ESSAY: Merry Christmas

Much of the light dusting of snow that blanketed downtown Pagosa Springs last Thursday — maybe an inch of snow — remains visible as I write this on Christmas morning, 2017. Below-zero nighttime temperatures have encouraged the snow to hang around, giving the illusion, at least, of a White Christmas.

Our cute (fake) Christmas tree is hung with ornaments collected over many years, and a small collection of gifts sits under the tree. I share a house with my daughter Ursala, her husband Chris, and my two granddaughters, Amelie and Simone, and — as defined by sacred family tradition — the woman of the house determines how much money is going to be spent on Christmas presents and celebrations. Ursala decided, this year, that only the children would receive Christmas presents, and the adults (locally and in the extended family) would have to fend for themselves.

I did not question her decision. Not my job.

A couple of big Christmas presents were delivered to adults, however, by Republican legislators in Washington, DC. If you happened to have an annual income in the millions or billions of dollars, you may have received the biggest Christmas present of your life, through the magic of HR 1: “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Some people have complained that this tax cut bill might, over the next decade, increase the federal debt by maybe $1.7 trillion — which would amount to a monstrous lump of coal in the stockings of our children and grandchildren. But everything in perspective! According to recent Congressional Budget Office documentation, the federal debt was going to grow from $15.5 trillion to $25.5 trillion by 2027, anyway, even without HR 1. HR 1 merely adds another $1.7 trillion, to make the future federal debt $27.2 trillion. (You can download that CBO document here.)

No need to get too excited, in other words.

Speaking more locally, and more personally, I am seasonally grateful for the numerous Pagosa Daily Post readers who made monetary donations to our operations — when we were having website issues last week and decided to hire a Seattle company to clean up any “malware” that hackers might have installed on our server. (As it turned out, the server was apparently clean. But what’s the price for Peace of Mind?) Big thanks to you guys! I am excitedly looking forward to sharing my thoughtful and opinionated writings for 2018.

Here at the house on Loma Street, we will be having family over for a Christmas bunch. The menu:

German Apple Pancakes
Bacon
Tater Tots
Fruit Salad
Sparkling Cider
Mimosas

Then we will be constructing a gingerbread house. How could life be any better?

Hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Bill Hudson

Bill Hudson founded the Pagosa Daily Post in 2004 in hopes of making a decent living writing about local politics. The hope remains.