Christmas Is What You Make Of It

Christmas is almost here and the arctic blast on Thursday, Dec. 22 may be having many people changing their holiday plans. I read where there was 3,200 flights canceled in one day all over America and North America. And on top of that, there is a trifecta of illnesses where people are coming down with Covid-19 or the the flu right now. It seems everyone I’ve spoken with the last two weeks either is sick or just getting over sick or has someone in their immediate family who is sick. Then, there is RSV (respiratory synctial virus) which affects young people or elderly/infirm with pre-existing respiratory problems.

My ex got RSV and pnuemonia five years ago. It’s a serious disease that can affect many thousands of infants each year leading to death. So, it may not be best this Christmas to bring the new babies to see the grandparents. Anyone traveling with infants or young children is probably going to be facing problems during regular travel times without a huge pandemic or flu outbreak.

I know a lot of people want to be with someone for the holidays but sometimes it doesn’t happen. I don’t think I would want to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars just to go to some place where I grew up at to be bored after four hours. While I think it may be something some people want to do once every few years, but every frigging year? No thanks. I see people posting this on social media well into their 40s.

This Christmas, the holiday is on Sunday of all days, but ask yourself how many churches are going to be open? If anything else, it just goes to prove that church is really a business and not a place for worship and spiritual enlightenment. If five people show up for a church sermon, it should be just as important as 500 or 5,000.

A lot of churches in towns have kitchen facilities, as well as showers and laundry equipment. Can you imagine opening up a church on Christmas and invite people to come in where you can feed them breakfast and/or dinner? They can wash up and get their clothes cleaned? Sounds like what Jesus would do?

But no, we closed the church doors on Christmas and we tell people that we’ve already made plans with friends and families. How dare we risk turning on the lights so someone who doesn’t have pocket change they can leave as tithing might actually be treated like a human being one day out of the year? Why aren’t churches opened every Christmas, not just when that day is on a Sunday? That’s because it’s a business.

But this isn’t a slam at religion. I know some Catholic churches do midnight mass or have a Saturday evening service, but still it makes you wonder. We hear this more and more each year on how “We need to put the ‘Christ’ back in ‘Christmas,'” but no one is willing to give up their plans to make it so. I interviewed members of a Presbyterian church years ago who made free Christmas dinners every Christmas. I think it was their 20th or 25th year doing it. One person said that they’ve gotten so used to doing it every year, the people who they serve and see have become their family.

When I was working in Americus, Ga., I interview the local firefighters on duty that year that worked Thanksgiving and Christmas. They always worked the holidays and one firefighter, who wasn’t much older than I was, said they have a whole year to make their plans for the holidays. It’s not far to call out or change it at the last minute and have to have someone else come in to replace them.

Celebrating Christmas the weekend before or after when it falls during a work week is how some families do it now. That’s how my mom’s side of the family does it because so many of my cousins have their own families and they may want to spend it with their other side of the family. And I admit, you should change it up. You should do things that accommodate other people more than yourself.

We often pride the military, law enforcement, first responders, fire and rescue, and those who work in health care for working on Christmas. But what about the people who work at gas stations/convenience stores or the few opened restaurants around the holidays? Why do people who work in the food and retail service industry get a middle finger while someone who works at a fire station gets a thumbs up? And most of the time, the firefighters spends several hours just sitting around playing board games. The firefighters I interviewed were playing Risk I remember but didn’t want people seeing them just playing a board game.

Come Monday. Dec. 26, a lot of people will be so ready to go back to Wal-Mart or Target to return the items they received, it will make the people who work in retail freak out. The true spirit of the holidays is when someone gets it in your size. It’s a time for narcissism to take some time off.

Several years ago, there was this awful commercial making the rounds. It was from Europe but it had a lonely old man faking his death to get his family together. You can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_B6wQMd2eI&t=28s

I know what you’re thinking, this is awful a man would do this when he could have very easily have traveled to visit them. He said it was the only way he could get them together, but all these people rushed around and spent so much money and probably had to use vacation time to do it. It’s totally narcissistic. There’s a reason no one visits him. What about people who are in their 20s, 30s, or 40s who are spending the holidays alone? Why do older people always get our sympathies?

So, now, people may be changing their plans because we had winter weather in winter. I would rather spend the holidays doing what I wanted rather than sitting at an airport terminal eating junk food. As I’ve said in previous post, if someone tries to guilt you into coming because it might be someone’s last Christmas, then you really shouldn’t go. We need to stop stressing the holidays as a chore rather than a time to be grateful.

This past year, I lost someone special who one day I thought I would marry and spend the rest of my life with. I knew and loved her for almost 30 years. Then, I lost a good friend from college. I nearly lost my step-sister as she was battling bone cancer. Then, this past fall, my ex got very sick and almost died. And now, I have another good friend who is recovering from an aortic aneurysm but may need open heart surgery. The farthest thing on my mind this year is who’s bringing the stuffing and who’s making the canned yams.

If you could donate to this fund-raiser at https://fundly.com/keep-kat-alive, I would appreciate it.

In the season of giving, we really should be celebrating what Christ really stood for, not what we think he should stand for to fit our beliefs and thoughts.

What do you think? Please comment.

Published by bobbyzane420

I'm an award winning journalist and photographer who covered dozens of homicides and even interviewed President Jimmy Carter on multiple occasions. A back injury in 2011 and other family medical emergencies sidelined my journalism career. But now, I'm doing my own thing, focusing on movies (one of my favorite topics), current events and politics (another favorite topic) and just anything I feel needs to be posted. Thank you for reading.

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