"Christmas Letter"

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Hey all, still on earth.

This planet is a mishmash of religions; it's the underlying cause of most of the wars here. The most prevalent religion in the country I'm living in is Christianity, which is admirable as religions go, since the prophet taught peace and forgiveness. (Tell that to some of his followers. Still, there are far worse religions in the galaxy, as we know too well! Bleg, is there still a statue of you on planet Snork? Haha!)

The Christian "holy days" are a mishmash too. In an attempt to win converts the religion co-opted pagan feast days and assigned Christian significance to them. About ten earth days from now, Christians will celebrate the birth of Jesus, the prophet who was martyred some 2000 earth years ago. His birthday celebration was scheduled to correspond roughly with winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. Go figure.

I participate in the festivities, of course. This year I have garlands with red ribbon and lights around the garage door and the front door, a wreath on the front door, and a couple of small deer on the lawn. Not real deer: deer-shaped wire frames covered with small lights. In the house I have an artificial tree decorated with small lights and ribbons and artificial fruits and berries. Most of the symbols--the tree, evergreen branches over the doors, holly and mistletoe and what-have-you--can be traced back to winter solstice celebrations, but the Christians don't care. (Wait till you hear about Easter and the rabbits and eggs!)

Another tradition associated with the holiday is the "Christmas Letter" which is a missive sent out to one's friends and relatives, letting them know what has transpired over the past year. So, in keeping with my decision to participate fully while assigned here, I am attaching this "Christmas Letter" of my own...

Merry Christmas one and all! Mike and I are still here on the third planet from Sol, in Virginia, which is in the mid-Atlantic region of North America. I live and work in Alexandria; Mike lives in Charlottesville most of the time, since he is attending the university there. He'll be graduating in May, and will then spend a few years at a law school; he has yet to decide which one.

That's it folks! Don't drink too much snorgle, and if you do, stay out of wormholes! Haha!

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