Now that the beleaguered Mayans can go back to being a preternaturally advanced pre-Columbian civilization rather than a doomsday sect, we can return to talking about the holidays. One of my favorite parts of the season is the annual what-we've-been-up-to letter that typically comes tucked inside a seasonal card. These detailed missives recount the past year for far-flung friends, almost always with self-deprecation, so that the year's high points, successes and proud-parent boasts are balanced by moments that, had they been captured on video, would have meant YouTube stardom or jail.
Here's my take on that tradition. But rather than my own year, I give you the nation's 2012.
It was a busy year for America and on balance a good one. Let's see, lately we've been helping liberate Syria from tyranny like we did earlier in Libya. It's a mess right now, but we're hoping for the best. Helped out in Myanmar, too. It was nice to see Aung San Suu Kyi out of the house. Don't you think?
Workwise, things are picking up from the doldrums of a couple of years ago. The kids are still having a tough time finding good jobs, though even that is beginning to look better. At least they have us oldsters around to fall back on, now that we can keep them on our health insurance.
Our own John Roberts gave us quite nice surprise on that front. Did you hear that John broke ranks with that narrow-minded group he hangs out with at the court to uphold our first-ever national universal health care program? We were just bursting with pride. Who knows, maybe there's a chance he'll help send that nasty Defense of Marriage Act to history's dustbin. It would make for such nice spring cleaning, and John's such a neat freak.
The biggest news was the election, of course. In a nutshell it consisted of a gazillionaire mob (pun intended) giving stacks of money to that distasteful Karl "Et tu, Ohio" Rove, to turn the election so that people like them don't have to share with the less fortunate. They must have missed that lesson in kindergarten.
But like a little holiday miracle, all their money didn't work the magic it usually does, and the leaders of the "Only the Little People Pay Taxes" Party had to admit that their polls were wrong. Now if only they'd admit that their stances on climate change, separation of church and state, science, workers' rights, reproductive freedom, the environment, guns, gays and the Laffer Curve are wrong, we'd have ourselves a dang fine country.
Maybe they could consider being more open-minded as part of a New Year's resolution? Ha. Just kidding. In America, nothing gets resolved.
Still, for us, Nov. 6 turned out to be the best night of the year. The man who won the presidency is the one Nate Silver said would win. You must have heard of him. No, not the president, Silver. He's our greatest nebbishy celebrity since Carl Sagan. Gosh. We miss Carl.
No year is free of its humiliations, and 2012 certainly had its share. There was that little matter of Florida and the elections again. We thought that meshugana state had cleaned up its act after the election debacle of 2000. Guess not. But hey, on the bright side, the way the sea levels are rising, it won't be our problem that much longer.
Michele Bachmann was re-elected. Sorry. Yes, she really did release a video of herself waving a Chick-fil-A bag. But she didn't eat any. She's not that crazy.
As to Donald Trump, we checked, and there is no way to revoke a person's citizenship for being the most embarrassing American ever.
Despite the challenges, America had a pretty good year and we're looking forward to an even better 2013. Mazel Tov to Kate and William, our overseas cousins, who we hear are expecting. And a special shout out to our Chinese uncle. Thanks again for the loans! As long as the children of the House don't make the debt ceiling their political pawn, we're good for it.