The Christmases we remember
December 25, 2013
I think people remember most Christmases. Some remember those when times were plentiful, but if they are like me, they remember most those times when money was short and Christmases bleak. I've written about the great
Christmas I had when I received my Radio Flyer wagon 67 years ago.
The following Christmas I was reunited with my mother. That was a great Christmas. I've written about a Christmas when I was very young, my mother couldn't afford a tree and we asked Santa to leave the presents under a chair. I've written about the time when we couldn't afford presents for our five children, only to be blessed when I received a $200 check from my sis on Dec. 23 to pay me for her share of my dad's funeral a year earlier. Bless her heart.
I make the same mistake many make by remembering Christmases by the gifts given and received. Gift giving is fun and wonderful, as long as we keep it in perspective. We can do without presents and still have a joyous Christmas. That would be a tremendous lesson to teach your children if you are of the Christian faith.
We live in America and have opportunities many in other countries don't have. A person in the USA with an average income is rich compared to many around the world. Christmas time can be a very sad time indeed in many countries where people work for less than two dollars a day. However, many of them find joy by celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus. We could learn from them. If you think about it there is never a time to be sad on Christmas, for it is the time to celebrate the greatest event in all history. Gift giving has overshadowed what we really need to be focused on at Christmas.
Christmas brings us Black Fridays. The day after Thanksgiving is a time to get trampled in your local box store trying to buy gifts for less. People have been trampled to death on black Friday. I don't see the meaning of Christmas on black Fridays or in the economic stimulus Christmas shopping brings.
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Some folks have great big Christmas trees adorned with many lights and ornaments and many presents lay beneath the branches all around the tree. That's fine, but it's not the size of their tree or their generous family gift giving by which they will be judged, it's the size of their heart, compassion for the poor, and their love of God that will be the measure of their life.
Jesus told a very arrogant wealthy ruler he should take everything he owned and give it to the poor. Fits the Republicans to a tea. Pun intended. None of us are Christian enough to give everything to the poor. But, surely we should not be removing the safety nets from the poor, while news accounts say 30 percent of corporations pay no federal taxes.
The poor are facing another crisis as a result of the Republican demands in the budget which included an end to extended unemployment insurance. That was the price the Democrats paid for avoiding another government
shutdown. Just recently the Republicans cut the food stamp program dramatically. The Democrats shouldn't have caved in this time. Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., bragged that he got 70 percent of what he wanted in the budget and the Democrats only got 30 percent. As usual he got the elevator and the poor got the shaft. It's a bad deal. You better believe Ryan will want for nothing this Christmas.
And the beat goes on. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. This is a trend that has been consistent for more than thirty years. It seems to me this trend certainly does not find favor with the son that was born to the Virgin Mary many years ago.
I am thrilled about this Christmas. Many appointees of President Obama have finally received approval, thanks to the nuclear solution of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., During all the years of past presidents, 86 presidential appointments have been blocked. That's about one in every three years. President Obama, in just five years, has had 82 of his appointments blocked by the phony filibusters of the Republicans. A great many were women with whom the Republicans are at war. It's a shame Reid had to do it. The Senate is working night and day to approve all of President Obama's appointments. It's a great Christmas gift to all of us.
Glen McAdoo, a Fallon resident, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.