Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

I was wonderin' what kind of inspirational Christmas message I could put here. I was trying to think one up that covered all the bases, from the Prince Of Peace and Goodwill Toward Men to spirituality over commercialism, which I don't think is going very well anyway, to the winter solstice meaning the Sun's coming back, without sounding trite.

Couldn't do it, but I found one with a slightly different approach at Hoffmania, in toto:

Music is a powerful touchstone, so while you’re reading this, put on “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”. Let it play in the background.

So this is Christmas once again, the air filled with tinsel and anticipation. Houses all aglow in glittering lights and frosted windowpanes, whether from the can or Mother Nature. It is the one time everyone enjoys feeling cold or pretending it is cold and the one time a year when the inner child in all of us runs free.

In the great American living room stands the Douglas Fir or maybe a Blue Spruce. The odor of pine needles circles the walls and crawls across the carpet with cheery dreams. Huddled around the bottom of the Christmas tree like a small herd of happy wishes, are the presents dressed in their finest gift-wrap and holiday splendor.

They are the gifts a President gives his country; his legacy and promise for the future, his servitude to “We the People” and his vision of America.

So here under the tree, dazzling and glossy in sateen bows and velvet ribbons are the gifts of this President:

Sparkle laden paper wrapped around a box of Fear. The plastic paranoia sealed package contains all the colors of Fear from brown to yellow to pink and purple. A small booklet of instructions is included on how to apply Fear to every situation and person that is not “one of us,” and how to brush on racism, homophobia and bigotry with the mascara of mendacity.

A flag covered box of brightly painted brittle toy soldiers and game board, plus interchangeable body parts for when they get broken from too much rough play. Each toy soldier is hand-painted, un-numbered and anatomically neutered to withstand everything but real war. Families not included.

There is the whirring and buzzing latest techno must have self-injectable Micro-Thought Chip. A gift from your government to monitor your thoughts and ideas and provide auto electro-pulse correction should you waver from acceptable mind processes. A gift certificate is included for all your left-thinking friends. Let them embrace the light.

A small gossamer covered box with one of those glass globes you shake to create a snow flurry – only this one encases “Democracy” and when you shake it, a crystal storm of red, white and blue flakes spin madly about until “Democracy” disappears.

And the last gift is a huge box with a thousand ribbons and bows and soft crinkle tissue paper taped and mangled together as though made by a child but when you get it all unwrapped – it’s empty. Or so you think. It is a box of sadness. A place for broken dreams of what has been lost. A place to store the faded Polaroid postcards of the America that once was. An empty box big enough to hold a heart full of holes from nearly 4000 troops killed by the lies that cradle the deceit and treachery that sold a war for the benefit of the few who line their pockets with the lives of our loved ones. It’s a big empty box that can hold the despair of 126 veterans who commit suicide every week in this country. Room enough for the 20-30% of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD. But not big enough for a mother or father to crawl inside and rummage around for the touch and smell of their child killed or maimed in this war.

And then you spot it. The small package under the back branches of the tree, strings of tinsel dripping down and nearly covering the box. So tiny and forlorn. Not the same as the others. It looks so fragile, so precious. And you open it carefully, not ripping or tearing the paper while gingerly pulling the ribbon bows and lift the top off and then wide-eyed you smile. It’s stunning. It makes you giggle and tremble at the same time. You search for the card, but there is none.

And while no one is paying attention you scoot behind the tree, into the corner of the room and lift it out of the box and feel its warmth while your stomach shivers with that excited chill as you carefully set it down in front of you and watch.

The song Happy Christmas (War Is Over) ends. But you can’t help but think how nice it would be to sing Celebrate Me Home as the troops run across the tarmac and scoop up their loved ones. Or how good it would be to celebrate America once again.

And you watch your tiny gift pulsate and radiate:


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