It's that time again.
Across the USA, there are trees made of plastic, adorned with shiny ornaments of plastic and tinsel. Underneath those are presents to friends and
family, all wrapped up just so in frilly paper and sporting bows of brightly colored ribbon. In the cities and towns people rush and scurry in that
panic to find the perfect gift. The stores display their wares with the standard bent toward encouraging more and higher-priced gifts amongst the
flamboyant banners and lights. Banks and financial companies give promises of extra cash for the holiday shopping season. As the sun sets, the
nighttime welcomes a brilliant array of colored lights and illuminated statues that represent the gaiety of the holiday season.
The televisions sport Christmas specials, some traditional, but many more celebrating the secular aspects of the season. Children are issued empty
threats of Santa Claus watching in an attempt to keep them from misbehaving, empty because the tree come Friday morning will still be laden with the
most expensive and coveted items their parents can afford, regardless of their actions.
Last year was a very rough year for me personally. I had only a few months earlier been forced to leave my job, and was unable to find employment. Our
Christmas was lean, to say the least. Presents were few, and the tree was a real cedar with ornamnets saved form previous years. I was concerned that
I was unable to give with the usual gusto I exhibit in this season. I posted a post similar to this, but containing a bit of apprehension.
I learned much last year. Christmas was wonderful, without all the glitz and glamour that it had come to mean. Instead of fancy presents and bright
lights, we had each other. Christmas dinner was a ham added to our usual menu, but the fact that we were all together made it seem like a feast worthy
of He whose birthday we celebrate.
This year is lean as well. I am employed, but part-time in a low-paying and sometimes stressful job. I am on a temporary furlough because of no work
until next year. Money is still tight. But this year I know better than to worry; I learned my lesson from last year, and I would like to give it to
all my friends here at ATS:
Those gifts mean nothing. The money you spend means nothing. What means something is understanding that the greatest things in life cannot be found in
any store, nor in a pretty box. There are those who would have you believe that, but their attempts are lies. The true worth of Christmas is love and
peace and family and friendship. Those things have no price tag.
So I ask all of you reading this to do one thing, the one thing that will hurt the elite, the illuminati, the corporation, the powers that be, or
whatever you wish to call them: this year, stop. Just stop. Ignore the bright lights and the fancy ads and the sales and specials in the stores. Take
some time, and look around you. See beyond the glitter to those worn red buckets with volunteers ringing their bells. Look at those who have less than
you, yet are happy. Happiness comes not with a receipt. It comes not from outside you, but from within. stop running the rat race long enough to look
inside your heart and realize what you really have. I'm sure all of us can find something to be thankful for and to feel blessed because of.
I have been blessed this year. Not in money, but in what matters. I have met many more people on ATS this year, and I received a promotion at ATS as
well. I received a new (to me) Buick when I had no running transportation. My children will have a good Christmas, not so much referring to how
expensive their gifts will be, but in how much love went into them. I am looking again at a cedar tree we cut down along the edge of the mountain,
adorned with the same ornaments we had last year. Presents are few under it, but what is there represents a heartfelt wish for happiness and joy
throughout the coming year. Nothing material has changed from last year.
But something spiritual has changed. I now know that no matter what comes along in 2010, I will be able to handle it. I know that I have the greatest
gifts that a man can have, things that no government, no conspiracy, no movement, no tax can take from me. I have more friends than I know. I have the
greatest family I could imagine. I have a home in paradise, surrounded by the wonders that nature is so good at creating. My work on my projects will
continue through the coming year.
So this year I can say, to each and every member, regardless of their position or standing, regardless of whether or not we agree on issues, and
regardless of where in the world they are...
May your next year be filled with peace, and joy, and happiness, and success in whatever you do.
And to the One I credit with everything I have
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!
(And for those who will bring this up, I know the date is off. I know the history of how many of the symbols have their origins in other religions. I
don't care. It is the thought that counts, nothing else.)
[edit on 12/19/2009 by TheRedneck]