Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Attitudes

It is that time of year again, that many people look forwards to, all year long, and they start as soon as Christmas Day is over, before the year is done. It's an infectious time of anticipation, and expectation of good times, good food, presents and gifts, of receiving and giving, of being generous, of being invited to parties; and just that winding down to the last day, New Year's Eve, December 31, when a New Year will spring into being; whether a new start or a continuation of more of the same, depends upon the mindset of each person.

I know that Economic times have been hard for a good majority of people in the USA as well as in Europe and other places, and even Japan has had it's hardships due to Tsunamis and earthquakes that have hit there in recent months and brought them huge losses, although they aren't normally ones to celebrate Christmas, unless they are of the Christian faith. I mentioned them to illustrate how the world has left no one untouched by natural disaster devastation, that brings people to a state of poverty or neediness, they may have never known previously. Natural disasters show neither mercy nor partiality; there is no one exempt, when it hits; everyone suffers on the same level. It is a time when the people must contemplate their losses, and realize, in life, nothing should be taken for granted, for what you have one minute to brag about, in the next minute, it could disappear as fast as it takes to blink your eyes.

This occurred here in America, with the Hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast which also was followed on its heels by a blizzard of massive proportions, and many states which had never known such flooding and damage, lost their power for weeks; yes, even New York City went dark...and this happened, in blizzard temperatures; with thousands homeless, and crying out for help, while the Government was mainly concerned with the campaign for who would be sitting in the President's seat the next four years: the incumbent or a Republican named Romney? The race was on, and the east coast went black, while the highest water levels ever recorded, climbed skyward, in several states, from Maine to the Carolinas. Obama was at the helm, and declared, "FEMA WORKS FOR ME." And angry, worried citizens, by the thousands, having lost all, but their lives, cried out, "Why are we forgotten?"

Katrina was bad...Sandy might just be badder. Billions in losses has been estimated, and landmarks that had withstood years of storms, was washed away in an inkling, in the dark. Recovery will take years; many things that once was a thing of solid foundation, met its match and was blown away, and will never be seen again. Yes, people died, and their loss is a hole in the hearts of those who survived; the survivors will feel, years in the future...they never quite recovered, even if their lives finally get back on track and improve; some things are so damaging...to the soul...you can't quite mend it back whole again; it will always be knotted in a lump in that section of the fragment of their life's mantle...(God's eye, or his angels,' will know how to read it, not a word will need to be said.)

Now, it is two weeks until Christmas, a time many think should be mainly focused on the children. The little ones have needs, so many needs. A warm home, a cozy bed, nutritious food in their tummies, a loving family, decent clothes and personal hygiene kept up so as to maintain a healthy body. They need their education given the attention it needs, so their learning is on a par with others their age, and they need recreational activities that are safe and fun. All basic, standard needs every child the world over should have, and it should be a given...but this is far from being a given; or even in an equal amount.

Some children receive all and more than they need, because they come from a family that can afford the prices to give them the best. Others have enough to be comfortably off, though they would not say they were 'rich'; others are in the 'working class' and their kids are seen to, and maybe see some benefits, if they can win scholarships or have some Sports talent that will get them into a better situation than their parents had. And then, there are the people who have been raised in families that struggled, for generations, to make ends meet; and they live in houses or shacks or shanties that basically is just a roof over the head; it may leak and pour rain inside that is collected in buckets, and the holes in the walls are stuffed with newspaper waxed down with candle drippings to break some of the chill wind that blows during the winter months. They either have a rattle-trap vehicle they drive, or nothing at all. They may live in trailer courts; and are labeled everything from 'poor white trash' to 'rednecks' or hillbillies' or hicks,' or they may come from ghettos, or other sections, in big cities, where a number of blocks are sealed in as being that of a certain group;...and oh, yeah, dude, you better leave them alone, because their youth have gangs, and take territorial upset at anyone who crosses their boundaries unwelcomed; and hardly anyone is welcome.

People get set in their ways, dislike change and will fight against it. Maybe it takes a natural disaster to end some things that would continue, indefinitely, if not for something that is out of 'their' control. It is a sad state that life is hit with such a blow...but it comes as a wake-up to many, who find their lives irreversibly twisted from what they had been comfortable in for many years, maybe for generations with no change.

Yes, now, here at the end of 2012, thousands are recovering from the greatest blow of their lives. They must start from scratch and they feel lost, worried, tired and sick at heart, and angry, because they had no choice in the matter. It happened; it bit hard; and it stripped them naked, and they have waited for weeks for help to come to them...and though, maybe a little came along, for some of these misplaced survivors, depending upon  where they lived...they will feel bitter, years from now for their patience and their hope took a nosedive in the rubble of their former foundation which had been so deeply rooted and yet was yanked loose like carrots pulled from sand. It is a good bet, several of these folk, recalling memories of this time, will speak angrily, ten or twenty years from now, recalling the suffering and the loss of hope they once endured.

Will these people have a decent Christmas, this year? It is highly unlikely. And depending on their level of glass half full or half empty attitude, will also mark their ability to find joy in the field of misery they find their tent pitched. A lot will give up, and say..."My kids, grand-kids...they will not have anything from me. I can't get them anything." They won't make the effort; this is sad, but many people will sit back, with folded hands...they won't even have much of a hug to offer their little ones. They've let their circumstances break them, and they forget that it is the kids they need to 'break down walls' if they must, to see that child is not neglected.

A grandma who says, 'I can't get my grand-kids anything'...is admitting defeat...but also a laziness that they won't lift a finger to find a way to give that child who loves them and looks up to them something from Grandma, Meme, Mama, Granny or whatever else she is called by her grand-children. Why are they thinking it 'must be' some, expensive, store-bought present?

 And can they honestly say, they don't see any money come their way? Money that they could spare one dollar for each child, and go to places like Roses, or Big Lots, or maybe to Dollar General, or  Dollar-Tree and other stores, where every item in the store is one dollar, or if used items are acceptable, go to the Goodwill, or Salvation Army, or thrift stores; or if their 'pride' allows it, even to search out places that have free toys, as with the organization, Toys for Tots...or to Good Samaritans, or the Red Cross, or maybe churches, who have taken up donations...there are so many ways to see that your child doesn't go for want or need. But the number one gift every child looks for, and will be happiest of all to get, is Grandma and Grandpa saying, "I love you, baby; you're my precious gift. And I gift to you all my love."

Yes, the world is in a sorry state, and many are suffering and trying to better them-selves and get out of the muddy ditch life has tossed them...regardless, how they got there, and it's hard to get back on your feet, but you can do it.

However, saying..."I can't"  and  it not be about being generous...to 'strangers', but it's their own flesh and blood and hope for the future...they are denying? Why, in Heaven, are they expecting 'strangers' to have pity on them and help get them out of that hole they're in; when they won't give a child, even, a candy cane, with a card saying 'Merry Christmas, love, Grandma.'

Come on... Get up and do something, (make something and give as a gift, if you can't spare any money on buying something.) And when others see you're doing what you can, they will come help you get to where life isn't so harsh. Think of the children; don't be selfish. Get a backbone and stick up for your family. Quit whining and show that love...then you'll leave those children with some 'good' memories that hopefully will outweigh all the bad they've had to suffer through. Won't that be more satisfying?

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