What I’m Doing for Christmas

Believe it or not, Christmas has never been my favorite holiday. As a kid, I was always partial to Halloween—not just for the candy, but more for the adventure of venturing out into the black night with your best friends and marauding all over town. As I’ve gotten older, Thanksgiving has enjoyed special prominence in my life for obvious reasons—the food, the gratitude, the family gathering around the table to partake in the bounty laid before us, the lack of adornment and focus on what truly matters. I wasn’t so into gifts as a kid, instead preferring to mow lawns or paint houses to pay for my own stuff. Or perhaps it was my parents who preferred that I work for my possessions and helped instill that in me. But that’s not to say Christmas wasn’t a big deal. It was.

I have to admit: There’s something special about the Christmas or holiday “spirit,” whatever that is. You can feel it in the air, and I’m not quite sure what’s behind it. All I know is that it exists.

A lot of you have asked what I’m doing for Christmas.

Sunlight isn’t as strong during the winter months. Get your vitamin D another way. 

What I’m Giving

First of all, we’re not really doing gifts.* Certainly nothing big. In an age where you can hop on Amazon and have almost anything delivered to your door within a day’s time, doing so for someone else isn’t very exciting for anyone. Chances are, the person you’re giving the gift to does the same thing for himself or herself on a regular basis.

*Except for my granddaughter, of course. It is my responsibility to spoil her even before she’s all that aware of the concept of a “gift.”

If we are doing gifts, we’re trying to stick to smaller, local stuff you can’t easily get elsewhere. Or meaningful books. If you can’t tell, I haven’t done any shopping yet.** Always wait til the last minute. I do.

**Except for my granddaughter.

If you’re interested in some gift ideas, I have a post for you.

What I’m Eating

The food. It always comes back to the food, the dinners, the feasts. This is a human constant across culture and epoch. People love getting together over a good meal.

I’m cooking a goose my friend shot and saved for me. This is something I’ve always wanted to attempt in the kitchen. I’ve had goose before, and duck plenty of times, but I’ve never roasted a goose.

We have a goose recipe on the blog that’s great. Never done it myself, but did eat it when employees were trialing the recipe. Since the weather isn’t exactly conducive to blasting the oven up to 450 degrees, I’m going to do a hybrid method using most of the same spices in the recipe.

First, I’ll brine the goose for a day or two. Basic salt water brine, probably with a few orange peels thrown in.

Next, I’ll steam the bird to render some of the fat out, making sure to save it for later (there’s nothing like roasted potatoes or vegetables in waterfowl fat). Otherwise, you either lose the fat or it explodes all over the place. Plus the method I’m using to roast the goose would be disastrous without rendering some of the fat.

Next, I spatchcock the bird, removing the back bone and splaying the bird out flat for easier, faster cooking.

Then I grill it over coals. I start with the bird skin facing up with the coals piled up on the opposite side of the grill. Put the cover on and let it roast indirectly. This doesn’t just cook the bird but also dries out the skin.

After the bird is just about done (which I confirm by grabbing a drumstick and gently jostling it; when the leg is loose and the juices run clear it’s about ready), I flip it over, skin-side down, directly over the coals to crisp up for a few minutes. This is my basic method for grilling chickens and turkeys. I haven’t confirmed that it will work for a goose but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. (If I’m making a fatal mistake, let me know in the comments.)

Besides, just in case, I’ll have something else waiting in the wings: a lamb leg. Sometimes I do bone-in, but this time will be boneless.

This is always a hit. It’s really hard to mess up.

I get the lamb leg out on the cutting board. I butterfly the leg, so it’s all laid out flat. This involves slicing into some of the muscle tissue and also slamming it flat with the palm of my hand to get everything as flat as I can. It’s not going to be smooth, but the general trend will be a big flat roast.

Coat it with garlic, lemon zest, chili flakes, pepper, salt, avocado oil or olive oil, fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaves on all sides. Be liberal with your seasonings. Then squeeze some lemon juice all over it. Allow to rest in fridge for at least two hours.

Then I grill it like a big steak over coals. I sear it on all sides and then cook it on indirect heat until I’m happy with the temperature. You can even grill it to start and transfer to the oven to finish, if you need the room on the grill.

What I’m Doing

The normal urge during the holidays is to sit, to vegetate, to do nothing. It’s cold, you’ve eaten too much and drank even more. Let’s just sit around, right?

Hell no.

Christmas is my cue to move. To take walks, to exercise, to explore my surroundings, to swim, to paddle-board, to play Ultimate frisbee, to ride my fat tire bike over the sand. And the beauty of Miami is that I can do all these things no matter the season.

So that’s what I’m doing.

Part of the reason is because I’m eating more than usual. Not because I need to “burn those calories,” but because I need to do something with all that excess energy. When I eat extra calories, my body turns that into energy. Energy that I can actually use. Energy that I must use. That’s actually the mark of good metabolic flexibility: Turning extra calories into subjectively potent energy that must be burned. Of course, not all energy is fungible. The same thing wouldn’t be happening if I were eating tons of seed oils and refined sugar. That would just make be bloated and sluggish.

We’ll have family coming in — my son Kyle from Germany, my daughter Devyn, her husband Jerry, and their daughter (and our granddaughter) JJ, plus my wife’s parents and sister — and her husband and daughter (my granddaughter), so we’ll be getting lots of walks, lots of beach time. I may even try to convince my daughter to let me take JJ out on a paddle-board or at least kayak.

I’ve been thinking about the winter solstice. Apparently it’s going to be a special one this year, where Saturn and Jupiter align and appear to form an incredibly bright and prominent “star” in the sky. So, what is the solstice?

The shortest day and longest night of the year. It’s the bottom. The pits. No where else to go but up. From dark to less dark and eventually light. And for a society like ours immersed in artificial light and modern technology, that might not register or matter. Heck, most people don’t even notice it anymore other than to complain about time changes. But just imagine what that must have meant for an ancient society. For every ancient society — and it was just about all of them, because most ancient populations had and still have winter solstice celebrations. It meant the days would finally start trending longer. The chickens would start laying more eggs. It meant the growing season was approaching. It meant you could spend more time outdoors without things turning pitch black. You wouldn’t have to burn as much fuel to stay warm and keep light. All in all, the winter solstice meant the “worst” was over and better times were ahead.

I’m not sure if you can replicate the effect it had on ancient populations. You can never quite go back, right?

But I wouldn’t be surprised if the significance of the solstice is somehow ingrained in our DNA, even if we don’t intellectually consider it or even think of it. It still matters. So this year, I’m gathering everyone around a fire. Most of the ancient solstice celebrations involved a bonfire of some sort. I’ll just sit there and contemplate the sky, the world, my relationships, and life itself. This has been a wild year for most people on this planet, and things are looking up from here.

What are you doing for the holidays? What are you eating? What are you gifting? What are you thinking about?

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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66 thoughts on “What I’m Doing for Christmas”

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  1. In light over COVID, we are opting for a very low-keyed Christmas to help keep our elderly parents safe. No traveling, only 5 of us together (4 of whom have already had COVID). We will be gathering with the rest of the family via Zoom and Virtual games.

  2. Feel the same about Christmas. Always like Halloween and even Valentines Day better. Still find ways to eat too much.
    Just happy to be alive this year and able to pray for peace for those weren’t so lucky. Very much looking forward to putting this year behind us. Happy Holidays to Mark & family and all the daily Apples.

  3. In an era of COVID, why would you advertise that you are flying in relatives and gathering? How irresponsible of you as a public figure. You realize that the US has one of the worst COVID rates in the world and that many states are under stay-at-home orders? As a public figure, I would have thought you have more moral responsibility than this.

    1. I was thinking the exact same thing Peter. I live in Canada and we are being emphatically told to stay home and only celebrate with people that live in the same household. I’m not seeing my parents or siblings this year.

    2. Mark has a great deal of experience reading and interpreting medical studies. His ability to make personal risk assessments is, I warrant, commensurate.

      1. It seems that no amount of reading and studying can predict how the virus will spread. Sounds like a super spreader event to me.

      2. And his son from Germany, too. Germany is being hit very hard right now, just like the US.

        This is not a great choice, to be gathering family, and from out of town and even out of the country right now. No amount of reading and interpreting studies can erase the reality that our healthcare system is being pushed to the max. My friend’s cousin died of Covid in the hallway waiting for a bed a few days ago – she was in that hallway for over 16 hours. She was 52, fit, a clean eater (she followed a nutritional keto diet, actually) and had no risk factors we keep hearing about. Maybe she would have lived, but she couldn’t get the right help in time because our hospitals are overwhelmed here. And, my area has had a mask mandate the entire pandemic, unlike Florida. Florida’s not doing particularly great either…

        Also, having Covid once does not mean you will not get it again.

        It is hard not to feel angry at people who are gathering right now.

    3. I’m sure he has calculated the risk/reward. Maybe his family has already had covid or is being tested beforehand. Sometimes the mental benefit of being with family outweighs the calculated risk of getting sick. Everybody has to make their own decisions.

    4. Obesity is one of the most important risk factors for severe covid-19. There are published scientific studies; you will find recent ones in The Lancet and The British Medical Journal. The prevalence of obesity in the US is 42.4% (CDC data). Therefore, no wonder the situation is worse in the US compared to all other industrialized countries. No restrictions are going to solve this problem. Mark is doing the right thing. He makes sure he and his family’s immune systems are in good shape and he goes on with life.

    5. Seriously. Maybe this article was written last year. I can’t believe Mark would be this irresponsible. All recommendations coming from every direction are to not go anywhere or be around anyone other than members of your immediate household–especially the elderly, like his wife’s parents. It will be disappointing for many but necessary to prevent the spread of COVID. I’d be surprised if his son was allowed back into Germany–they are even more locked down than the US right now.

      1. “All recommendations coming from every direction are to not go anywhere…”

        The recommendations coming from every direction in the mainstream health and nutrition sphere still insist on the healthfulness of whole grains, last I checked. Explosive stories claiming that red meat is bonafide Cancer-fuel, replete with expert citations, are a dime a dozen.

        Is this pandemic the *one* place where mainstream researchers have gotten everything right? This blog has always bucked the trend and questioned the “official” narratives set forth by health experts. The advice of pandemic czars is no less deserving of scrutiny than the outdated ideas of many nutritionists.

        Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas, Mark. And a happy New Year!

    6. I felt quite the opposite! I am tired of public figures giving In to pressure and preaching fear, fear, fear — not just for them but for me as well. I am responsible enough to make my own decisions about my health as is the rest of my family. I have all the same information as Mark and will make my decisions regardless of how he plans on spending his holiday. But loved hearing about his plans!

    7. Mark’s plans sound great! Same thing my family, 30 or so, have done every holiday and birthday this year like we always. Definitely a lot of hikes and great food in our plans. Merry Christmas, all!

    8. I was dismayed to read this as well. I thought that Mark would at least have the good judgment not to brag about his large family gathering on his blog — if for no other reason than not to rub it in the face of so many readers who aren’t able to see their families. I hope his son is prepared for a long quarantine when he returns to Germany.

    9. GET.A.LIFE. And live it, like you want to.. and let others live theirs. There is NO RIGHT way to do anything!!!

    10. Are you kidding, Peter and all you other people who are blasting Mark for getting together with his family? Last I checked we lived in a FREE country. If you are scared of COVID then stay home and mind your own business. I do pulmonary medicine for a living and, yes, COVID is a real thing, no doubt, but so is depression, anxiety, suicide, and so many other negative effects of this never-ending lockdown (which I am seeing so much of). Guess what? We are all going to die of something. If you are healthy, it likely ISN’T going to be of COVID that kills you (check the CDC figures). Yes, I know, the occasional healthy 40 yr old will succumb to COVID, but that is NOT the majority of cases. Most of my patients are really old and/or metabolically RUINED. Is it sad? Absolutely. One of the reasons COVID is so problematic in the US is we are a nation with lots of old people and lots of metabolically deranged people (or both)–when bad diseases come then mother nature takes over. It’s called natural selection (might sound cruel but it’s true).
      This is a real-time example of selection pressure. Individuals and families should be able to decide for themselves what risks they want or don’t want to mitigate. My 99 year old grandmother who lives with my parents (in their 60’s) has told us she would rather risk being around her family and dying from COVID than just sitting in her room by herself most of the time because, “I could die anytime from about anything at my age”. So, good for Mark for doing what he wants to do. I’m sure his family is responsible enough to make good decisions if they were to have symptoms, just as my family does.

    11. This whole idea of assuming everyone has COVID-19, on some level, is the same as assuming every man is a rapist or every black person is a criminal – it will likely better protect you from catching COVID (or getting raped or mugged), but it’s far from fail safe; it is the mentality of bigoted or traumatized minds. It is no way to live, if you want a happy life.

      Time remains an irreplaceable commodity. How dare you spend it on fear?

    12. Man, haven’t visited the site in a long time. What has happened to the guests! All hurt because a super fit elderly man wants to enjoy his time with family on a holiday dating millennia, in a state that is open for business and travel? I applaud Mark. Wish my state was awesome. Got room for a +1? I’ll bring fresh clams and oysters straight from the salt ponds.

  4. What are your wife (pescatarian) and son (vegetarian) going to eat?

  5. Christmas is clearly not a big deal for you because you’re obviously not a practicing Christian. It’s just another secular holiday to you where you put up a tree, feast, and get together with family. Christmas, Haloween (which has Christian roots by the way), and Valentines Day are all the same to you.

    1. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
      And the angel said unto them, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”

      And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
      Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)

    2. You are correct about Christmas, but not Halloween. Halloween has its roots in the Samhain holiday.

      1. Halloween derives it’s name from the celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, the evening before the early Christian holiday of All Saints Day which was the day of remembering the early churches martyrs. Children dressed as devils and demons to make fun of Satan and went from house to house for little treats as a celebration of Jesus defeating Satan by dying on the cross for our sins, and defeating death by his resurrection on Easter Sunday. All defeating “Samhain” or Satan. Darkness to light. Praise God.

        1. Samhain was the name of the pre-Christian Celtic festival for the last harvest of the year. It’s a Gaelic word that has nothing to do with satan

    3. There we go again-judgement! Live, and let live. We are all SO unique. Can you imagine if we treasured uniqueness, not SAMENESS. What a Wonderful World It Would Be!

    4. Yes, both Halloween, celebrating the evening before All Saints Day, and Valentine’s Day, celebrating the witness of the Christian martyr, St. Valentine; are Christian holidays too. Darkness to light is what Jesus is all about. Merry Christmas!

    5. “put up a tree, feast, and get together with family”

      Sounds like a big deal. Don’t see how believing in some religious nonesense makes something more important. Also, I think pretending Santa Claus is real is a little more fun than pretending it’s one of the God’s birthdays.

  6. Hi! The celebration of the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ is what is behind it. You do not have to believe for the short term benefit but you do for the long term. ?

  7. Same here. Thanksgiving is my favorite Holiday. I’ve always found Christmas to be too much work.
    This Christmas will be just my wife and I due to COVID concerns. We’ll have a turkey and we won’t exchange gifts except with our grown kids whose gifts we’ve put in the mail

  8. I was brought up Jewish but I *love* Christmas! Christmas for me– many of us– has nothing to do with religion. And most of the beloved holiday traditions don’t come from consumerism nor religion, but from a sense of COMMUNITY. And we’re all down with community, right??

    The end of December was right before a couple months of intense Winter. Farmers had completed their harvest for the year, butchered their animals, and their ferments (think alcohol and pickled things) were finally ready. But challenging times were ahead, as they were every year.
    It was dark (See Mark’s bit on Winter Solstice), so they would light up a tree in the middle of town and everyone would meet up to swap goods for the Winter– The meats, produce, and booze, blankets they’d woven, sweaters they’d knitted, anything to trade and help others get through the harsh cold. This is where we get the tradition of trading gifts around a lit-up tree.

    If someone didn’t show up– likely someone who was elderly, or who had been sick– a few of the neighbors would gather up goods and walk over to that person’s home to check on them and make sure they had what they needed. To let the person know that they were coming, they sang along the way so that the person could hear them as they approached. This is where we get the tradition of caroling.

    So we don’t need to lament how far tradition has strayed from religion, and we don’t need to reject the holidays in their entirety in order to avoid consumerism. We just need to check in on each other, maybe give each other something to help get through Seasonal Affective Disorder, and give each other hugs (cyber hugs, this year!) before we’re all snowed in for the year.

    Happy Holidays, y’all. <3

  9. W/ Covid flairing up, we won’t be visiting Family, but as usual I’m making Christmas Ornaments. I love to design them and after a contentious year thought we could use more Peace – this year’s ornament is a Dove descending w/ an Olive Branch. I hammer them out of aluminum. There is something very relaxing about the process and I love creating an ideal form. Sorry, they are not for sale but Peace on Earth, Good Will towards Everyone.

  10. My only input having cooked a lot of wild birds and game is that they can taste a wee bit “gamey”. Depending on what your bird ate–it can be strong. I combat this with a bit of brandy or grande marnier, onions , oranges and bacon stuffed in (or included in my brine). It makes all wild “critters” taste amazing. Happy Holidays

    1. Yes, good point. And the other thing to remember is that a wild goose is going to be fairly lean……….probably not a lot of fat on it. That means it could be easier to dry out when cooking than a domesticated bird. Just something to watch for, Mark.

  11. Way to give a big middle finger to the first responders in a state where COVID is exploding. I’m a long time reader but think I’ll seek my fitness information elsewhere from now on.

    1. You obviously haven’t been paying attention then if you say you’re a “long-time” reader. Go back and read his articles, listen to podcasts, read his books. Turn off CNN and maybe you’ll realize there’s something behind being resilient and free. There’s not actually a pandemic but a shortage of hospitals due to closures from the “pandemic” and no higher deaths than any other year. Mental health & community are paramount to staying healthy and beating any virus. But here we are with gyms closed, alcohols sales up, churches/community centers/schools/all social places closed, and we’re supposed to “stay-safe” that way!!!! Not buying it!

      1. Go get him with the facts, Lacey. Let’s all agree not to be bullied by uninformed righteous zeal(b)ots.

        1. I am not so sure about her fact stating “no higher deaths than any other year”

      2. Exactly Lacey! Perfectly put! The cure(?) is worse than the disease!

  12. Not irresponsible, realistic. Assuming that Mark’s family is, like him, not obese, not very old, and maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels, their (and everyone else’s) chance of getting very ill with Covid is very low. Likely everyone will get it sooner or later, since most cases are asymptomatic, and thus undetected.

  13. This covid crap is the biggest hoax ever pulled on people. I am shocked how many sheeple have let this control their life. You stay safe I’ll stay free

    1. Hm… Visited any hospitals lately? Talked to any health care workers? Ever had much of a clue? Since when did freedom include the right to make other people sick? Tell you what, Typhoid Mary, you stay free and I’ll stay far, far away from you!

      1. Rock on Skeezix. She is definitely inhabiting a different world than you or I am.

  14. You better have a back up plan for the goose. Not worth creating a memory with bad food.

  15. Hi Mark!
    Very exciting to hear about your Christmas preparation, and the meal.
    Sounds yummy. I will have to try that.
    Grandkids! Aren’t they just the greatest treasures!?
    Thank you for all your hard work to keep us healthy, positive, both physically, and mentally.
    Merry Christmas to you, and your family.

  16. We don’t do much in the way of gifts anymore, except for the kiddos. No one coming in from out of state this year either. Those of us who do live in the same state are getting together for our annual hike/photography trip and dinner. We’ll also be observing the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter on the 21st

  17. Enough people!
    Number one :Covid is real.
    Number two: Not a hoax
    Number three: Believe it or not. Obese people aren’t thee only ones getting sick from COVID. In my community there are too many to count very sick right now. Not obese. Not unhealthy. Just sick. Lots and lots. And spreading like crazy.
    Number four : Because of people’s disrespect for each other two families we know are suffering. One has a four month old baby girl with brain cancer. She is hospitalized. Only one parent at a time can stay with her. They CANNOT both stay at the same time. She is terminal.
    Another family lost a thirty year old son. He was hospitalized. On a ventilator. His mother wasn’t allowed in until end of life papers were signed.
    Number five: It’s not about YOU. It’s about the doctors, nurses, caregivers, shopkeepers, store workers. All those helping the public every single day. Out there. For YOU.
    Number six : Do you actually know any caregiver professionals working on a COVID floor at a hospital? I do. And it’s definitely NOT a hoax. Get educated before you speak. No disrespect intended.
    Number seven: It’s spreading all over schools etc. Do you actually really know a teacher? See their stress levels? See how hard they’re working for your children/grandchildren/nieces and nephews? I do. I know many.
    Number eight: Freedom is a gift. From our forefathers. It is to be treasured. Protected. Because we are inconvenienced temporarily doesn’t give us the right to flagrantly disregard others sacrifices.
    Number nine: Do we care so little for our elderly, our parents and grandparents that we are choosing to throw all caution to the wind for our own selfishness? Many will die years before they should have.
    *Number nine: Just Stop. Stop name calling. Stop disrespecting each other. Stop disagreeing. Stop throwing your opinions out there haphazardly because you are angry. We’re all struggling with something.
    Number Ten: Christmas is a religious holiday. Nothing will change that. And yes. Christmas is truly magical. People are nicer during the Christmas season. People are kinder. There is something in the air as a commenter stated. We all need to rise above the pettiness and name calling and realize we are truly in this together. Do your part. Help one another. Do something for someone in need. Reach out…
    We’ve all had remarkable (or not so) Christmases in the past. This year can still be special. In spite of. Maybe with a few adjustments. Have that glass of eggnog with or without the rum. Bake cookies. Yes. Bake cookies. Enjoy yourself. Give the gift of time to yourself. That’s one we’re all shorted on. But whatever you do, please, please rise above all of this and be the better person.
    I know we all can do it. It won’t be forever. It just feels that way.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season for those who celebrate differently. In spite of. In spite of.
    I know we can do better.

    1. Yes it’s real. Yes it’s spreading….that is what a virus does. You CANNOT stop it. Live your best life NOW….taking what precautions make YOU feel safe. If you don’t feel safe stay home and hide for another couple years.

    2. Thank you for that. And I would like to add: be grateful for the things you DO have, and you CAN do.

    3. All so well said. It’s not about the individual – healthcare workers are nearly begging for people to celebrate only in their own homes, with people they live with, so the healthcare system can bear the load it has to. These caregivers have been under enormous pressure for so many months. I can’t say it better than you did Robin. It’s about the collective. Thank you.

  18. No big celebration here. Christmas will just be the immediate household, as was Thanksgiving. Both holidays show up every year, and next year will be no exception. On the other hand, good health can disappear in an instant and might never return. I’m not particularly paranoid, but is a single day really worth the risk?

  19. it would be great if you film all of the cooking process above and post later!

  20. Well, that is nice if you have the choice, but here in The Netherlands we are in a lockdown currently so no family gatherings for us. And with a view to the climate, paddling etc. is not viable either.

  21. Man, you’re igniting some nostalgia in me there! Not in the sense of “good old days”, but winter solstice, ancient people around the world, bonfires, tribes, families, celestial bodies… it’s a nice pairing with the spirit of Christmas and having an epic goose feast. (Goose bumps?) Maybe you’ll be looking into the night sky and see the kind of natural beauty your dad may have painted from memory, and make you feel as if he’s there with you?
    Whatever your experience might turn out to be, I wish you and your family a lovely time together – Chris

    PS. To readers who are concerned about family gatherings during the pandemic: I’m with you, do the responsible thing. But give Mark the benefit of the doubt here. He’s spoken about this topic before – read his previous stuff. He’s not the kind of person who would take stupid risks or put other people’s health in jeopardy.

  22. With a vaccine on the way, cases spiking throughout the country and world, and hospitals already overwhelmed or on the brink of being overwhelmed, I hope you are taking precautions with your family visiting. It would be one thing if this was just a risk we had to live with indefinitely, but with the vaccination program starting now is a time to hunker down and protect our loved ones and families so we can spend many more holidays with them.
    And with the average infection fatality rate being around 1% (maybe a little lower or a little higher, much less risky for young people, really risky for older people), the chances of your family members dying aren’t too high even if you catch it, though the risk of severe disease or long term complications is fairly high. The issue is, is everyone behaves as such (even though it may be a rational individual decision), millions of additional people will catch it and hundreds of thousands more people will die. It’s a classic tragedy of the commons.
    So whatever your plans are for the holidays, I hope you are taking precautions to gather in a less risky way (masked inside, family meal outside is great if the weather allows it), thinking about collective risk when deciding to see family or not, and watching out for each other.

  23. I wonder if Mark’s “the rules apply to everyone but me” attitude extends to the production of his products? How could you ever trust anything he is promoting is manufactured in a safe environment?

    I say this as a long-time fan of this site and Mark’s work – this is shockingly irresponsible, but Mark has made clear via other posts that he considers people who suffer from a COVID infection to have somehow brought it on themselves. So it’s hardly surprising that he’s decided he’s above any public guidelines.

  24. Mark, came here for a bit in a new way – instead of through previously bookmarked to read later’s I went to recent articles and so found this one.

    To learn about things like what that spirit is what has seemed to me to learn about is suffering. The spiritual reality underlying life is very real. You yourself demonstrate it or show me you understand. Thank goodness for nature and a healthy nourishing primal diet: these are genuine and can carry us through. They won’t accompany our soul after death; they are gifts for here.

  25. Read the article and was told I was posting too quickly but I will try again. Mark the spirit behind Christmas you do understand and it shows through your communication. All the natural supports you offer are part of it. So that spirit is using you. That’s what I have always in the short time I have ‘known you’ thought. All you give helps us get through this life on the way to the threshold of departure and it is that departure that makes things poignant at Christmas the closer we get to death. It’s even reflected in the words of the Christmas music we all have heard…. ‘if only in my dreams’ “I’ll be home for Christmas.” … Merry Christmas …. still in the season of Christmas!