The Royal Flush of Seasons

Had a lovely Christmas!  Went to a family gathering (chaos among the children opening presents!) Christmas Eve, then another gathering among friends Christmas Day, and will have a light supper featuring an authentic Christmas pudding today.  And it’s not over yet. It is good to remember that there are twelve days of Christmas, that despite every trace of it vanishing from the commercial world (except for shopworn things in sale bins) on December 26, the Twelfth Day of Christmas is not until January 6. So my tree continues to twinkle, I’m going to a caroling party on the 29th, and the Three Magi don’t arrive at the Stable in my church until the 6th.

And we’re holding our annual Penny Ante Poker Party on New Year’s Eve. Its origins are lost in the mists of time. When we were young it would last nearly all night; nowadays it breaks up soon after we toast the New Year in. But it’s still great fun once we peruse the reminders I set out on the ranking of hands – most of us only play once a year, and can’t remember until reminded whether or not a straight beats a flush. I do remember that in all that time, I’ve had two natural royal flushes, the last one eight or nine years ago. My “poker face” got a real workout those times. Joke: A man was boasting that he’d taught his dog to play poker, but noted that he wasn’t a good player. “He wags his tail when he’s got a good hand.”

And thus reminded of this turning of the season, I offer my favorite toast: “Health, wealth, love, and time to enjoy them.

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