This past weekend, as I ruminated over what I’d write today, I remembered a post I wrote exactly two years ago. It was a time of hostage-takings and beheadings, hatred and brutality, lost lives and shattered hopes and dreams.
Despite it not being “my” holiday, I’ve always enjoyed Christmas, or at least the “spirit” of it. The sound of children laughing and the joyful feeling in the air. The sight of houses draped in twinkling lights; and bejeweled and bedecked Christmas trees placed prominently in front of living room windows, so even passers-by can admire and enjoy them … the scent of freshly-baked cookies and pine cones … toasty fires and hot chocolate.
But in December of 2014, I was having a really hard time getting into it. When so many people, the world over, were struggling and suffering and in so much pain, “celebrating” just somehow seemed wrong. And, as I watched moms and dads and kids clutching brightly-coloured, overflowing shopping bags, rushing around trying to get all their Christmas shopping done in time, all I could think of was, “do we really need more stuff, do we really need to be buying these presents, must we, really, when we have so much already, when so many have nothing? What about all those who have nothing to eat, who have lost their homes, their clothes, their meagre possessions, their loved ones? What about them?”
So I wrote a letter to Santa — asking if, just this once, instead of gifts he could deliver something much more meaningful. If maybe he could find a way to “help us all come to our senses, to help us become kinder, more generous, more tolerant, more understanding, more patient, more loving, to help us become better human beings.” Couldn’t he, wouldn’t he?
Well, I’m sorry to say, it seems that either my letter didn’t get to him or I was asking for something too difficult even for him. I’m also sorry to say that we’re in even worse shape right now than we were back then.
The news from Aleppo could not be worse, a tragedy of epic proportions, with more and more innocent lives lost and in danger with each passing day.
Men, women, children, infants, entire families, bodies broken, bloodied, sometimes found barely breathing if they’re lucky, but dead more often then not, buried under the rubble where once they lived. Meanwhile, after a referendum this past summer, a majority of voters in the U.K. said “yes” to exiting the European Union, thumbing their noses at the establishment politicians who they blame for their troubles.
In an equally surprising, but similar, upset closer to home, a dangerous and deranged man, one who has lied and cheated his entire life, one who has, through his campaign rhetoric and promises, opened the floodgates of hatred, racism, bigotry, intolerance and misogyny — and will, horror of horrors, become President of the United States on January 20, 2017.
What to do, what to do.
So I’m reaching out to Santa once again this year, asking him to please, please forget the slippers and the pipes and the toys and the sweaters and the bicycles and the fire trucks and the princess dolls and the gizmos that will be forgotten and ignored in minutes, if not returned on Boxing Day — and send a miracle or two our way instead.
We’d like some peace on earth.
Now we can add the tragedy in Berlin the murder in Turkey and much nearer home here the homeless crisis the “Happy Christmas” we once knew is now dead in the water it would seem.
Yes, unfortunately there seems to be an endless number of tragedies we can add to the list. It’s as if “evil, greed and injustice” are the plague of our time.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all the blessings of the Christmas season Fransi and if I am spared and have the use of all my faculties I will return probably a little overweight, hopefully invigorated ready to usher in a brand New Year – taking a rest now from all things electronic to concentrate on the realities of life. Chris.
Thank you Chris, and the very same to you. Enjoy the break. Let’s hope 2017 is an improvement.
Oh! Franci..how true…what a sorry ridiculous state the world is in! Thanks for Reposting! Xoxo Barb
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Thanks Barbara. No matter where you look, the news is terrible. A sorry state indeed!
Excellent post! The holidays are bittersweet this year and 2017 doesn’t look promising. I hope I’m wrong! 😥
Best wishes, Janice
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Thank you. No 2017 doesn’t look promising (sigh). I hope we’re both wrong. All the best to you, too.
And it’s going to get worse. Overpopulation and depletion of resources have fed the ancient, instinctive “faith in a strongman” to solve social ills. FDR was probably the last one of that ilk who had a chance.
Yes, unfortunately it is going to get worse. Terrible times ahead, I’m afraid.