Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Flogging The Christmas Dog Blog...

Oh my goodness, it's Christmas?! Oh sure, it happens every Winter, right about now, yet this year time has just become so compressed for me... and just why is this a surprise you ask? Yeah... it really shouldn't be, huh? I guess I just want to have the entire planet ratchet down, take a few breaths, and smile for a change. Not too much to ask is it? Oh, and it wouldn't hurt you to sing a few carols either. Why it just might put a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and some joy in your heart! Probably be good for your blood pressure and cholesterol as well.

Ever since I was a kid, Christmas has been my favorite holiday of them all. Truth be told, it still is. In other words, I am a big softy, and especially at Christmas! So, of course everyone else should be too, right? Sure, there's still lots of unresolved problems, big and small, across the planet, and even in your very own home.  Yes, we still have troops across the globe, in what seems to be a pointless exercise of never ending hostility. And I know that none of us have the money we had last year, much less the year before. Point of fact, there's a fewer with a job now, much less a career. Sure, we have lost some very good people as well, some close to us, some not. And the list could go and on, couldn't it?

Well, that list stops right here! Why? Because, quite simply put, I  believe in Christmas. Period. I love to decorate the house, and string up enuff lights to make the Power Meter think it's a Frisbee in flight. Barb and I team up and send out cards to our family. What's that? What about friends you ask? If you receive a card from me, then in my little pea picking brain, you are a part of my Family, don't ever doubt it! Yes, I believe in the Magic of Christmas! Yes, this is a special time of year, and it's up to all of us to make certain of it! We owe not just to ourselves, but (most especially) our children, and our planet. We make it so. Don't ever doubt your individual power to give love. And Love is the very showcase of Christmas. And yes, Hanukkah,  and Ramadan, and Ashura, and Bodhi Day, and especially Boxing Day! Go ahead, look them up, interesting reading there...

My all time most favorite Christmas memory comes from way back, when I was about 8 years old or so.  My family drove from Lincoln NE to a tiny town in Georgia where my folks were from. We stayed with my grand parents, in a small farmhouse, in a very rural community. There was so many family in from out of town, that I was bedded in the living room, on the couch. Back then, as a small fry, I could fit quite comfortably on the sofa for a good night's sleep. Well, Christmas morning comes, and I wake up, to see the lovingly decorated tree, with what had to be a gazillion presents underneath and all around. The adults that were up were loudly singing carols, and some wonderful breakfast aromas filled the house. Eating breakfast, unwrapping presents with all my extended family all around, singing all the while. Brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles, grands and parents, all together to simply share love. Yes, there was joy in that little house in the corn field. Any wonder I'm a total sap for Christmas?

Flash forward to the present, and you'll find me at a couple of different locations being Santa Claus.  I think I was invited since I don't need additional padding? Or maybe it's cause I have a hearty belly laugh, and really do love children. Whatever the reason, it is indeed a privilege to take part in those activities. Just look at the pic up top and you'll see why. And each locale has some interesting differences as well. In Onekama, the children are usually quite well behaved, and would never think of being put on the Naughty List. In Thompsonville, the kids are generally well behaved, if a bit pushy, and some of them are quite proud to be on the Naughty List! Wha? Huh? I suppose that since quite a few of the parents probably grew up on the Naughty List, it's a comfortable fit for their children? But each child is such a unique treasure, and you can believe that Santa shows each one love. Santa may only have half a minute with each little gem, but every hug is a crown jewel!

No, you don't hafta be religious to celebrate this holiday, and yes there is far too much crass commercialism ongoing. I mean, when I see Christmas stuff on sale in a drug store in the middle of October, well I really grit my teeth! For Heaven's sake, it's not even Halloween yet?! Arrgg... Of course everyone knows that Christmas is a holiday rooted in Pagan Traditions, that was subverted by the Church. Wise move, if you ask me. Since the early Christians didn't have a fun Soltice party, they co-opted one. And the celebration of Christmas has not always been so welcomed, even in the short history of America. There was time when both the Church, and the Politicians tried to ban it outright, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Well, happily, that never worked either. Guess you could say that the Spirit of Christmas outshone all of it's detractors.

Nowadays, we seem to have a movement afoot to trivialize Christmas. This is brought to you by the same fascist thinking groups that use Political Correctness s a means to negate the possibility that God exists, or that we should ever think about God, much less be permitted to speak about it. No, I'm not a Thumper, but I am concerned when some supposedly well intentioned group tells me that every opinion about our society, and culture, is to be valued. Every opinion, that is, except the one they don't like. So, I, for one, refuse to enjoy a "Mid Winter" School Break, and I don't send out "Happy Holiday" cards. And yes, I do cheerfully attend Christmas Eve Service, and enjoy it. Mid Winter? Really? At least they could have called it Beginning of Blizzard Season Break, and been honest about it?

And I certainly respect anyone with a differing opinion than mine, and a different set of beliefs. It's the quasi intellectual types that constantly have an axe to grind, and deliberately take away any, and every thing that could be special to us that I can't stomach. Christmas is more than just a religious holiday. It is a special time of year. A Season that brings the darkest day of the year, and so reaffirms our faith in many things. A time of year when people lighten up a bit, and do silly things and even wear silly clothes. But best of all, Christmas is a time when it's acceptable to show everyone around you, that yes, you do love them. And that, my friends, is why there will always be the Magic of Christmas!

As usual, all the photos are mine, except for the top one. That was snapped by Digitally Loco, she's a wonderful personal friend, and abso awesome photog. If you need any great pics, tell her I sent ya!