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    December 28, 2004


"There are actually two different Christmas
holidays: one has to do with Santa Claus; the
other has to do with Jesus. These two holidays
have nothing to do with one another."

 -- Harley Hahn

Holidays and Celebrations / Is There a Santa Claus?

Now that we are nearing the end of the holiday
season, it's a good time to take a few moments,
sit back, and reflect on two important issues.

The first is a question that many of us must
wonder about at this time of year: Where do all
these holidays come from?

I have done the research, and the answer may
surprise you.

Holidays and Celebrations

Second, we have the old, old question that all
children ask eventually:

Is there a Santa Claus?

Reading: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,
         The Painted Word

I recently read two books by master writers: The
Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson, and
The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe. Both books are set
in New York City and both comment on life in the
city at the time they were written.

Wilson's book is a novel, published in 1955, that
describes the post-war world of Tom Rath, a white-
collar worker who lives in the suburbs with his
family and commutes daily to work in the city.

Wolfe's book, published in 1975, is a long essay
in which he discusses how and why particular
abstract artists became popular in the New York
art world (and, by extension, the rest of the

As I mentioned, both Wilson and Wolfe are master
writers. However, the first book is magnificent
and is definitely worth reading (in fact, it was a
best-seller), while the second one misses the
literary boat and will barely repay the time it
takes you to read it.

How can this be?  Take a look at...

What is Harley Reading?

By the way, in case you have not yet seen my guide
to reading, here is the main page:

Harley Hahn's Guide to Reading

-- Harley Hahn