I went to the postal depot at the end of my street today, and over tea, which Sal, the owner, insisted on making me, I sent a signed copy of my book to a reader in Latvia, and another to a library in Oregon that’s in desperate need of a new roof and can’t afford it without a massive fundraiser, of which my book will play a very small part.

While I paid Sal, we chatted about the holidays, and assimilation. I didn’t realize his family is Muslim – they do such a great job of spreading holiday cheer at this time of year. Of course, “holiday cheer” is totally Christmas. So we talked about raising our non-Christian kids (and grandkids, in his case), and how they love Santa and singing Christmas songs at school, and sharing their own identity and practices with their friends, and how we all love seeing family at this time of year because most of our relatives are off work. I realized last week that of course my Christmas-birthday kid will never have to work on his birthday (unless he decides to become a doctor or nurse, or do some other kind of work that non-Christmas-celebrators do on Christmas so Christmas celebrators can celebrate). What a gift.

Sal handed me some biscotti to go with my tea. We wished each other well, and I left with a smile and a wave.

What a lovely errand to run this morning.