Among the gifts delivered by Santa to my basketball-obsessed son was an Ultimate Jordan DVD set containing hours and hours of killer hoops action. Watching it made me remember how much I enjoyed Michael's performances back in the 80s and 90s, with both the Tar Heels and the Bulls. It also reiterated for me what an otherworldly athlete "His Airness" is, blending unparalleled skills, speed and finesse. I could watch his moves all day.
With Christmas just a few days away, the mood around our house is one of great anticipation. The kids are wound up and restless, fueled by the season's gleeful spirit and, quite frankly, the promise of gifts from family and the big guy in the red suit.
A brief sit-down with our little boy and girl to discuss the meaning of Christmas yields a few noteworthy nuggets:
"Christmas is a super, super happy holiday," my son explains, "because Santa brings you presents." I nudge him for more. "Well, you get to celebrate with your family and do a whole bunch of fun stuff." All right, that's better. Finally he adds, "Christmas makes you feel special inside. It's just a miracle." Yes! That's it.
His little sister raises her hand politely and provides the kicker. "Christmas is about Mary and Joseph going to the manger." Now we're getting to the bottom of the story. But as my little sweetie begins to say more, her gaze turns toward the Christmas tree and the colorful wrapped boxes resting beneath it.
She continues, "Then the wise men bring lots of presents to the baby Jesus. Getting presents is great!"
Fair enough. Materialism is undeniably a big part of this special season, a force energizing kids the world over. And that sparkle in their eyes, the quickening of their little hearts, is more than enough reason to celebrate, if you ask me.
Maybe it's because I'm a Southerner through and through and have a deep affection for low-brow humor, but I'm thinking Danny McBride is one of the funniest rascals alive.
Best known for his over-the-top pompousness and insensitivity as the washed-up baseball star Kenny Powers in the HBO series Eastbound & Down, McBride acts in a style that might well be characterized as refreshingly offensive.
His redneck ways were nurtured, incidentally, by his upbringing in Virginia and a stint at the North Carolina School of the Arts in my native Winston-Salem. Not that the school is culturally backwards in any way. To the contrary, it's one of the finest theater and arts conservatories in the nation. But its setting amid North Carolina's foothills and down-home customs surely aided McBride in bringing out his inner bumpkin.
Watch the video below for an entertaining introduction to Mr. Kenny Powers.
Below is a trailer for an early McBride film, The Foot Fist Way.
Not long after taking flight from Miami, we begin to see the slivers of island in the shimmering blue water below. We spot Bimini and the outer reaches of the Abacos, the northernmost chunk of the Bahamas. Within the hour, we're dropping in to Marsh Harbour International, actually more airstrip than airport.
The next five days are blissful, breathtaking, perfect, as we spend an extended Thanksgiving holiday with my brother's family. We stay at their welcoming and spacious home perched atop a bluff on Man-O-War Cay, a tiny island outpost just 20 minutes by boat from Marsh Harbour.
Paradise only begins to describe this extraordinary setting, this remote and peaceful place where the sun warms your soul and the sheer stillness calms every nerve.
Every man, woman and child should enjoy the privilege of a visit to the Abacos.
Our relaxing view of the harbor on Man-O-War Cay
Looking toward the sea from Hope Town on Elbow Cay
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