A Recommended Read

Discussion in 'San Joaquin Valley, CA' started by MotherPalpatine, Dec 16, 2005.

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  1. MotherPalpatine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2004
    star 4
    Tis the season when we, as a people, are reminded that this is a magical time of year with good will, peace, glad tidings, and a storewide 50% off sale for the next two days. I can't say I hate Christmas I just hate what I see all around me as people push and grab and become angry about the traffic and complain that all the artifical trees that are listed on sale are gone and the store will not sale the display model. On the radio for the past few weeks I have heard a commercial for a homeless shelter that uses one of the closing lines from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and I wonder if they really know what that line means or even if they understand the story itself.

    All of this coincides with a news report of a group of Christians that are boycotting certain stores because they use the term, Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas. This group believes that the word Christmas has been taken out of the season and use as an example the National Christmas Tree that has been called the Holiday Tree for the last few years. They want Christmas back and according to one statement wouldn't even mind if these store also hung signs wishing other religions their own holiday greeting including Wicans. Happy Mid-Winter Solstice you wonderful Pagans? (I really don't believe too many Christian groups would welcome that banner hanging in their local Target.)

    Back to the point. I recommend that everyone read A Christmas Carol. Even if you have read it before, read it again. It is not long, only about 136 pages and seeing one of the many movies does not count. The book is not so much about Christmas but about what can cause a man to become so bitter that he has no joy in his life. And how, upon being forced to face his past, his present, and his possible future learns to become a better person.

    A Christmas Carol was written in 1843 when Christmas was very different. The Christmas Tree had only been brought to England two years earlier when Victoria married Albert, (He was German and brought the custom with him.) Presents were given only to a few people, mostly to children and perhaps a newly married couple might exchange gifts. Many businesses did not close and the main festivities were a family dinner or maybe going to a friends home for a Christmas gathering which would include eating, some drinking, singing, and games.
    It is believed that Christmas has been celebrated since the year 98AD and that in 137AD the Bishop of Rome ordered the birthday of the Christ Child a solemn feast. Until that time it was still intermingled with other celebrations. The Romans had celebrated Saturnalia in which they decorated their halls with garland and trees were lit with candles. The early Christians had tried to forbid any pagan customs and when that did not work began to incorporate christian rites, according to some.
    In 350AD another Bishop, Julius I choose December 25th as the Birthdate of the Christ Child. If we look at the Bible the date is off by a few months since the shepherds were out with their flocks. December would have been too cold.
    Anyway, 1100 saw St. Nicholas as a symbol of gift giving and in the 1400-1500's the paintings of the Nativity came in to being. In the 1600's Christmas was outlawed in England but slowly began to make its way back into the open. Then in the 1900's someone discovered you could make a profit by selling the Christmas spirit. Many of our current traditions were created by businesses including giftwrapping, Christams Cards, and inflatable Santa's.
    I hear constantly people talk about how sad it is that the true meaning of Christmas has been lost and something should be done but first they have to run out and try to find the xbox 360 for James and the Tumbling Elmo for Sarah. Oh, and this years Christmas tree ornament color is purple so lasts years pink has got to be replaced. And what will I get Bob at the office and what about Aunt Beru. Will she know if I buy that $50.00 sweater at the Outlet Mall for $25.00 because the credit cards are already so
  2. xdarthsmithiousx Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2005
    star 3
    I do think that something is missing from Christmas, but it's not just now that I feel that. I feel that Christmas is mostly gone. Like you said, most people are wrapped up with getting an xbox or stuff like that, that they miss Christmas.

    While I DO think that the world is trying to get Christ out of Christmas, I think boycotting stores because they say happy holidays is a very stupid, and hypocritical thing to do. Not all Christians are like that though, and just remember nobody's perfect.

    I am really looking forward to all of us watching the holiday special tomorrow. I have it on my table, waiting to be dusted off to watch.
  3. Cruzer_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2005
    star 2
    I wish the title of this post would have warned me better about the way this post ends because then I wouldn't have read it. It's such a downer that it makes me question my participation in the groups'events over the next two days. I'm saddened by the fact you feel this way because I really do think you're an amazing person and it's an honor for me to be able to know you.
    I agee with your feelings about the commercialism and try every year to steer more and more away from it while simultaneously embracing the idea of family and being grateful for things like health, friendship, and love for others. However I also feel it's good to talk about these things as a means of healing and discussing our frustrations with others who share the same frustrations.

    Plus, I hate to be around negativity anytime & anywhere and try to find the good in things.

    Sorry that I sound like a woose, but your post affected me.
  4. MotherPalpatine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2004
    star 4
    Sorry that this dampened your mood. I guess I had stuff pent up that needed to get out. What you may have missed though is that I am looking forward to celebrating with this group, as a family. I would love to have what is known as a Dickenson Christmas which is where people come togather to enjoy each others company along with some good food, good talks, and games. That is the spirit that I look for.

    I have spent the past 6 years celebrating Christmas in a group home where most families could be counted on to make little or no contact. I tried to make the residents think of each other as family but it came down to "when do I get my Christmas money and when are you taking me shopping?" They can not be blamed because most suffer from an illness that makes them see the world as something that revolves around them. But that combined with other things I see this time of year has made me cynical. I am a cynic by nature, but I am geeting better.

    This year however, I have a chance to be with people that are an extended family and that come togather because they want to and not because it is on the "list of things to do."

    I do recommend reading A Christmas Carol because it speaks of what this holiday should be and not what it has become for most. I believe that we should keep 'Christmas ' in our hearts all year and not bring it out just in December. I wear the leopard print santa hat for the joy it brings me and if it were not a fashion faux pax would wear it other times of the year. (Maybe I could start a trend.)

    So do not be concerned that I will be sitting around with a "I Hate Xmas" T-shirt on putting down this season but hope to create a new tradition for myself. (By the way, were you aware that Xmas comes from the Greek and was actually at one time a more sacared way of writing Christmas.) So come and enjoy the Holiday Special, I think Liz is bringing pie.

    MP
  5. Cruzer_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2005
    star 2
    Thanks for the additional words. I respect your opinion and your right to express it any time you feel necessary. Your further explanation about the group home helps me a little more in trying to understand your point of view. Every Christmas I ponder and sometimes mention to my wife that it would be neat to do something different this year by not giving or getting gifts this year and instead focus on cherishing our loved ones and each other, and instead giving of our time as our gift to one another. Alas though, my idealism is never realized and I too get caught up in the idea of giving stuff to the people I love that I think they would really like. Because I feel my family has been blessed(used religiously and secularly) I find satisfaction and happiness in giving to others if and when I can, and sometimes my giving comes in the form of material things and other times as kind words or of my time. No matter what though I constantly try to remind myself to give with no expections of getting anything in return...but I will also admit that it fun to get things too, and I think that's normal.

    Simply put, I love giving to the people I love.

    p.s. I would love to see that holiday special though because we never have.
  6. mileniumhanandshrimp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 3
    hmm. very thoughtful posts, guys.

    me, i agree with pretty much everything above, from all three of you.

    looking for a simple and non-confrontational way to put it: i love those i love, i love having them around me, i love giving them things that would make them happy (i also love getting stuff- honestly, don't we all?) at this time, there is no need to talk about what i don't love about this season, besides which bette covered most of it.

    i will have my friends and my family around me. especially in terms of my family, we don't see each other much, so we will be together, and it will be nice. we will act like we really like each other (and we do, it's just that we'll be thinking about it a little harder for a day) and we will eat, a LOT.

    i really like a christmas carol, and for those reasons. my favourite holiday movies are scrooged and a christmas story, my favourite holiday book would be hogfather.

  7. MotherPalpatine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2004
    star 4
    />
  8. MotherPalpatine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2004
    star 4


    Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy, another victim...uhmm...viewer.[face_devil] />
  9. The-Bald-Wookiee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 2
    Not even the Muppet Christmas Carol?

    It's got Gonzo as Charles Dickens himself... And Dave Goelz and Jerry Nelson doing dead-on impressions of Frank Oz's Miss Piggy (they play the two Cratchit daughters).


    Actually I don't know that I've ever read it, and I do like Dickens, (especially Great Expectations) I think we've got A Christmas Carol in a box somewhere, I just may have to dig it out and have a go.









    [face_monkey][face_love]!!!!!






  10. Yodaa Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 30, 2005
    star 1
    If you would like to know a bit about the History of "Christ" "Mass" feel free to browse these links for various interpretations of history:

    1) Microsoft Encarta: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761556859/Christmas.html
    2) FaithFreedom.Org: http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/sina21224.htm
    3) ClassBrain.com: http://www.classbrain.com/artholiday/publish/article_52.shtml
    4) Last Trumpet Ministries: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract3.html
    5) RealTruthMag.org: http://www.realtruthmag.org/articles/nov-ttooc.html
    6) Christmas.com: http://www.christmas.com/pe/1446
    7) Catholic Encylopedia - NewAdvent.org: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03724b.htm
    8) Ball State University: http://www.bsu.edu/web/01bkswartz/xmaspub.html

    If you read at least two of the above, I think you get the point. I see "Christmas" for what it is, a time of year to gather with friends/family and celebrate all that we have to be thankful for. I choose to associate Christ as part of Christmas, even thought by historical record it originally had nothing to do with Christ. It is what you believe it to be, not what it was originally intended to be, ie "Pagan" feastval. Every thing in life is what you make it. I choose to make it about celebrating Life, Love, Friends/Family and most of all Christ's birthday (even if it was sometime in September vs December).

    The only grip I have is the over comercialization of the Holiday. Starting in October is a bit much for me and it really irritates me that Holloween and Thanksgiving are almost over shadowed by the Christmas displays. If only those who what to take the word Christ out of Christmas and replace it with Holiday knew where that word came from "Holy Day". [face_whistling] And what about XMas... do they really want to know what that means, if they did, they wouldn't use it either. :oops:

    So to all of you out their in Cyberspace, I wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Happy New Year.
  11. mileniumhanandshrimp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 3
    BEAR IN MIND that when i said
    < me, i agree with pretty much everything above, from all three of you. >
    i was not, repeat NOT, referring to any desire WHATSOEVER to watch that christmas special.

    just clarifying.

    < Starting in October is a bit much for me and it really irritates me that Holloween and Thanksgiving are almost over shadowed by the Christmas displays. >

    yup, true dat.
    one of the main reasons i am cranky with this holiday, is now it is starting to overshadow even halloween, which is the only holiday that really matters :D

  12. Liz_Skywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 2
    i want to say a few things, but first of all, i want to be frank in that i honestly don't feel that i press my religious beliefs on others with any kind of overwhemling pressure. if i do, please say so, and i will try my best to check it in the future.

    >>In 350AD another Bishop, Julius I choose December 25th as the Birthdate of the Christ Child. If we look at the Bible the date is off by a few months since the shepherds were out with their flocks. December would have been too cold.<<

    i'm just going to go with you weren't really trying to enlighten like, Christians, etc. with that one, but just the average person who isn't really into that sort of thing. i am fully aware that december 25th was almost definitely not the actual day that Jesus was born. but supposedly Christ was born some at point between december and march, according to the stars. and shepherds stay with their sheep year-round. it's an arid climate there.

    most church holidays are detrivatives of pagan traditions that were "Christianized." on Easter, the most important Christian holiday, kids look for colored eggs and chocolate bunnies. it's just the way it is. things can't always stay "true" to their beginnings, and personally, i feel that many of the changes that have taken place over the generations are for the best. hopefully none of you were out sacrificing virgins on halloween.

    >>If Jesus were here now what would he think of all of this? I would like to think that he would be very sad because we have lost the meaning when we use him as a reason to celebrate.<<

    first of all, you're missing a key element in that sentence, as far as Christians like myself are concerned, in that you're incinuating that Christ is not, in fact, still alive and/or aware of what's going on.

    "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!' Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand."

    >>Bring up the part about this being Jesus' birthday and I will tune you out or ask if you bought HIM a card.<<

    all i really want to say is this: please be more respectful toward people like myself who believe in the sanctity of this holiday and celebrate it accordingly. it is very important to me. each year when i meditate upon the importance of it, my very being is shaken. i know you weren't trying to be offensive, but I take this time of year, as well as Easter, very seriously. i do not want to go out of my way to spend any of this precious season with those who can not respect how i feel. i am not asking you to believe in Christ, or even care that he was ever born, but to at least have consideration for how i believe. i do not view halloween as a holiday. i do not acknowledge it in pretty much any form. i do not celebrate or usually even leave my house on that day. i never go to halloween parties. but i do not belittle you, or anyone else, for considering it your favorite "holiday." no, i did not buy Jesus a card. but i send money to starving children. i always donate to the salvation army. and, believe it or not, i talk to Him everyday, so there's really no need.

    >>I would love to have what is known as a Dickenson Christmas which is where people come togather to enjoy each others company along with some good food, good talks, and games. That is the spirit that I look for.<<

    i know you're not trying to be offense but you must see that secular humanism is, in many ways, a slap in the face for believers in Christ. i love A Christmas Carol, and have had every single line from the George C. Scott film memorized since i was seven ye
  13. MotherPalpatine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2004
    star 4
    Again, I did not mean to offend.
    I will in the future keep my thoughts to myself.
  14. beadchaser Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Michael and I have discussions about various things. He tends to expound about things that he thinks are senseless... like the commercialization of nearly every holiday. He made a comment that to truly celebrate Christ's mass, the family should be gathered together singing carols and discussing Jesus.

    I'm pretty much boycotting the stores for the females on my list, instead making "beauty baskets" with lotions and bath products that I'm making myself. Yeah, I know, I'm still having to buy the raw ingredients, but citric acid, baking soda and various essential oils aren't what the stores consider "holiday shopping"
  15. Cruzer_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2005
    star 2
    I hope you don't keep your thoughts to yourself in the future MotherP. I'm thankful that you created an opportunity for me to be pensive. Please continue to share your thoughts because I find it enlightening and enjoyable...espacially since you can do it so well without sounding "preachy". "Preachy" usually always turns me off.

    I can't wait to see the holiday special!
  16. mileniumhanandshrimp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 3
    < i want to say a few things, but first of all, i want to be frank in that i honestly don't feel that i press my religious beliefs on others with any kind of overwhemling pressure. if i do, please say so, and i will try my best to check it in the future. >

    just for the record, liz, you and yours have never given me offense with your beliefs. i wouldn't expect you to remain silent about matters of such importance to you. i consider you to be very intelligent, and do admire your convictions. i think we discussed before the sort of christians that do get on my nerves, so there's no need to belabor that point, you're not in that class.

    as i have said before, if i offend you, do let me know. i'm not now, nor ever will be, out to pick a fight with you about religion.

    enjoy the season, sounds like you have some lovely traditions, with all the warmth and fellowship that one could hope for.

    (peace out)

  17. Cruzer_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2005
    star 2
    Hey Millenium, I thought I was the only one who is up at un" "ly hours.
    ...wana we should meet for a coffee at Starbutts??? I'm up for it and some convers.
  18. Ischade Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2005
    star 1
    *wanders in...and flings out a snippet*

    nope...no virgin sacrifices on Halloween......those come on Beltane.......and 'tis got nary a thing ta do with death....and everything ta do with fertility and beginnings of new life.....




    meow.....




    me*
  19. xdarthsmithiousx Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2005
    star 3
    I think the whole thing just boils down to everyone believes in different things. Nobody's asking anyone else to believe what they believe, just to be respectful of it. It gooes for the Christmas thing, some want Merry Christmas, and some want Happy Holidays, to each their own.
  20. Liz_Skywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2005
    star 2
    agreed.

    and thank you cheryl, that was very sweet of you. if you were around i might even put down my swords long enough for a hug ;) and no, you don't offend me in the slightest.

    it's a delicate dance, this fashion of being respectful toward everyone's beliefs and everyone's opinions - one that is perfected over time. i'm not upset and i hope that no one else is so with me. let's just enjoy our time together, for whatever reason, and coming from whatever background. life is short, and while we may have not determined here what exactly the purpose of it is, i think we can at least all agree on its brevity. here's to a splendid new year with new friends and new cons and new costumes. cheers!
  21. The-Bald-Wookiee Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 2
    I haveta agree with Jerry up there, I'd go and quote it, but I don't wanna.


    And besides everyone really knows Christmas is the celebration of At'tar the Space Chicken's first unbroken yolk.

    For is it not written: And thus At'tar spake, "Bwauck Buck Buck buck Bwaaack buck buck buCAHK!"

    Ah, have truer words ever been spoken by man or immortal space fowl?[face_chicken]



    Merry Christmas!!









    [face_monkey][face_love]!!!!!



  22. Cruzer_Fett Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2005
    star 2
    Happy Holidays!!!


    or


    Season's Greetings!!!



    ...to be politically correct

    ...uh,oh here opens another can of yams.
  23. mileniumhanandshrimp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 3
    lorenzo, you... troublemaker! :D

  24. MotherPalpatine Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2004
    star 4
    Happy # 11!

    Okay, who can tell me what that means and from whence it comes?

    Hint: Look for the STRANGER behind the Roddenberry Bush.
  25. mileniumhanandshrimp Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2005
    star 3
    ...?

    i got nothing.

    or if i do, it's completely eluding me...

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