This is my 427th post. What a great number…427.

Entertainment: I never tire of holiday music. But I always cry no matter who sings “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”  This makes for some awkward moments at work.  “No no – don’t mind me – I’m ok – just a little teary over here again…”

Kids Are Awesome: Avery told me the other day that she didn’t want to meet “some fake Santa in a costume” that she wanted to meet the real guy.  She didn’t buy my story about the fake Santas being Authorized Reps for the real guy.

Same night, Aiden told us he wanted to put on a show. He directed us to sit on the floor.  He got the ukulele and stood in front of us. Then he said he needed a stool.  So he went and got a stool, sat in front of us, lightly strummed the guitar and watched all of us watch him.  I just wish I’d taken a picture.  Watch for this kid to hit the stage in 20 years.

Men (and women):  I learned that science shows that men take more risks then women generally because they are less apt to consider the downside, whereas women are far more calculating about risk.

 “When the odds are actually good, women will compete (by entering the race) more than men. They just refuse to waste time with losing.”

 “Men tend to focus on the reward. The larger the reward, the more they ignore the odds. Women are the opposite: they tend to focus on the risk, and larger rewards are less relevant.”

 “The bottom line is, if you have a girl, I would put her in the best school as possible and have her around the smartest peers possible,” Jackson summarized. “If you have a son, you should put them in the school with the brightest teachers, but you should be wary of putting him in a hypercompetitive environment. Being a small fish in a big pond is particularly bad for boys,” Jackson added.

Goodness is contagious: The other day a woman walked onto the subway train I was on.  She asked for food. This is a pretty common sight.  She wasn’t having a lot of success.  I had a box of raisins so I gave it to her. And then another woman gave her money, and another, and another.  It was like a yawn that everyone caught.  That was all it took – a first step.

Hope Springs Eternal:  This almost needs no explanation.  As a dedicated Knicks fan, all it seems we have at times is hope.

But then something good actually happens (not to the Knicks).  Something good like a dear friend calls and says “please come to dinner…I’ve met someone.” And you learn that she had maybe not totally given up hope but was literally on the verge of checking out of the dating scene and there was a moment – a brief fated moment that stopped her. And that was the turning point…several weeks later it seems she has met someone wonderful and I don’t know when I’ve seen her so happy.

Grief and Joy – which is which:  I cannot recall what prompted this thought but at some point in the last few days I felt the need to list the most wonderful days of my life.  And the usual suspects were there – the day I got a fat envelope from a grad school (good day), our wedding day, my sister’s wedding day, the weekend I spent with my mom cleaning the loft at her house (long story), the days our kids were born, and at last…the day of my father’s wake.  Yes there it was.  Right up there with all the others.  In our house, friends arrived from years past.  People came to sit in his chair.  To look at his books and CDs.  To open his desk drawers and see his handwritten notes.  I surprised myself thinking about this and realizing “Wow, that was a wonderful day.”  There is no other way to describe it.

And Finally a Poem to Sum it up:

To live in this world

you must be able

to do three things:

to love what is mortal;

to hold it

against your bones knowing

your own life depends on it;

and, when the time comes to let it go,

to let it go.

~ Mary Oliver