Letter: Christmas letter looks at both sides of street

I’ve never written a Christmas letter … why not this year?:

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, another year has come and gone. Seems I’ve gained a few pounds. Perhaps I can blame this on our cattle dog pup, given his effect on stress levels. Of course, ‘ol Smokey is a bundle of joy. All is instantly forgiven. Even as I now notice him biting the head off a stuffed elf …  (How the hell did he get that?)

Speaking of smoke, it’s been another smokey year. So, along with the extra pounds, I expect this summer-season of sucking solid particulates will shave years off my life. This may come as welcome news.

Hmmm … what else?  I was downtown yesterday — ”Christmas Preview” day.  Also, the weekly Sunday meeting with Chico’s unwashed. We gathered on the east side of Main, across from a six foot fence enclosing our town square.

On “our side” of the street, people in filthy clothing … hungry and cold.  Over the fence, in the pay-to-play plaza, a fairy land — complete with ice rink, hot chocolate, candy canes and corny carols, amplified aplenty.

Anyway, my friends and relatives, please let me know if this might be the beginning of a tradition in your region too–or is it just a Chico thing?  Do you celebrate the birth of Jesus by fencing the poor out of your town square?  By denying them access to toilets?  Curious.

I do hope Santa treats you well!  And a Happy New Year!

— Patrick Newman, Chico

 

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