In the spirit of the holiday season …

It’s easy to get caught up in all that is wrong with the world — especially on the editorial page. But once a year we set aside the time to think about all the things, great and small, that we have to be thankful for:
Clean public restrooms. The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Experience. Trial and error. Due process. Elections. Embarrassing liberals. The end of elections. The end of campaign ads. Bob Dole. Bob Dole’s pen. Bob Dole’s tan. Libby Dole in black leather on a Harley with Jay Leno. Fantasies come true. Ricardo Montalban. Herve Villechaize. The plane. Air travel. Fare wars. Student discount vouchers. Flying. Flying squirrels. Squirrels. Urban squirrels. Those bad-ass squirrels on Northrop Mall. The mall. Insane bikers careening across the mall in the snow. Snow. Shoveled sidewalks. Plowed roads. Snow blowers. Lights on trees. Snow days.
The Smithsonian. The ruby slippers. The “M*A*S*H” sign. All that NASA stuff. The space program. “The Right Stuff.” Tom Wolfe. Hunter S. Thompson. Hunter green. Green. R.E.M. Three-minute pop songs. Good old-fashioned country music like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams. George Jones. George Clinton. P-Funk. Vinyl. 45s. 8-Tracks. K-Tel. Late-late night commercials for “Sounds of the ’70s.” Good TV shows. Must See TV. “ER.” “The X-Files.” Chris Carter. Cris Carter. The Minnesota Vikings despite their heart-wrenching loss last week.
Apple cider on coffee shop menus. Coffee shops. Nonpretentious coffee shops. Coffee. Good, black coffee, none of that double-tall, half-caff, skim cappuccino, no-froth baloney.
Flannel. Flannel PJs. The end of that whole grunge flannel thing. Flannel boxers. Boxers. Evander Holyfield. Underwear. Silk longjohns. Silk. Underwear that doesn’t take a hike. Hiking. Mountains. Mountain mamas. Take me home. John Denver.
Fire. Fireplaces. Cuddling. Spooning. Spoons. Spoonbridge and Cherry. The Sculpture Gardens. The Walker. The Weisman. The MIA. Art. Theater. The Guthrie. The Jungle. Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Penumbra. The Mixed Blood. Mixed media. Mixed messages. The general mixing of things.
Hand-me-down sweaters. Ragstock. Garage sales. 25-cent Thighmasters found at garage sales. Suzanne Sommers. Summer. Summer dresses. Fresh-picked basil. Sun-dried tomatoes. Shorts. Short shorts. Sandals. Sunroofs. Sun. Sand between your toes. The lakes. Rollerblades. Outdoor concerts. Free outdoor concerts. Mindless novels. Mindless movies. Outdoor movies. Free outdoor movies. Coconut suntan oil. Coconuts. Stargazing. Stars. “Star Wars.” The new and improved restored version of “Star Wars.” “Star Trek.” Captain Picard and his righteous can o’ whoop-ass. The Borg. Bjorn Borg. Sweden. Swedish accents. Nils Hasselmo.
The Board of Regents for a full year’s worth of news. Tenure. Segues. Boris Yeltsin’s heart surgeon. Stream of consciousness. James Joyce. Jim Henson. Jim Wacker. Wacker Backers. Packers. “Slackers.” Snack crackers. Rhyming. Dirty limericks. Poetry. Jazz. Love. Freedom. Rivers. Beer. Hope. Friends. Family. Food. Thanksgiving.