“It’s the Thought That Counts”

downloadOkay, I hate to be that person right after Christmas, but I was just thinking about this today.

It’s too late for it to be useful this year, but maybe this will save someone from the dreaded ugly sweater/gift card to some place random/weird re-gift present next year.

(In case my mom is reading this: Mom, this isn’t passive aggressive. You, as always, knocked it out of the park on Christmas presents this year! I mean I told you not to get me anything and you still got a bunch of stuff, so consider your present duty over for the next year. Birthday presents? What are those?)

When someone gets you a crappy present the usually thought process is “Well…it’s the thought that counts” but honestly unless the person is a slightly senile family member or a co-worker who barely knows you or a small child, the fact that they got you a crappy gift says a lot about how much their thoughts count.

I put a LOT of thought into gifts.

For my mom’s birthday I planned for nearly 6 months what I was going to get her.

I fly by the seat of my pants a little more for Christmas, but I never get something for someone that they don’t need/want. What would be the point?

So, sure, it’s the thought that counts.

If that thought clearly says “I forgot you existed” or “I grabbed the first thing in the bargain bin” or “I bought you a Fry’s gift card when I was grabbing a bottle of wine on my way to Christmas dinner” then that says a lot about the person.

So don’t be the person who thought basically tells someone that they weren’t worth your time.

If all else fails, visa sells gift cards that can be used anywhere.

No one wants a gift card from the grocery store.

Just a little advice for next Christmas.

Does It Really Matter How The Salvation Army Feels About Gay People?

New_Angel_Tree_Logo_DMG

New_Angel_Tree_Logo_DMGWhen I was young I used to get my parents to give me money so I could buy gifts for a child off the Salvation Army Angel Tree at the mall in my town (yes, there was only one mall where I grew up, insane right?) and then when I got older and had a job and my own money, I did the same thing.

Then something went a little screwy and became a crazy of the “liberal lesbian” kind and went on a hardcore rampage against the Salvation Army because they aren’t all sweetness and light and fluffy bunnies when it comes to how they sometimes talk about gay people.

So I stopped giving money to the Santa’s outside stores…and I stopped participating in the Angel Tree.

It wasn’t until several years later that I realized how absolutely terrible I was being.

I still don’t put money in the pot for Salvation Army, but that’s more because I want to control where my money is going when I give Christmas Charity.

That Angel Tree is an entirely different story though.

There should never be an Angel left on those trees come Christmas Eve, because no matter how you feel about the Salvation Army’s opinion on gay people, those children didn’t do anything to deserve your disdain or punishment, just because they are getting their gifts delivered by the Salvation Army on Christmas.

So no, it doesn’t really matter to me what the Salvation Army thinks of my sexuality. What matters to me are those kids.

It’s Christmas.

That’s what should matter to you too.

It’s Christmas. Please don’t be petty.

December 1st: Brace Yourself, Christmas is Coming

Brace-yourselves-ChristmasI haven’t bought anyone any presents yet.

That’s mostly because I’m broke, but also because I like to horribly procrastinate until the last minute before I start having a panic attack and rushing all over town to find the right gifts for people.

I’m a bit of a masochist at heart.

I’m also a huge fan of Christmas.

I told my mom this morning (while making biscuits and discussing making gingerbread) that if you can’t be cheesy and schmaltzy around Christmas time, then when can you be?

So we pour on the sentimental cheesiness during the holiday season. Christmas music everywhere, gobs of decorations at home and at work, Christmas trees and pretty wrapped packages, and hopefully a chance to give to charity a few times.

Christmas isn’t just a holiday or a season, it’s a mood and a state of being.

And yeah, that’s pretty schmaltzy.

Go ahead and laugh.

In the spirit of Christmas I won’t punish you by withholding sugar cookies.

Here’s a couple of Christmas songs by Pentatonix, you should buy the whole album.

Liberal Atheists* Are Basically Giant Babies

MjAxMy1lNTZlZThjZmE1MzIyZDMwActually they’re much worse, because babies don’t troll through popular culture, the internet, and day time TV for things to get offended by.

Why do I compare atheists to giant babies? It’s simple, they take everything so personally and they try to force people to change their personal thoughts to make them more palatable for Atheists.

They are also wimps. I have heard them complain about how “bad” someone’s opinion of Atheism makes them “feel” and I can’t help laughing.

How thin is your skin? Not everyone is going to like you, especially when you constantly attack their religion and beliefs.

Continue reading

While We Were Celebrating

Far be it for me to take away from the joy of Christmas.

I love Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday of the year.

Christmas Eve we open presents, Christmas Day we get gifts from Santa and cook enough food to feed a small army.

But while we are celebrating and arguing with our relatives over politics (don’t deny it, the number of hits this blog got and the google searches that led you here gave you away) the news cycle keeps going and some big stories broke and some merely heartbreaking ones.

The Big

Midnight Mass at a church in northern Nigeria was interrupted by a group of Islamists who shot and killed six Christians before torching the church. So very non-violent.

A “newspaper” in New York  has apparently published the names and addresses of every person in New York  who has a concealed carry permit. The people who should be REALLY pissed right now are those who AREN’T on the list, because this is basically a guide to all burglars on what houses to NOT rob. Thank LoHud.com for suddenly increasing the likelihood that you will be robbed if you don’t have a concealed carry permit. *thumbs up* Not really sure what they were trying to accomplish here, but I’m pretty sure whatever it is, they failed at it.

Chicago, one of the bastions of strict gun control, suffered a rash of shootings on Christmas Eve. Yes, there is something wrong with our society and gun control isn’t going to help that.

DC police are investigating David Gregory of Meet the Press for possibly violating part of DC gun control laws. Whoops. I guess you CAN still buy assault weapon magazines regardless of gun control.

Hamas is planning to break that pesky ceasefire thing with a resumption of suicide bombings in Israel. Merry Christmas!

President Obama is still in Hawaii. 

Bushehr Nuclear Plant, in Iran, is paying the Russian women working their to put on a Hijab. I guess the men can’t get anything done with those women’s hair and forearms distracting them. I know I just lose all focus when I see some pretty forearms. Drives me wild. Iran is, apparently, perplexed that Russian women aren’t keen on doing this, despite the extra pay.

Netflix went down on Christmas Eve, which caused understandable outrage. I would be mad too if I was trying to avoid my relatives by watching old episodes of Seinfeld and then I had no Netflix to use as an excuse to avoid family gatherings.

In China a man rammed a car loaded with a gas tank and firecrackers into a crowd of middle school kids, injuring 13. I guess we need to ban cars, gas cans, and firecrackers, as well as guns. Damn, that’s basically 4th of July weekend for my family.

Feminists might want to take a look at Swaziland. The king (who had 13 wives) has banned miniskirts, low slung jeans, and tank tops because they make it easier for a women to be raped.

The Heartbreaking

In Britain, Children are asking Santa for a dad.

And one child called in to NORAD asking if Santa could bring extra presents so they could give them to the family’s who lost family in Newtown.

These stories actually made me cry, I’m not kidding here. Not as hard as I cried at Les Miserables, but there was sniffling and tears.

____

So that’s what happened while were celebrating our Christmas.

Let’s keep fighting for our freedom and our values in the coming year.

Spoiler alert: Don’t Read This if You Believe in Santa Claus (AKA if you are a member of American Atheists, turn around now)

Apparently Santa is real…or atheists are just confused and trying to be witty.

I wasn’t home last night, and even when I am I rarely turn on Fox News for anything other than The Five or Red Eye, but when I got in it was to hear from my dad that Hannity had been talking to the President of American Atheists on his show, about a billboard they have put in in Times Square.

Thanks to The Blaze for putting up this photo.
Credit goes to American Atheists for the photo itself.

Apparently atheists are operating under the idea that Santa is a real person or something.

Technically I suppose they were trying to be witty and reference how the secular trappings of Christmas are a-okay with them, but cut out the religion right this very minute because they can’t stand one myth being talked about…but the other myth of the jolly fat man in a red suit is perfectly fine.

Can we just take a moment to recognize how utterly ridiculous this is?

No really, does American Atheist understand how stupid they are for implying that only one of those images is a myth?

Santa and Rudolph and the sleigh with all the toys are a myth. They know that right?

Last year I wrote a post about Nativity scenes on public property and this was part of it.

So why is it that a holiday that is based on some fictional account of a baby being born in a barn, is so offensive to an Athiest or Liberal’s sensibilities?

I know that Star Wars is just a story, completely fictional. However there is an entire religion based on The Force. There are huge groups of a devoted fan base that worship The Force and even those that don’t follow the religion still collect relics, dress in odd clothing, and attend huge gatherings to, essentially, worship the films. Do I ask that Star Wars conventions be shut down? No, absolutely not, because while I’m not a Star Wars fan (I’m a Trekkie okay) I know that it’s just a story, that some people enjoy and maybe put a little too much of their lives into.

So if I don’t demand that Star Wars conventions be shut down (which are both more physically and olfactory offensive than Christmas and probably much less healthy for the convention attendees) why is it that a bunch of plaster fictional characters on a lawn can invoke such irrationality?

Atheists reject one myth, because it’s more popular or believed by more people, but completely accept another myth as socially and politically acceptable in the public forum, simply because they believe it’s secular.

I have news for you. Nothing about Christmas, from it’s name right down to the elements of the celebration, is based on secular ideas.

Okay, possibly Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph are purely secular and capitalistic creations, but the core traditions are religious, whether they are Christian or not.

Let’s break this down shall we. What are some of the key ‘secular’ parts of Christmas.

Christmas Trees: Extreme pagan and Christian religious symbolism.

The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.

The modern Christmas tree, though, originated in western Germany. The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a “paradise tree,” a fir tree hung with apples, that represented the Garden of Eden. The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of  Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Lights: Lights on the tree and elsewhere came from a Christian practice, as well as pagan practices.

Candles, symbolic of Christ, were often added [to the Christmas tree].

- Encyclopedia Britannica

The Celtic fire festival of Yule was a time of renewal and rebirth, celebrated by lighting fires to welcome back the lengthening days. The remnants of this practice may be found in the charming tradition of the Yule log, still enjoyed by many people at Christmas even today.

The lighting of candles and modern Christmas lights is also a relic of this ancient need to bring light to the darkest time of the year, and even in this era of electric lights that dispel the gloom all year round, many people still enjoy the warming feeling of seeing a beautifully lit tree or an array of lighted candles.

Decorations

The circle of the Yule or Christmas wreath represents the pagan “Wheel of the Year” or “Circle of Life” that marks the annual changes in the seasons at the Festivals celebrated at the solstices and equinoxes.

The Germans set up a paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of  Adam and Eve. They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes.

Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick: Literally a Catholic saint and the basis for the modern Santa Claus that was so wittily placed on a billboard mocking Christianity. Brilliant move American Atheists!

Santa Claus, legendary figure who is the traditional patron of Christmas in the United States and other countries, bringing gifts to children. His popular image is based on traditions associated with Saint Nicholas, a 4th-century Christian saint. Father Christmas fills the role in many European countries.

- Encyclopedia Britannica

Giving gifts:

“The giving of presents at the midwinter feast almost certainly began as a magical more than as merely a social custom. Saturnalia presents included wax dolls, given to children. A charming custom, no doubt, by times of record, but with a macabre past: even contemporaries thought this probably a vestige of human sacrifice, of children, to aid the sowing.”

- History Today

We have many recorded events in history that show the giving and receiving of gifts dates back at least to the 4th century. St. Nicholas, a Christian Bishop, was known for his generosity in giving to those less fortunate than he, as well as giving to children of all backgrounds simply because he felt they needed to savor their childrood, and have joyous times to remember.

- Wiki Answers

These really aren’t that secular after all then. So I guess what your real problem is, is that Christianity is involved (in which case, no Santa for you either, he’s a Catholic Saint).

If you have a problem with religion in general, then keep in mind that those lights you are hanging, that tree you are decorating while singing secular x-mas carols, and those gifts you are giving out, all have religious connotations.

So you should probably ask your job if you can come in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, to let other non-Scrooges enjoy a day with their family, since you can’t stand any religions at all. Since you totally reject all religions that believe in “magical sky daddy’s” or whatever mocking phrase atheists are referring to god by these days.