Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas anyway

One of the true heroes in my life has been Ben Stein.  Yep, that cuddly little Jew that is smarter by accident than most anyone I know.  Years ago, Ben was attributed to what is now called Ben Stein's Christmas Confession.  It's here.  http://www.benstein.com/121805xmas.html  There are longer versions but this one is from Ben himself.

Are you plagued with the question, "So what do you want for Christmas?"  I am.  I tell everyone I want a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette.  Then I watch them back away.  So what do I want?  That's easy.

I want every cell phone and computer to disappear.  Yep.  POOF.  Gone.  That way, it will force all of us to pay closer attention to our driving, spend less time looking at worthless crap on the internet, and find new (or old) ways of communicating with each other.

Take for example, conversation.  The art of talking to another person.  You know, like the one way conversations you have with your dog or cat or snake or piranha fish.  We speak in such glowing tones to our pets but we don't even think to thank the UPS guy for coming out in subzero weather to bring you a box of imported shoelaces from Burma.  When was the last time you spoke to your neighbor?  Do you even know who your neighbor is?

Once again, I have to bring the Mormons in to this.  "Family home evening."  You know why people make fun of the Mormons?  Because they got it RIGHT and the others are jealous.  Spend one day a week at home, no computers, no radio, no TV.  Just spend time with (hold on....wait for it......) each other.  I do believe in my little heart that by spending time with relatives, these folks have discovered the glue that holds a family together.  Sure, go ahead...make fun of their religion.  You know something?  They don't care how much fun you poke at them.  If you get depressed over the Christmas season, watch how many people from your church come to you with counseling and the odd chocolate chip cookie?  I learned on a recent trip to Utah of just how well these good people care of one another.  And you don't even have to go to their church!!

You see, we're all TOO BUSY with our computers and smart 4-G phones.  I honestly don't even know what a "G" is.  And speaking of religion, why in God's name are we so hung up about the "Holiday" season.  Holiday parades, holiday parties, holiday gifts, holiday vacations spending time at the Holiday Inn.  Holiday, schmoliday.  It's Christmas, dammit.  And the key to our celebrations every year are the first six letters in the word Christmas.  We spend so much time knocking down Christ, but then we join marches that allow the Muslims or Buddhists celebrate the birthday of THEIR deity.  Fair is fair.  Complain about the manger scene at the local fire department but watch someone pee on the American flag and they call it "performance art" and get away with that.  (I'd like to show them a two-fisted bit of performance art.)

Christmas is here, but for many of the wrong reasons.  I once got a new car for Christmas.  A Chrysler 300-C with a 5.5 liter Hemi.  It didn't make me happy.  And all of the computers and I-phones and PlayStations and stuffed geese in the world all have one thing in common;  they're temporary.  God is permanent.  Was, is, and always will be.  And He will outlast your Mercedes.

This year, why don't you work on things that are permanent or leave permanent marks that don't hurt?  Like calling someone and wishing them a Merry Christmas or a happy whatever.  It's painless.  And most of you reading this pay a flat rate for long distance anyway, right?  Or how about investing less than twenty bucks by sending someone a nice musical CD instead of a CD/ROM with the video game called "Collecting Heads" or other violent things?

We all see people on TV and on computers or I-pads or 5-G phones saying "Make the holidays special this year."  And we all nod approvingly as we flip on some Internet pornography.  You see, many of us think that we're so special and that we really have the whole Christmas thing down correctly.  We don't.

Maybe we only need to look as far as the family down the street who all wear coats and ties and dresses to church on Sunday and spend one day each week with each other?  You know, if we stop making fun of those Latter Day Saints for just a little while, maybe we can learn something?

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, these Mormons do care about you! And each other! And, believe it or not, we don't grow horns either ;)
    By an unexpected twist of fate I live in Utah now, among many others who understand what I believe. But growing up I was in your neck of the woods, and I had teachers literally rub my head to check for horn stubs. It's healthy for a kid to decide what she believes...and is willing to suffer for believing. My beliefs, and those of my husband, were not casually obtained.
    You have a good open heart, Bob, and we are all blessed by your wisdom.


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