This past year has been a rough one for America. There was the economic slump, the still too-high unemployment rate, the bitter Presidential election, the war in Afghanistan, and of course, the heartbreaking tragedy of Newtown that unfolded just a few days ago.
I wrote last week about how good it feels to have an end to a year; how important it is to be able to put everything that happened behind and make a fresh start. I think that we, as a country, are more than ready to say goodbye to 2012.
But starting fresh, of course, doesn’t mean that our problems go away. They’ll still be there for us to deal with on January first, and there’s a lot to deal with. The fiscal cliff is looming, the gay-marriage debate will go before the Supreme Court, the Middle East is boiling over, we have an obesity epidemic, and yes, we need to do something about the gun laws in this country.
It’s easy to focus on the negative, because there’s a lot to dislike about America right now. But at the same time, there’s a lot about America that’s still really good, and as we put another year of collective history behind us, we shouldn’t forget that. I spent a lot of time thinking about it this week – what’s good about America – and aside from the big stuff, like the fact that we’re a Democracy and a developed, first world nation, there’s some small stuff I thought of, too.
So in the spirit of the holidays, I give to you a list of My Favorite Things (About America).
1. Mariah Cary coming to American Idol.
3. Polling places in peoples’ garages.
4. Holiday cards that include the family dog.
5. Pottery Barn Teen catalogues.
6. Phil Dunphy.
7. The seventh inning stretch.
8. Cyber Monday week.
9. Bob Fosse postage stamps.
10. Candygram fundraisers.
11. Red, white & blue popsicles.
12. TNT’s 24 hour A Christmas Story marathon.
13. Neighborhood flag football “Turkey Bowls” on Thanksgiving Day.
14. Senior class individual yearbook pages.
15. Hilary in 2016 speculation.
16. Online sympathy cards signed by millions.
Wishing you happy and healthy holidays. Hug your children, and be grateful for every day.