allowed on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn.

When we first moved to Leesburg in 1999, I was stunned to see a nativity set erected on the courthouse lawn.
The reason I say that is, we'd lived in Washington D.C., Alexandria, and Arlington prior to moving here. In those places, such a display on public land, even if allowed by government authorities, would likely be challenged by the ACLU within minutes.
So seeing Joseph and Mary bowing down before baby Jesus on the courthouse lawn was a kind of culture shock. Not an entirely unpleasant one...just a shock, that an overtly religious display would first be allowed, and then go unchallenged.
But each year since, I've been kind of holding my breath, wondering when this controversy would come to Leesburg.
Well, here it is.
First, (several years ago) there was the fumbling at…