Since I have two weeks off for Christmas I am growing a beard. Oddly, as its come in and gotten heavier, I am looking forward to shaving it even more. Not that I’m unhappy having the beard. My wife doesn’t dislike it and its getting to the point where my face looks less dirty and more like I actually have legitimate facial hair. But I am also really forward to shaving the thing off. I think I’ve seen too many movies where the hero drags himself out of retirement, or a gutter, or self-imposed exile, and a key part of that re-emergence is the beard-shaving. It’s a way of showing purification, or rebirth, or just the hero’s return to bad-assery. I think its a good reminder that after all the overindulgence that we (or at least I) engage in around this season, we’re gonna have to get back to business soon. And nothing says back to business like shaving off a beard.