Christmas Inside Us All

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posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 09:17 AM
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Soon, it will be Christmas Day.

There will be reunions and parties across the land. Children will be sitting on the lap of a jolly old man dressed in a red suit, confessing their deepest desires. The world population of swine will drop impressively as people feast. Gifts will be exchanged. And finally, the morning of December 25th, children world over will be greeted by a shining tree filled with presents.

And among all this gaiety, there will be the most heinous feelings of sorrow of any time of the year. There will be suicides and depressions. Some people will be homeless, shivering in the harsh coldness of winter. Some will die of exposure. Many more will die of a broken heart and spirit. There will be automobile accidents, and some of these will involve the ending of a life. Each one will bring a season of sorrow and pain to those who survive the unfortunate.

I sit here as I write this, huddled under some blankets in a drafty home. I am unemployed, now for almost 4 months. My savings are almost gone. I have a few prospects for a job after the holidays, but only a few. I managed to get my children a few presents this year, but much less than they usually get. I had intended to make some presents for my extended family this year, since I cannot afford to buy much. But alas, it has rained for the last week and a half, and I have not been able to work on them. Now it's too late.

Come Wednesday, there will be a celebration at my mother's house. I cannot avoid it; it happens within sight of my home. My sister and her family will be there, and they will bring presents that I cannot hope to match this time. My mother will no doubt be watching the difference between us. So will my stepfather, who seems anxious to show me a failure at every opportunity anyway. I will be berated at my lack of gainful employment, my long hair, my beard, and worst of all, my obsession with my 'crazy ideas'. My home is not as nice as theirs are, my bank account is not as expansive as it should be, and it will all be my fault. I dread it immensely.

And yet, there is a cedar tree sitting here in front of me, adorned with tiny lights shiny garlands, and delicate ornaments. We, the whole family, went out and cut it down from where it grew at the edge of the mountain I call home. We already had the trimmings. There will be a few precious gifts wrapped in brightly colored paper under it next week. After the reunion of Christmas Eve, I will come home to that tree and sit here surrounded by my family. We will examine the gifts they got and talk about the events of the day. That night, the kids will go to bed, and my wife and I will practice that tradition of staying up late to set the few items we managed to get just so underneath that tree. The next morning, we will awaken to the greatest gift I can ever hope to receive for Christmas: the sight of my children discovering what we have managed to give them.

You see, the material things sitting under that tree are not what we have given them. Those things can be broken or stolen or lost. What is more important is the love they represent in some woefully inadequate way. Both kids understand that Christmas will be slim this year, and both have told me repeatedly that it doesn't matter to them. Both know that the tree itself is a borrowed pagan symbol of the Winter Solstice festival. So are the lights, representing the stars on a cold cloudless winter night. None of that matters either. We all know what it is and Who it is we celebrate.

Christmas night, I will go to bed and lie there, deep in my thoughts. I will be thinking of all those who have so much less than we do. I will be saying quiet prayers for those who have lost a loved one at this worst possible time of year, for those who do not have a shelter over their heads, and for those shivering in worst cold than we will have. I will pray for peace for everyone who is angry. I will pray that those who are suffering around the world will have their suffering eased somehow. And I will again offer myself to be an instrument in easing any suffering I come across, as I do every year. Finally, I will drop off to sleep, probably in mid-prayer, thankful for the things we do have. For we have so much...

We have each other, and a stable family.
We have hope for the future, regardless of what CNN says.
We have a house for shelter from the weather.
We have a mountain behind us, to shelter us from the dire winds of winter.
We have an old kerosene heater, and plenty of blankets.
We have food to eat.
We have clean water to drink.
We have clean air to breathe.
We have our health and strength to survive.
We have our faith in the One whose birth we celebrate.

And as I drift off to sleep, I will realize again that happiness comes not from a store, or from a bottle, or from a chemical concoction. Happiness comes from inside. I will be happy that night, despite my material situation, while across the world so many will be miserable and yet seemingly so much better off than I.

Merry Christmas to each and every one who reads this. May you all find that inner happiness and joy that exists within you. And may the new year bring you peace and comfort in all you do, and success in all you attempt. I know I will have a busy first part of the year, and will still be a lot less active here than I would like to be. May that change as well. For now, I have too many things on the ball at once, and while I just finished one, another has appeared. I really don't have the time to even write this, but some things just have to be said.

Rest assured, however, that when you least expect it, TheRedneck will pop back up.
We're funny like that.

TheRedneck




posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 09:24 AM
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Well the way things are going we'll all be in worst shape soon....and meaterial thinking is what got us here...dont get brainwashed by the supposed meaning of any holiday or the capitalism that drives it...plus its what you make it...if you want christmas to be about family structure and sharing love than so be it...and there is nothing wrong with that....

The sheeple will suffer...because they gave control away to now be enslaved...im well prepared but i cant survive all on my own...no man is an island all his own...so dont worry when things get real bad ill search for all the sheeple and help out...we either survive as a whole or perish as a whole...and if i run into you ...ill help you out too...and its true anything has to start within you....society always tells you your not good enough ...so you dont love yourself...than they tell you love thy neighbor...how can you love your neighbor when you dont even love yourself....

regardless of whats going on in the world...its still a merry christmas becuase i decided to make it so....and when you take responsibility for yourself you are truly free.........

so................

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[edit on 21-12-2008 by Moose Head]



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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Redneck, that was the most beautiful, heartfelt post I've read so far this holiday season.
I wholeheartedly agree with you.
Christmas...never did come from a store.
And it never will.
All the best to you and your family.
AD



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 11:54 AM
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the mainstream of humanity is caught up with material possessions and things...





on the other hand what goes through my head on a "holiday" like this:

"If you want happiness, be happy".



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 11:57 AM
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What a lovely post, the best I have read in a long time. I can relate very strongly to the sentiments expressed in these words, and I'm glad that you aren't letting these lean times ruin this holiday that is about so much more than material goods and the appearance of wealth. The real blessings in life have nothing to do with how much money you have or how many gifts you can buy everyone... I hope that your family will come to see that in time, happiness isn't measured in dollars.

It's such a pleasure to see the look on children's faces when they find a few well thought out and carefully picked gifts. When they have a few they seem to appreciate it more than when they get used to having lots of expensive wasteful gifts. I feel the simpler gifts are more true to the spirit of christmas. I know this year was very tight for us as well and I have had to shop very carefully and I also hand made and baked some of the gifts, I just wanted to do the best I could with meager finances for my two year old... In the end I feel I did very well indeed despite having a budget a fraction of the size of your average parent and I am thoroughly looking forward to Christmas morning!



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:04 PM
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Merry Christmas to you, TheRedneck and your fortunate family. Beautiful post!

I wish you good fortune for the coming year.



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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Christmas sucks, I have always hated it. Even as a kid I hated it. The only thing I liked about it was time off from work or school.

Bah.

Best of luck to you in the future.



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Your post was very moving. But on the flip side, I'm sure the 'ball' will be rolling back for you and your family. Cheers!


[edit on 2008-12-21 by pikypiky]



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
Come Wednesday, there will be a celebration at my mother's house. I cannot avoid it; it happens within sight of my home. My sister and her family will be there, and they will bring presents that I cannot hope to match this time. My mother will no doubt be watching the difference between us. So will my stepfather, who seems anxious to show me a failure at every opportunity anyway. I will be berated at my lack of gainful employment, my long hair, my beard, and worst of all, my obsession with my 'crazy ideas'. My home is not as nice as theirs are, my bank account is not as expansive as it should be, and it will all be my fault. I dread it immensely.


Though I know this feeling to you is demeaning and hurting from the ones you love, I wouldn't let it get you down. From my perspective, if this is the way they act towards you, it sounds as if they're the ones who are lacking the true CHRISTmas spirit you have expressed in your post and are the ones who should be ashamed of the judgements they pass.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
And I will again offer myself to be an instrument in easing any suffering I come across, as I do every year. Finally, I will drop off to sleep, probably in mid-prayer, thankful for the things we do have. For we have so much...

We have each other, and a stable family.
We have hope for the future, regardless of what CNN says.
We have a house for shelter from the weather.
We have a mountain behind us, to shelter us from the dire winds of winter.
We have an old kerosene heater, and plenty of blankets.
We have food to eat.
We have clean water to drink.
We have clean air to breathe.
We have our health and strength to survive.
We have our faith in the One whose birth we celebrate.


To be honest, from what I read, you are a man who is very well grounded in mind and soul. Your heart is exactly where it should be. I know the pains you suffer as this is how I have lived my life.I know and occasionally wish for the money and material things to ease the pressures of life but unfortunately these things only make us lose who we truly are.

I know GOD tests your faith as he continually tests mine (wich lately has been weak), but be advised that you are not in it alone. I will be thinking of you everytime I need to endure a trial which tests my faith, and pray for us and those who also endure.Your post has sent tingling chills throughout my body and raised the hair on my arms.It has helped awaken my dormant, suppressed spirit which is a gift you have given me on behalf of him who we celebrate. Thanks and Your family and you will be in our hearts and prayers along with the rest of those who suffer.

God Bless in the name of CHRIST.

Your Yankee brother from NY, Revealation.



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:26 PM
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Well-written Redneck. Know that despite what your extended family may think of you, in the grand scheme, you hold admirable values. Some will recognise it, some won't. Equally, some will know it but choose not to acknowledge it. Hold your head high when you visit your Mother's on Xmas Eve for you have nothing to be ashamed of.

On the theme of the topic, I really hope we - the Western world - can choose this point in time to put the consumerism and materialism of yesterday behind us. Most of us will be forced to by necessity, but those of us in good financial stead should do so too for the sake of our collective spirit. When you draw that final breath in life, all that matters is how well you treated the world around you, not how many things you own.

Yuletide greetings everyone!



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:31 PM
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With your talent, expressiveness, articulation, and command of the English language; I see great things in your future.

Bless your heart!

and a country boy can survive....



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:32 PM
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TheRedneck,

I loved your posts... if someone, at least try to find positive in negative, no matter how small positive is, th en posiitve part will grow bigger and bigger at once your heart forgives and let the negative go. It is alway best thing we can do, in order, to bring more positive and love among people.

I am giving stars and flagging your threads because your posts must be read by everyone in ATS and I hope that your post will bring more positive to many people here for sake of christmas.

In my view, christmas is about getting together and share the treasures of togetherness and share the laughter and joy together.

You sir, made my day much better and I thank you very much for that!


Chaoic out...

[edit on 21-12-2008 by Chaoic_Black_Dragon]



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 12:38 PM
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Thank you for you heartfelt words! They meant a lot to me. There are many of us who share in this camaraderie. It helps to know that we are not alone!



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 01:22 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 





We have each other, and a stable family.
We have hope for the future, regardless of what CNN says.
We have a house for shelter from the weather.
We have a mountain behind us, to shelter us from the dire winds of winter.
We have an old kerosene heater, and plenty of blankets.
We have food to eat.
We have clean water to drink.
We have clean air to breathe.
We have our health and strength to survive.
We have our faith in the One whose birth we celebrate


My friend, don't worry about what others, namely your stepfather, think about you. The above quote tells me that you know what the season is all about. Things will turn around, they always do. In your other posts here, I've seen a strength of character of the sort that weathers these storms. Stay strong. You'll make it through.



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Sorry man but I think you are a bit deluded, the same way most people are around you. Christmas is not inside of us. It's a creation of man, and a corporate celebration that's becoming just as religious as the birthday of Christ nowadays. This is part of the deception that this capitalistic society is pushing on you, and that makes you feel like a loser because of this financial mess you're in.

You are not a loser, and this mess you live in NOT entirely your fault... far from it. The only thing that may be your "fault" is to not try to find ways to enjoy this life with what you've got rather than with what you "should" have, based upon the image that some others have of a happy life. One that seeks things that are within his reach, and enjoys them will always be satisfied, and this is quite realistic to follow such principle. Too bad there are so few people here who know Epicurus and understand his philosophy correctly... if only they would'nt keep forcing Plato in our brains like that #ty meal that nobody wants to eat.

It's good that you actually get to spend some magical time with your precious siblings, but what's inside of us is not the spirit of Christmas, but the good energy to transcend our #ty life and enjoy a few wonderful moments of joy with other people, and with ourselves as well. This good energy can be found aplenty in ourselves but this materialistic world crushes it when we believe in its illusions. But being creative and exploring new possibilities are usually good ways to get that energy back.

Nobody needs a special night every year to give and share. They deserve it everyday. What they need is to redefine their relation with this material world, with the stuff they buy and with the idea of burying itself. They need to question what private property is, and to what extent it can make things worse for them rather than securing their prosperity. They need to re-evaluate their needs. People in the Third World are doing that from childhood, instead of being brainwashed with false needs since childhood, and many, surprisingly, live happier than most Western people.

People like you and me deserve a Christmas every single day of the year. They even deserve to live in a Christmas world, where everything is there to pick, transform, share and use, as it's tiring them to always have to work and sacrifice their everyday life for buying a lifestyle where they are never really satisfied.

If I'd have an idea of what is Christmas, perhaps I would wish you a happy Christmas, but I'm still confused about it. Especially when that Santa Claus crap they've tried to brainwash me with when I was a kid was actually just a marketing stunt.

I'm just gonna tell you that famous quote from The Matrix: "Free your mind!"

P.S.: And please, if you have kids, stop spreading the big lie! To deceive them with mere illusions is not much of a good Christmas gift.



[edit on 21/12/08 by Echtelion]

[edit on 21/12/08 by Echtelion]



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 01:39 PM
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I'm not good with words nowadays, but your post made me to use my fingers and type this:
Have a Joyful Christmas and Peaceful New Year!
May your inner light shine forever....
greetings,
Jazz



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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Merry Christmas Redneck! And if you're family can't deal with what you're going through, then tell'em you love'em anyway, and let it go!
Remember the one of the 12 step sayings: Let Go, and Let God!
Good luck my friend!



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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I smiled as I read your post, you reaffirmed the meaning of Christmas and I thank you for that.
As you celebrate with your parents and siblings this year, please remember, you're not the first man with long hair, a beard and "less then expected" gifts to be judged by others. The first was the true reason for the season... so know you're in good company.
Merry Christmas to you and yours and wishing you all the best in the coming New Year.



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 02:06 PM
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With that type of life-affirming attitude it wont be long before you'll have your next job and do great on it. If I were a personell executive I'd hire you on the spot for that post.

[edit on 21-12-2008 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 21 2008 @ 04:05 PM
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As long as there are still people (homeless) freezing to death out there,
i can not celebrate anything, least of all X-Mas.
Can you imagine, if everyone of you, who post here, would get the idead
of taking in even just one person under your roof, your heart would feel
alot better. That's what x-mas is all about, nothing else. One 4 All and
All 4 One. When that happens, we won't need x-mas to remind us.





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