The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | December 25, 2011 | 22 Comments

The family gathered around the Christmas tree for a traditional holiday song, with a traditional greeting at the end:

It was a most excellent Christmas: We went out caroling and giving gifts to neighbors on Christmas Eve, then got in the car and drove around looking at Christmas lights. The kids woke up at 7 a.m. to open gifts. Here’s the scene of the stampede upstairs:

Notice the dog Marley at the end of that one, knocking over a gift with his tail. In a family with six kids, Christmas morning is always fun. Of course, kids grow up so fast — 13-year-old Jefferson is nearly as tall as me already — and now that our oldest Kennedy is married, we’re about ready for some grandkids. But her hubby’s still in law school, so they say they want to wait. My son-in-law was operating the video camera, and started recording before we were ready, thus producing this “blooper” clip:

Merry Christmas to everyone!


22 Responses to “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

  1. Patrick
    December 25th, 2011 @ 9:29 am


  2. Anonymous
    December 25th, 2011 @ 10:41 am

    A Christmas Eve
    Long past and gone
    The Yuletide Carol
    Of a heart gone wrong

    We voyeur here
    Old Scrooge and young
    The Spirits Three
    And the wisdom wrung

    As it unfolds
    The Carol play
    I shed a tear
    For the heart once gay

    Then as the nails
    Of life drive in
    And hang the heart
    We see all man’s sin

    Dear Mister Scrooge
    For you a prayer
    Your broken heart
    Be it mended here

    Though stranded be
    On rocky shoal
    God’s lifeboat sent
    Here to save us all

    So sing with Joy
    And raise the strain
    Light trees of love
    And redeem our pain

    That we like Scrooge
    May all walk free
    Accept God’s gift
    Of Eternal Green

    Merry Christmas 2011

  3. Anonymous
    December 25th, 2011 @ 11:42 am

    Merry Christmas to all McCains everywhere…….

  4. Lisa Graas
    December 25th, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    That is made of awesome. Merry Christmas, McCains!

  5. EBL
    December 25th, 2011 @ 1:33 pm

    Merry Christmas to you all.  

  6. Mike Rogers
    December 25th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    Great production :). Whazzup? Afraid we wouldn’t recognize you without the battered Stetson?
    The kids are a great advertisement for your tip jar. How about dressing them up as Salavation Army Santas, with a tip jar in Eng hand and a bell in the other, flanking you at blogging events? (just kidding)

    A very merry Christmas to you all and God speed to caucus land tomorrow.

  7. Randy G
    December 25th, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    Merry Christmas troops!

  8. Anamika
    December 25th, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

    I have to say something about this phrase, “Merry Christmas.” “Merry” currently exists in English only in combination with “Christmas,” and very secondarily folks might remember “Robin Hood and his Merry Men.” Okay, there’s also “making merry” and merry-making, often subverted by a sly, leering conversion of merry to Mary.

    The thing(ie) is, these others are all near-archaic usages. Our contemporary usage of “Merry” is almost entirely with Xmas. Which gives the whole phrase a tinge of roteness to me (i don’t mean rottenness), ie a mechanical unexamined habitual cultural carry-over that has ever-less real meaning. Sort of like Xmas itself has got less and less meaningful, buried under the weight of commercialism and family expectations. (Family expectations as in Xmas being one of the most stressful times of the year, most suicides, etc.)

    May this change from the normal pattern of days be happy for you,

  9. Anonymous
    December 25th, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    Merry Christmas to our resident troll.

  10. Anonymous
    December 25th, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

    Merry Christmas, Mike! Looking forward to seeing you in New Hampshire.

  11. Anamika
    December 25th, 2011 @ 2:51 pm

    Christmas is a good time to examine some collective notions. Some of the most widely held collective unconscious ideas come up for our inspection now.

    I could rant for a long time about the disparities at this time between hope and hype, celebration and depression, Jesus and church, but i won’t.

    Since attention span is limited (yours and/or mine) i will stick with only one small theme, mechanicalness.


    The fact that this is an archaic word, used only in certain very few formulaic contexts, tips us off to the potentially robotic nature of our wishing a Merry Xmas.

    It is so archaic, in fact, that even the reaction to it, “Humbug,” has itself become old and formulaic. So when we utter these phrases it suggests unconscious repetition.

    Ritual has its place but its value depends on how consciously or heartfully it is done.

    So, hello! What does “Merry Xmas” really mean to you? And is it coming out as unconscious habit or a sincerely felt wish to celebrate or be aware of . . . . . . . . . (whatever)?

  12. Anamika
    December 25th, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    I think gift giving, party-giving etc, is a good way to show sincere appreciation and gratitude…but i have a problem with the extent and the expectations of it at Christmas. It seems to produce so much stress and resentment and guilt–the opposite of what is supposedly the whole point of it. It has gotten out of hand it seems. 

    For now, i think that a day dedicated to and commemorating then remembrance of christ-hood is not a bad idea for the masses, and that is why i say happy christ-mas…but i’m afraid all the consumerism/robot-ness, of it all, obscures the deeper meaning and misses the point.

    Xmas season may change with the change in the greetings. No longer being a religious holiday, it may become a holiday without meaning to most, well, no change there for some. 🙂 Perhaps not being referred to as Christ’s day, the monetary aspect may come to light for more than a few and the pressure to keep up with the Jones may disappear.

    I enjoy this season. Not any more than mushroom season. Mushroom season in the forest makes me more joyful than a tree in the living room. I do like the gift of giving. I can make little things and give them to others as a token of our friendship. As the list grows, so does the bread, cookie or candy dough. It’s not what you give to another that counts, it’s just that time of year when one is reminded just how blessed they are through others’ caring. That gift of giving can be/ is carried throughout the year.

    The wise men gave the first Christmas gifts, or so they say. They were given in the spirit of what Xmas is all bout. Helping your fellow man and being of service. How you do that is up to you.

    There can be no bah humbug at Christmas when that spirit is carried with you all the time. Christmas is a state of being, not a state of mind.

    Love to all and blessings all year long.

  13. dad29
    December 25th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    May the peace and joy of this Christmas reign throughout the New Year for you and your family!!

  14. Christy Waters
    December 25th, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

    Merry Christmas to all who frequent this site. I’m a relative newcomer to The Other McCain, but I’m giving it my “Favorite Web Find of 2011” award.

  15. EBL
    December 25th, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

    Looks like Anamika stepped in one of my pies.  

  16. EBL
    December 25th, 2011 @ 4:10 pm


  17. Adjoran
    December 25th, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    Merry Christmas to all!

    Have a safe flight to Iowa, and remember:  don’t let the bright lights turn your head.

  18. Pat Austin
    December 25th, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

    Merry Christmas!

  19. Donald Douglas
    December 25th, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    Hey, Merry Christmas! 

    And hey, can you throw me some traffic. TOM is Grinching me out lately, dude!

  20. lonely conservative
    December 25th, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    Merry Christmas! 🙂

    December 25th, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

    Merry Christmas to all McCains, Wombats and Smitties.

  22. The REAL story of Christmas
    December 27th, 2011 @ 4:08 am

    […] Merry Christmas! ( […]