If you're one of the folks who have been dreaming of a white Christmas, you can wake up now and go grab a shovel, for your dreams have come true. Actually, we've pretty much gotten our recent snowfalls cleaned up, except for a few of you. You know who you are, and so do your neighbors. Get out there. We want to see some pavement.
Meanwhile, we get this issue to you just before the big day, which of course is Christmas. It's a big day for everybody, regardless of religion. It has become a cultural touchstone that resonates through the entire society. I realized this emphatically when I received a Christmas card signed by an atheist and a Jew. I know it was along the lines of professional courtesy, but still.
In secularizing Christmas, we have emphasized its universal morality, highlighting its lessons of charity and sacrifice. In that vein, we bring you a perfect cover story for Christmas, that of Kaleem Caire, a native south-side Madisonian who has returned to Madison with the specific intent of making a difference in the city that disappointed him as a youth.
His story is told by contributor Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz, who came to the writing craft at a relatively late date, age 31. She has made finding people who make a difference her specialty. Other stories she has written for Isthmus include "Scott Anderson Is Loved by His God" (9/30/10); "Beware of Cyberbullies" (5/20/10); "Comforting the Afflicted" (10/30/09) and "Taking It Personally" (8/07/09).
The subjects of the preceding stories were, in order, a gay minister, the growing incidence of adolescent harassment by electronic means, the UW Center for Patient Partnerships, and an HIV activist who eventually contracts the virus.
If you'd like to know more about Maggie-Ginsberg-Schutz, you can visit her and read of her discovery of writing at maggieschutz.com.