Christmas is near at hand. We know this not by a simple glance at the calendar, of course. We know it is Christmas from the faint aroma of burned credit-card plastic, thinned wallets, frazzled nerves, small children whose behavior is suspiciously good, a lack of attention to detail to every-day duties and the inability to understand "why everybody just won't get out of our way, for crying out loud."
For days he asked, "Is it Christmas yet?" "No Daddy, still two more days." Our roles were reversed; now the daddy asked the child, "Is it Christmas yet?"
Commentary on Sunday's paper Whoo-Whee! Where do I start?
This may sound cynical. It isn't meant to be. Just trying to be honest. Once Santa gets the reindeer unhitched and back in the barn and the New Year parties are over, Mississippi lawmakers will head to that great big building in Jackson for a 90-day session of good old-fashioned lawmaking. But times have changed. There's really not much for them to do.
The week after Thanksgiving Perry Griggs, The Dispatch's pressroom supervisor, asked me if I knew somewhere he could go to shoot mistletoe. Say that again?
When niece Chelsey was little, I lavished her with Christmas gifts too numerous and fanciful to remember. There were faux-fur coats with Dalmatian spots, diminutive dolls bundled as quintuplets, plastic horses that cost more than the real thing.
Pope Francis is displaying an extraordinary style and passion that demands our attention. He addresses the needs of the poor, embraces outcasts, and loves those on the margins of society. In this recent "apostolic exhortation," The Joy of the Gospel, the pope raises a moral challenge to both his church and the world.
"Don't be deceived," Duck Commander and A&E reality television star Phil Robertson insisted, when asked to define what he considered to be sinful behavior. "Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers -- they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."
On Friday Karen and I made a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a couple of last minute items for next week's Christmas dinner. Several hours later while stuck in traffic I pondered on Christmas dinner in times past.
Early one morning this week, as I was preparing for the day, I heard a startling pronouncement from a television personality for a promotional piece on Christmas giving. The announcer stated flatly that Mississippi led the nation in giving.
Each winter and spring, as graduates file into arenas for commencement exercises at colleges and universities across the country, we are awed by select group of graduates whose achievements stand apart from their peers.
During Tuesday's city council meeting, Ward 4 councilman Marty Turner proposed a change to the city's signage ordinance to allow the addition of billboards, including large electronic ones, on city rights of way.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. And a penguin?
On Tuesday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant issued an executive order on the subject of public education. If ever there was a case of speaking much and saying little, this is it.
I suspect the NSA may have thought they got lucky when one of the first post-Edward Snowden cases to challenge their phone metadata collection was assigned to Judge Richard Leon on the federal district court in Washington, D.C. After all, Leon was appointed by President George W. Bush after a long career, much of it spent working for Republicans in Washington.
It was the strangest thing. I was walking down the sidewalk, minding my own business, when a passing mail truck hit a pothole and out flew a bunch of letters. I gathered them up -- all were letters to Santa, with his responses penned across the bottom -- but the truck had trundled out of sight. Anyway, just sharing ...
I heard two interesting political figures speak last week: one state and one national.
The Bardwells were cooped up on the weekend with colds. Since Sam and I were both sick we scratched around the house looking for something we could do. We wrote Christmas cards, wrapped presents, watched football games and a Christmas movie while passing the Kleenex box back and forth.
As Christmas approaches, the shopping mall can become a shopping maul. One of the ways of buying gifts for family and friends, without becoming part of a mob scene in the stores, is to shop on the Internet. However, for many kinds of gifts, you want to be able to see it directly, and perhaps handle it, before you part with your hard-earned cash for it.
1. Lynn Spruill: Mandatory service to country LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Our View: City's handling of Ball incident continues to undermine confidence DISPATCH EDITORIALS
3. Susan Estrich: Why women should be for Hillary NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Editorial cartoon for 2-12-16 NATIONAL COLUMNS