Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas versus Happy Holidays

Snows blankets our trees, walks, streets and land, and its beauty hasn't ceased to amaze me since it began falling a week ago. We must have had over 12 inches fall since Wednesday along with layers of freezing ice in between the inches of snow. Since the Portland, Oregon/southwestern Washington area doesn't get lots of snowfall we love it! (And since I grew up in Colorado I love it as well.)

I do know that snow does not make for a wonderful Christmas. I've been to the birth place of Jesus--Bethlehem, Israel, and it rarely snows there either. So, I doubt it snowed on the eve or day of his birth, though it's possible.

For me, this time of year is Christmas--Christ/mas--the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth (though the date being accurate is irrelevant to me). This means I say, "Have a Merry Christmas" or "Have a blessed Christmas" not "Happy Holidays"!

I experienced two hours of MRIs (done annually due to the MS) two weeks ago, and when I was finished in the banging tube (TV does NOT do an MRI justice, you feel like you're in a war zone!) I told the technicians "Merry Christmas!" I was told, "Thanks! We don't get much of that." We talked about being "politically correct" and I said I am "politically incorrect!"

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas full of God's blessings. I wish you would put aside waiting to know about Jesus if you've been doing so--he has been my hope and joy since 1972--and I can't imagine life without his peace flooding my soul.

And if you want it . . . I hope you get snow as well!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Trampled on Black Friday

Were you as appalled and saddened as I was to hear that a clerk was trampled on "Black Friday"? I used to wonder where the name "Black Friday" came from and now it appears to have lived up to its name.

What has happened in our society that makes people not reach down to extend a hand to someone who has tripped in the rush of shoppers, yet alone is trampled upon? How selfish does one have to become to get angry when the store is closed for a time due to this person's demise? What needs to change in order for us to care about others more than the purchase of a plasma TV?

My heart goes out to the family of the clerk. This is what they will remember every Thanksgiving from now on.

I've never been one of the frantic B.F. shoppers. It's not because I don't relish a good deal. It's because with MS I can't imagine placing myself in that crowd. Since I use a power chair to shop in malls to save energy (though I walk with forearm crutches) Christmas shopping is enough of a challenge simply because the isles between racks of clothing or items are barely navigational if not impassable with my chair, and that's without the crowds.

If I were one of the B.F. shoppers I would like to think I would try to act courteously towards any individual. I know when I'm fatigued I can get cranky like anyone else and I have been known to apologize to clerks for being short and ungrateful. I just can't fathom plowing physically over the top of someone without noticing!

There is a proverb that says "An unfriendly man pursues selfish ends" (Proverbs 18:1). And to me, this is exemplified selfishness--me first, "I want what I want no matter what" thinking and actions that followed.

I hope this was a wake up call to many who will be shopping.

To kindness in and out of the stores this Christmas shopping season!