Last night we went to the Blue Ridge Mountain Jeepers Christmas party. The club has the rule of no talk of religion or politics. It makes for a more pleasant get together for the group. Our meeting consisted of discussing what our club would do for Christmas giving. We have chosen a local nursing home to give presents to. There are sixteen residents, fourteen female and two male. One male resident doesn't have a single relative. He has greater needs than the other residents so we're concentrating on him but all will get gifts from us. We also had a gift exchange at the party with a ten dollar limit where you draw numbers and can take another person's gift. It was a lot of fun.
Over the last several years I found myself saying happy holidays. But I was raised with the word Christmas and I think I'll go back to the word. I looked back to see if the jeep club email said holiday or Christmas and it says Christmas. I don't think I should have to change my upbringing or my vocabulary for anyone and I don't think anyone should have to change for me.
If I say Merry Christmas I mean it in the most loving and respectful of ways. I might slip up and say Happy Holidays. Then again I might wonder should I say anything at all. Perhaps I don't know what your persuasion is. Maybe Atheist, maybe Agnostic, maybe Jewish, maybe Buddhist, maybe Muslim, maybe a religion I don't even know of. I might feel bad because I used the wrong word. Then I might not say anything for fear of saying the wrong thing. Being shy this makes it even more difficult for me. Most times I might not say anything at all because I'm tongue tied. But now I have to worry about what I should or shouldn't say?
I just remembered something from the past. One day we had some friends over for dinner. The woman is Filipino and the man is Iranian. Some time in the conversation I said the word Oriental. I don't even recall what I was referring to, perhaps a spice or a location in Asia I don't know. But she turned to me and said Asian. So I corrected myself. I knew the word Asian but I must have fallen back on an earlier time in my mind. Sometimes the wrong word or phrase just slips out but I don't mean anything by it. Where did I learn the word Oriental. Probably from reading novels. Much of what I've learned probably came from books and not from interaction with people. I guess I've led a sheltered life. I never thought so but looking back mostly I did.
No matter what you think of the recent political rhetoric, it has served to bring many a topic to the table for discussion in our country. There is so much to talk about and discuss. Should we ban guns; should we carry guns, do we need even more laws banning more things; should there be safe zones on campus, should we have open or closed borders, should we limit immigration; should we be fracking, can we have a Christmas tree, can we pray, can we say God, should we fly on an airplane, should we go to a football game, should we go to work today. So much to worry about in today's world. Yet my daily living has more pressing needs than any of these. Sometimes it's all too much.
I want to stick my head in the sand. No that wouldn't be very pleasant or comfortable. Let's see, ah yes, I wish I was floating in some warm water off of a tropical island without a care in the world. If I close my eyes I can almost feel the water lapping over my body. Oh so gentle and warm and kind.
Now I'm feeling guilty because there are so many other's in the world with more pressing needs than mine. The homeless, the elderly, the veterans, the unemployed, those without families, those without countries, those without hope. Oh I do so wish everyone was floating in some warm water off of a tropical island without a care in the world. But wait, maybe they don't like warm water or floating, maybe they don't like the tropics, maybe, maybe ... See what I mean.