Wednesday's the first day of winter, and, if you're a true Southerner, you're ready for it to be over already.
Some people like cold weather. The fashion potential of "sweater season" excites them.
I prefer T-shirt season and driving on stuff that's not ice.
The best things about winter are I don't have to mow my lawn and my neighbor's dilapidated pool no longer spews mosquitoes.
Many of my friends want 2016 to be over too. It's been a "terrible year" they lament and dread what misfortune may befall them in 2017.
Was 2016 a bad year?
All politics aside, I think 2016 kinda rocked. I am healthy, employed and the furnace still works. Not bad!
As Christmas approaches, the whole world has reasons to be joyful.
- Major killers like colon cancer, dementia and heart disease are in serious decline . Ebola, once predicted to infect 1.4 million people and endanger non-African nations was wiped out . The childhood disease measles has been eliminated from "the Americas," aka every nation from Canada to Chile.
- Hunger experts say the era of great famines may be over.
- Half as many people live in poverty now than in 1990, despite massive population growth.
- Warfare is increasingly rare. It is said all war on Earth is confined to a swath between Nigeria and Pakistan .
- The stock market is up so much your 401(k) may be a 402(k).
But let's face it, gifts are what make people happy, not a reduction of global misery.
If Santa's really serious about spreading joy I suggest he shove some of this down local chimneys.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed: His own lane of traffic.
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis: A replica CEO office suite at home.
Tyler Perry and the U.S. Navy: The USS Madea.
Falcons WR Julio Jones: A new toe.
Braves fans: A professional baseball team.
UGA football team: More non-conference games.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal: Courage to once again not sign just any law that hits his desk.
DeKalb water department: Working meters.
Gladys Knight's son: "Restaurants for Dummies" book.
Atlanta Beltline: Fewer people.
Police: Bulletproof vests.
Civilians: Police body cameras.
Zoo Atlanta elephant: An all expenses paid trip to Africa.
iPhone users: $159 headphones.
Android users: $5 headphones.
Facebook: Real news.
OK, most of those are impossible.
Real gifts, as everyone who has read this far knows, come from people with credit cards, not a jolly fat man who runs an untaxed elven sweatshop.
Homemade gifts are good too, but if you're looking for ideas this late you probably don't have time to get crafty.
Sometimes the best gifts cost nothing. In this age of constant noise, silence can seem special.
What would happen if everyone stopped using social media on Christmas? Would we learn sharing less makes the things we do share more precious?
Maybe the best gift can be one we give ourselves by simply reclaiming a bit of the privacy we've given away?
Just kidding. If I don't get that miniature donkey I've been wanting since childhood someone's going to pay.