Coming home from dinner last evening, I noticed the red and green navigation lights of our neighbor boy's Christmas drone, blinking merrily from the upper branches of a 40-foot-tall tree on the east side of their property and I wondered how many people who got drones for Christmas had a similar experience.
This is the week when newspapers and wire services pretend that people give a shit about their lists of the Top News Stories of 2016. It always struck me a silly self-indulgence to compile and publish those lists.
At the same time, I am mindful that the world that will greet us on Jan. 1, 2017 is very different from the world we inherited at the first of 2016.
A lot of celebrities and other people didn't live to see the new year, but there were some really wonderfully hopeful events in 2016, like the Brexit vote in Britain that may signal the collapse of the ill-conceived European Union and a resurgence of national pride in the UK. Also, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in more than a century.
But the most profoundly hopeful event in my adult life - the landslide victory of Donald Trump - came on Nov. 8. It, likewise, signals a resurgence of national pride in the U.S.
And like a demon being exorcised, Barack Obama is doing as much damage to this country as he possibly can between now and Jan. 20. I'm hopeful that whatever Obama can do, Trump can just as easily undo.
The last time I felt this positive and optimistic about a new president was 56 years ago when John Kennedy won the White House. That was back when you could be a patriotic American and a Democrat. My parents were both and they would be horrified to see what has become of the party they followed in those days.