May every single gift you’ve listed for Santa (or whomever) to channel your way appear magically on Christmas Day, each of the eight nights of Chanukah, during Kwanzaa or whenever you choose to …
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May every single gift you’ve listed for Santa (or whomever) to channel your way appear magically on Christmas Day, each of the eight nights of Chanukah, during Kwanzaa or whenever you choose to celebrate the season.
It is my fervent prayer that when you sit down to your holiday meal you are blessed with bounty beyond imagination. I wish for you that your twice-baked potatoes are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, your Christmas ham cut thick, and may the mousse on your table be more chocolatey than ever before.
I hope that your iPhone has every single application available, that your flat screen is the largest to be had, and when you look out your door on gifting day, may there be a bright new Cooper Mini, the Porsche of your choice, a shiny new Harley or whatever mode of transport floats your boat. Even if that means, in fact, a boat. May you never be up the creek without a paddle.
And may your Festivus be merry and freakin’ bright.
Actually, if you are reading this paper, I figure the odds are very good that your material needs are being very well met, and you really don’t need too much more. Even if you don’t live in these tony neighborhoods of south-central Denver, if you can afford to shop in our boutiques or dine in our restaurants, you’re in the upper 3 percent of people on the planet economically. Hell, if you picked this newspaper up at Safeway, and you were able to fill your basket with groceries, you’re still riding high on the hog, as they say.
Truth is, I wish you peace, love and happiness this holiday season, but don’t care much about your iPhone, your big screen or whether or not you have a shiny new car in your driveway. What I do care about is that you care about those who don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting much under the tree this year. And who probably don’t have a tree at all. Or a home to put it in.
And I care about the men and women in our military who will be thinking more about staying alive than living large this holiday season. Caught in a web of politics, ideology and demagoguery, they’re attempting to win a war that may not be able to be “won,” with a timetable crafted more out of political expedience than military wisdom.
It’s sad when Santa gives you the wrong color cashmere on the big day. It’s another thing when he can’t locate you at all because in the mountains of Afghanistan you’re as unfindable as Osama himself on Christmas morning.
I’m thinking closer to home about the families that are not only spending less this year on holiday gifts because of the recession, but are not spending at all because no work means no money. You finish the equation.
And I’m thinking about those who will not only not be twice baking their potatoes, but won’t be cooking at all because being homeless leaves them without a kitchen, and well, you can finish that equation too. (Read J. Patrick O’Leary’s piece on local food banks and see what you can do to help.)
And my heart goes out to the millions and millions of people around the world who don’t go to bed praying for gifts on Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or Boxing Day or whenever, because their spirit has been so broken by poverty or war or both that their dreams have been shattered as well as their bodies and spirits. Their prayers are more for food and shelter to make their families well, and an end to the conflict so their community may be whole again. (Check out Susan Dugan’s People of South Denver article about Brad Corrigan and the work he’s doing in Managua, Nicaragua, and hear Ryan Kuja’s thoughts on the nightmarish conditions in Sudan in From A Reader’s Pen.)
No matter what religion, sect or spiritual program fills your inner need, I have to believe that at this time of year you’re directed to give unto others, and do unto others as you would have them give and do unto you. One volume that I hold close tells me that to keep what I have, and for my blessings to continue to grow, I must give them away. Seems a bit incongruous to a linear way of thought, but to those of you who believe in a more circular view of the cosmos, it makes great sense, I’m sure.
Our beloved president and the Congress who we’ve assigned to watch over our needs and to legislate in our best interests, missed the boat in their attempts to solve the U.S. banking crisis that reared its ugly head a few months back.
Instead of strengthening the always-challenged links of hardworking small businessfolk who live on small margin, and would pay employees, and stock shelves with goods to sell to people whose employers had paid them, our ruling elite decided to reinforce the stronger link at the top of the economic food chain that been weakened by its own greed and caused the crisis in the first place. And when that upper echelon was reinforced, and made strong again, what happened? That’s right, not largesse, but more greed. Instead of spreading the windfall around, they kept the money in their own pockets and the rest of us be damned.
So, during this season of peace and love and giving, be sure to spread the love. Let your charity reach past your front door to those for whom it will make a real difference. Spend as you will, but spend from your heart.
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