Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What is it about Christmas?

Well, it's quickly approaching and as usual I am woefully unprepared for the biggest celebration of the year...

But, I think we need to stop and consider what does this holiday, Christmas, mean to us. Not just as individuals, but as human beings. More and more the society that I was brought up in seems to be in decline and is scarcely recognizable today. Christians, I'm sure will tell you how the holiday is the celebration of the Birth of Christ. It is of course, for them. We also have Yule, which alot of our traditions are from those old pre-christian traditions carried over to today. I think what really makes a Christmas special is the brotherhood of man. Tomorrow we will celbrate (or not) in our own way. Some of us with family and/or friends, some of us alone. Some of us won't even celebrate holiday, so be it. How many of us will go to the movie theater to watch the Christmas day releases of the last films released this year?

I dunno. I guess Christmas has been one of those times of year that no matter how much I was depressed about not being ablwe to spend time with family and friends, especially in the Military, I never really was truly depressed.

Tis' the season, or so they say. Season for what? It's the season of giving and showing courtesy and respect if not outright love for our fellow man. What sparked this shining example of what is truly great about us? I can't really say, i wasn't even born yet. I suspect it's an innate thing, but I could be way off base, I'm sure there are plenty of 'scientific facts and studies' to prove and disprove that little theory. Frankly I don't care.

There is one notable and quite famous story of the Christmas Truce of 1914. In WWI German and English troops after going through the hell of trench warfare and enduring the most bloody battles the world ahs ever seen, set aside their arms and celebrated Christmas together. They exchanged gifts, smoked and laughed together, played soccer together and generally just gon on together quite nicely, after all, it was Christmas... Where has that spirit gone? I really couldn't say. Some believe it's still there, but I am not so sure. Not as strong as it once was methinks, but perhaps still clinging to some of us who haven't forsaken each other for some selfish pleasure. Who knows for sure? Not me.

I do know that I am blessed to have such a supportive family and extremely good friends albeit scattered throughout the world at this point. And that I have the opportunity to spend time with some of my family and some of my close friends. It's a gift in my eyes. A truly special gift. In a world goin' to hell in a handbasket and an economy going to the shitter...well every little bright ray of sunshine is a blessing of sorts.

I'm going to leave you all with a little poem I came across. I hope you read it and think long and hard about what it means. I'd like to tip my hat to Stewart-Rhodes blog for providing the you-tube video for this and I've got some great pics from a variety of other places.

A Carol from Flanders

by Frederick Niven (1878-1944)

In Flanders on the Christmas morn
The trenched foemen lay,the German and the Briton born,
And it was Christmas Day.
The red sun rose on fields accurst,
The gray fog fled away;But neither cared to fire the first,
For it was Christmas Day!
They called from each to each across
The hideous disarray,
For terrible has been their loss:
"Oh, this is Christmas Day!"
Their rifles all they set aside,
One impulse to obey
'Twas just the men on either side,
Just men — and Christmas Day.
They dug the graves for all their dead
And over them did pray:
And Englishmen and Germans said:
"How strange a Christmas Day!"
Between the trenches then they met,
Shook hands, and e'en did play
At games on which their hearts were set
On happy Christmas Day.
Not all the emperors and kings,
Financiers and they
Who rule us could prevent these things —
For it was Christmas Day.
Oh ye who read this truthful rime
From Flanders, kneel and say:
God speed the time when every day
Shall be as Christmas Day.

I'm not known for being all PC, so i'm going to really end this with a hearty...

With a special Shout out to all you Coalition troops in the Middle East. God Bless all of you!
And Thank you for one helluva damned fine job!
Scouts Out!

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