As we enter December

December is normally a crazy month. Traffic gets difficult because of Holiday shopping (and Office New Year parties). But this is 2020 - the Year of COVID, as it will surely be remember...

Holiday Shopping will happen this year mostly online, although we will see how traffic in the stores. The people driving in the streets will still be distracted, because that is the time of the year.

December is also the month in which (on the 14), the Electoral College will vote for President - Yes, you did not vote for President really, just for the electors of your State. After you voted, and after the count (and in some places recount), your State Legislature must officially certify the vote and name the Electors. Thirty two States expect their electors to take the pledge of voting for the candidate favored by their State's citizens; Eighteen States do not. Whichever way the Electors are selected by the State Legislature, they come together in the Electoral College and vote. After the Electoral College voted, that's it - the Electoral process is completed.

December is also the month of Hanukkah when we celebrate the victory of the Hasmoneans over the Greek; a victory that secured Freedom of Religion for our ancestors at a time when that was not so common. Oh, yes, and we also celebrate the "miracle of the oil"

For our Christian friends and neighbors, December is the month of Christmas. Interesting enough there is an anthropolical connection between Christmas and Hanukkah. Let us start by saying that the date of December 25 as the birthday of Jesus has been put in doubt by too many people to ignore the fact. Many historians today believe that Jesus (if he was in fact an historical figure) was born on Passover or around it. So what's with Christmas? the Christmas date is connected with the cult of Marduk in the ancient Mesopotamia and with the Festival of Lights in the Ancient Religion. The Christmas Lights are reminiscent of that ancient tradition; the Church incorporated the idea as a way of appropriating the tradition - something not unusual when a new religion becomes dominant in a society. Anyway, historically factual or not, the idea of a birthday for the individual they consider to be the Christian Messiah is what gives Christmas its cultural value.

Then there is the fact that we are finishing 2020, a year we all hope will not be repeated in our lifetime. A year of shutdown, of massive deaths, high unemployment, stock market dip and of a very contemptuous electoral campaign. But let us remember that it is also the year when the COVID vaccine was announced... the light at the end of the tunnel! May 2021 give us all a break, but let us also remember 2020 as the year we were tested (no pun intended) and how we arrive to December 31st will be what will tell the world how well we did...



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