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Christmas 2009... lessons learned

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posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 04:03 PM
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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...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

HAPPY HANUKKAH!

HAPPY SOLSTICE!


and

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.)

TheRedneck


[edit on 12/19/2009 by TheRedneck]




posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Merry Christmas Redneck. Peace and Happiness for the new year.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 04:43 PM
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Great post


Merry christmas Redneck



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 05:11 PM
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I remember your post from last year. I remember reading it in the morning and it inspired me. It was a very touching post. I am so glad to hear that you found a job even if it's part time. One thing you did know then is that you would get through it positively and in one peice and that was a brave thing to say at that time. I am so glad to hear things are going well with your family too.



I'll post more later, Merry Christmas no matter what!



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Redneck how very true your words ring ... thank-you and Happy Solstice to you and yours.

Brightest Blessings From Woody.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 06:36 PM
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What a beautiful and inspiring post. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

You are right. The joy of Christmas isn't contained in a pretty package.

Over the years our society has lost sight of this. What started as a way to acknowledge our loved ones with a simple gift has become a contest to see who can get the biggest and best present of all.

For many, Christmas isn't joyful, but stressful. Not only the stress of paying for the gifts, but the stress of shopping as well (I, for one, get on my knees and thank God for the Internet and online shopping).

We have a tradition in my family, started when times were lean. Every member makes a present for everyone else.

Now that finances are somewhat better, we keep this tradition going. And the surprising thing is that, no matter how 'nice' the traditional gift might be, everyone enjoys the home-made presents the most. There's something very humbling about a gift that someone made just for you....whether its a simple crayon drawing my son might make, a poem written by my brother, or a complicated wood carving by my uncle.

I hope things continue to improve for you and your family in the next year, although it sounds like you already are rich beyond measure where it counts.

Christmas blessings to you and yours,

Smyleegrl



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 11:41 PM
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I'd like to thank everyone who replied. It is heartwarming to realize that the true spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the hearts of others.

"Peace on Earth; Good will towards men" says nothing about commerce.

TheRedneck



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