Posted by: Helen Philpot | December 10, 2008

What Shoes Would Jesus Wear?

Well, the holidays are upon us and many of you are asking about the War On Christmas.  I wasn’t aware the holiday was under attack but with George Bush still in the White House war for any reason against any government or institution is certainly possible. So here is our best effort on the subject of Jesus vs. Santa Claus.

helen-mug1 From Helen:
Oh give me a break. The last time I checked you could hang a Christmas tree upside down in your house if that is how you wanted to celebrate the holiday. Seriously. Have any of you seen this? Christmas trees hanging upside down everywhere. I asked the owner of a shop I was in recently, and she said it is easier to hang the ornaments that way because the branches don’t get in the way. Talk about throwing the baby Jesus out with the bath water… it’s upside down for God’s sake. Who cares if the ornaments aren’t touching the branches below. But I am missing the point of this essay…

Many people are upset because the baby Jesus seems to be overshadowed by Santa Claus, Rudolf, Frosty and other American’s personal traditions. Well, it’s that last part that really seems to be the issue because the rest of those guys aren’t real. Of course some people have argued that the face of Jesus appeared in a pancake or the virgin Mary in an MRI scan so being real is kind of relative. But this isn’t an argument on the reality of Jesus. THAT is  an argument about  faith and faith is relative to the person not the holiday.  THIS is an argument on how we celebrate the holiday in America, and it is important to note the distinction between the two.  You can’t argue faith.  It’s pointless.  But you can argue about the appropriateness of a  plastic Holy Family on the front lawn of the county court house.

In your home you can celebrate Christmas with the Nativity or with any other festivity depending on what the holiday means to you.  In public you have two problems.  First, a government building still has the responsibility to recognize that 75 million of its citizens don’t subscribe to the virgin birth theory or the holiday celebrating it.  Second, a retail building like a mall wants to appeal to the widest audience possible so why decorate in such a way as to alienate 24% of its customers?  Now private property is another story.  By all means, if Jesus is the reason for the season with you, then put a bulb in the back of your plastic baby Jesus and light the way to your front door for all to see.

But folks it’s a two-way street.  Stars or trumpets hanging down Main Street are pretty whether you celebrate Christmas or not.   White deer, snowmen, and snowflakes can be enjoyed by everyone.   But you can’t convince me that a virgin Mary holding a plastic baby Jesus in every front yard is going to bestow extra blessings on us.  Trust me, Jesus isn’t that shallow.  If you want to bestow extra blessings try working towards world peace.  Now that is something Jesus can get behind.

At my house, we put the tree right side up. We put out a Creche that was hand-painted by Harold’s mother. There’s an angel on top of the tree and a Santa Claus sitting in the corner.  We like to give gifts especially for the children.  Some of us start the day by going to church and some of us don’t, but we all come together around the table filled with a traditional holiday meal.

However you celebrate the holiday with your family – celebrate it fully and savor the time with loved ones.  Hang your tree right side up, upside down or stick it up your ass for all I care.  Quit worrying about how others choose to celebrate it.  It accomplishes nothing except to ruin your own holiday.

And look – for those of you who are now crafting the comments about the history of Christmas, Christmas trees, Winter Solstice, Druids, Pagans and what not – because I can already  hear you typing out there – you’re missing the point of my rant. The holiday is about what it means to you and your family and no one can take that away from you and your family except you and your family.  So Merry Christmas at my house.  Happy Holidays at yours.  Either way I wish you happiness and good health for the coming year.

One last thing before I go.  There is a war I do want to start.  I want to start a war on that horrible Christmas song called Christmas Shoes.  Certainly you know the song.  They play it every hour on the hour this time of year.  Who in their right mind wants to hear about a small boy spending his allowance to buy a pair of shoes for his mother so that she’ll look nice for Jesus when she (apparently) dies on Christmas day.  Talk about a war on Christmas.  The boy is about to lose his mother on Christmas and someone convinced him that Jesus gives a rat’s ass what shoes she’s wearing.  If you want to save Christmas call your local radio station and ask them to please stop playing that song.

There you go.  That’s all I’ve got.

margaret-mug1 From Margaret:
Tradition. When I think of the holidays I think of tradition.  To send a fruit cake or not to send a fruit cake. To invite Howard’s brother and his “Negative Nancy” wife or not to invite them.  To serve a spiked holiday punch even though three of Howard’s nephews are in AA or not serve the holiday punch.  It all comes down to tradition. That and Thank You notes.  What happened to writing Thank You notes? Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I received a Thank You note for any Christmas Gift that Howard and I have given.  Now, I don’t give gifts IN ORDER to receive a Thank You note.  Really, I don’t.  It is just proper manners.  Tradition

So, for those of you dreading the holidays.  Dreading the same old “routine”.  Dreading the same people that were there last year…you didn’t care for them then so you’re not going to care for them now.  My advice to you is to start your own tradition.  Do something this year…anything…and announce it to all that it is now your tradition. You will be amazed how it works.  And then when all is said and done…send a Thank You note for gifts you have received.  It matters, really. 

That’s it.  I’m done.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Helen, dear.  You are loved now more than ever before.  Howard said to tell you that you are now older than he is…at least for a month.  My goodness, dear, but the years have flown by haven’t they?

We hope everyone is preparing for a wonderful holiday.  Our gift to you was not talking about a certain beauty queen from up north.   If you have been hit hard by the Bush Depression, then make your gift your time.  Spending time with family never goes out of style.  And keep warm.  We mean it.  Really.

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Responses

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  5. [...] Separating Church and State (at least during Christmas) [...]

  6. Hey, Ladies! A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to both of you! Thanks for all the great posts- I look forward to reading more soon!

    I’m a big fan of thank-you notes, myself. I don’t expect to get them most of the time, but I sure do love sending them. :)

  7. You guys slay me! I love your blog. This was a wonderful post.

  8. Wow! I am listening to Christmas music at work and am just know hearing “Christmas Shoes” for the first (and hopefully my last) time. I want to shoot myself!!! Make it stop!!!!

    Happy Holidays To All!!!

  9. Poor ooor Patrick. I shamefacedly admit to actually dating someone once who under the surface was like this Patrick. Like most people with such out of whack, extreme to the point of insanity religious beliefs, he used them as a vice, a crutch and as a cover up, a license to stay damaged, insecure, scared and hateful and small minded. Not to mention the fact that, he and his friend, who also claims to be born again and claims to know all the answers because he knows Jesus more personally than anyone else, these two people caused me more pain, heartache, misery, tears and hurt than anyone or anything in the world. Very very poor ambassadors for God. And to me, there is no greater sin than that.

    Patrick, I will pray for you. I will pray that you and people like you, like Jimmy Swaggart and Ted Haggard who are so confused and lost and who weild the Bible like a child playing with his dad’s gun, I will pray God truly shows you the way, that He lifts the hatred and blindness from you, and He helps you find a way to truly love Him, instead of just using Him as a justifcation for your bitterness, small mindedness and hatred.

    I myself, I feel pretty right with God right now. He very rarely answers my bigger prayers, but he answered a BIG one Nov. 4. I prayed so hard that Obama would win and that the reign of ignorance, hatred, intolerance, and pointless wars would be over. And blessed be, God heard me. I wept with relief and joy and got down on my knees and thanked Jesus, who happens to be my savior, too, for finally granting us a leader with a good heart, a good mind, and who knows what we need and how to get it.

  10. Merry Christmas to you ladies, and Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to everyone else out there. Stop hating and being negative, and embrace the love that your “reason for the season” Jesus preached.

    You ladies always bring a smile to my face; it’s not until I read the comments below that I always find some right wing nut or God freak who brings me down with their ignorance.

    Here is hoping that you both have many more Christmases to celebrate. And Margaret (and Helen too), since I don’t have your addresses consider this my “Thank You” note for your gift of wit and wisdom provided now and throughout the year.

  11. Margaret,

    I agree with you; no one sends Thank You cards anymore. But then, no one sends holiday cards(Christmas, New Year’s, whatever) now, either. I don’t know if I prefer no card versus an email card. All I know is I can’t put the email on my mantel or use it in the tree. Emailing instead of phoning, check. Email instead of writing a letter, maybe. Blogging instead of killing your neighbor, check. Even (choke) thank you’s by email. But Christmas cards or even sympathy cards by email? Ugh!

  12. sorry,
    one more typo correction, above for “now about” read “know about”

  13. Happy Birthday Helen,
    it was mine too (the 51st, I am over 50 now (sounds young to you, but still shocks me….:-))

    I completly agree with Ilano and the Alaskan and just hope that we can find more people with “sober” and active brains like that and I especially think that your blog is an excellent way to get those people out in the open!
    Without you a few neibourghs (?, sorry still too german for the Queen’s own language!) and local aquaintances would now about them, but through your blog all of us and a few more we talk too can share those important belives. And, by the way, I am a deeply beliving Atheist (Oh how I love this definition!)

    To all of you, with the exception of these braindead, hate-related burn in hell morons:
    For the Holidays (and all Birthdays!) I wish you
    All the Best…
    …..and lot’s of it!

    Werner

    http://werner-oderwer.tumblr.com

  14. Hey ya’ll! Jew here… figured out Colorful’s speaking in tongues thing!!!

    She was trying to speak in Hebrew but because he watered down, colorless, fire and brimstone Christianity doesn’t allow them to see the beauty or value in anyone else’s beliefs, they don’t know how!

    See it’s clear now! Okay, here, let me try to interpret…
    יְהִי רָצוֹן מִלְפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ וֵא-לֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ, שֶתּוֹלִיכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם וְתַצְעִידֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתִסְמְכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתַדְרִיכֵנוּ לְשָלוֹם. וְתַגִיעֵנוּ לִמְחוֹז חֶפְצֵנוּ לְחַיִּים וּלְשִמְחָה וּלְשָלוֹם וְתַצִּילֵנוּ מִכַּף כָּל אוֹיֵב וְאוֹרֵב וְלִסְטִים וְחַיּוֹת רָעוֹת בַדֶּרֶךְ וּמִכָּל מִינֵי פּוּרְעָנִיּוֹת הַמִתְרַגְּשוֹת לָבוֹא לָעוֹלָם וְתִשְלַח בְּרָכָה בְּכל מַעֲשֵה יָדֵינוּ, וְתִתְּנֵנוּ לְחֵן וּלְחֶסֶד וּלְרַחֲמִים בְעֵינֶיךָ וּבְעֵינֵי כָל רוֹאֵינוּ וְתִשְמַע קוֹל תַּחֲנוּנֵינוּ. כִּי אֵ-ל שוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה וְתַחֲנוּן אתה: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה’, שוֹמֵעַ תְּפִלָּה.

    English you ask? Here – May it be Your will, G!d, our G!d and the G!d of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are G!d Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who hears prayer.

    Yes, Colorful and Patrick… that is Tefilat HaDerech, the prayer for travelers… so travel your bigoted butt out of this blog. Jesus would be very disappointed in how you treat your neighbors… remember folks – Hillel said, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” and then Jesus, who really was a nice Jewish boy learned about his religion and re-conveyed it as “Treat others as you want to be treated.”

    Respect my religion and beliefs and I will respect yours.

    Please don’t pray for me. I am an adult and I made my choices based on all the evidence presented to me and not because my mom/dad/grandma/preacher told me/beat it into me/ forced me into a religion.

    And if you are right and I go to hell then so be it but if I am right then everyone will live together in an idyllic world of the moshiach (messiah) and your hatred won’t exist. Till then, don’t read it if you can’t handle it.

  15. Margret and Helen, a wish for a most wonderful season to you wonderful ladies! I just found your site today via C&L comments and I’m sure glad I did!

  16. JuneauJoe:

    Welcome to town! Check on 84 before you head out–it was closed b/c of our unusually Alaskan (?) weather… Be safe!

    Thanks for all you selfless night watching for the rest of us ; )

    MB

  17. I’m just glad that I’m not “saved”, so I don’t have to spend eternity with bigoted people who can’t even spell. Did you read the comment from that guy who told us all to get on our knees and beg forgiveness for our “blasfemy”? Hey Patrick, it’s supposed to be a “ph” (not an “f”) from the Greek, as in the language in which the new testament was originally written.

    Also, nobody asks me to get on my knees and beg without buying me dinner first, so just watch yourself, Patrick.
    ;~)

  18. I’m just glad that I’m not “saved”, so I don’t have to spend eternity with bigoted people who can’t even spell. Did you read the comment from that guy who told us all to get on our knees and beg forgiveness for our “blasfemy”? Hey Patrick, it’s supposed to be “ph” (not “f”) from the Greek, as in the language in which the new testament was originally written.

    Also, nobody asks me to get on my knees and beg without buying me dinner first, so just watch yourself, Patrick.
    ;~)

  19. Jan, I am going to Portland. I might end up going up 84 to Wells Nevada though

    I have heard great things about the artists in Joseph. I might be going that way this summer. I want to go hang out in Sandpoint and Missoula a bit this summer.

    Have a Merry Christmas all!

  20. Celebrate the birth of Christ! Kill a tree and lynch it upside down. Only in America.

    Duke

  21. Oh Elsie — love everything you’ve written since you rejoined the blog!

    “Over several weeks of reading Helen’s thoughts, I’ve come to realize that I don’t even think that these Patrick-Colorful-”Faith”-type rantings are necessarily all bad. Their rants crystallize, for the sane ones here, why we come together to celebrate Helen’s reasoned, spunkyness”

    And your letter to your “friend” Maggie — totally awesome. About 6 months ago my husband and I decided we’d quit just deleting and start telling our “friends” what we really thought of all those nasty emails: “if you agree, pass it on, otherwise delete” – “tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up” etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Well, you’d be pleased at how much cleaner and less crowded our in-box is now!

    We’re convinced the rightwingfundamentalistbullcrap is fear — they have been convinced that they have to work their way to heaven, and the only way they’re ever going to get there is by getting ahead of other people, and they are so afraid of not making it they have to spend all their time looking for people who are “worse” than they are! It’s really pathetic. That’s also why they want everything they believe encoded into our laws. If it’s free will, they are afraid they can’t make the grade. But if it’s the law, they’ll HAVE to obey, right? They’re convinced they can’t ever do it on their own.

    Here’s a couple of books for those of the Christian (or maybe wanna be Christian) faith that really blows the Patricks, Colorfuls, and “Faiths” out of the water:

    The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus, by Peter Gomes

    The Gospel of Inclusion, by Bishop Carleton Pearson.

    Both are really excellent.

    Whoever posted way up top about the fact that we make our God into one who conforms to our personal beliefs (a bad paraphrase but you get the idea) is so right!

    JuneauJoe – where in Oregon are you headed? We’re in Joseph (way up in the NE, overlooking Hell’s Canyon — what will Patrick and Colorful and the ironically named Faith make of that ??????!!!!!) If you’re gonna be close let us know! We love your posts, too. Safe travels!!

    Helen and Margaret, you gals are so awesome! I love everything you write about, the way you think, the way you express it.

    This is such a great place for people of progressive thinking and openmindedness to come together. I just love reading the posts, ‘tho I don’t get on here as often as I’d like.

    Gotta go check out that video and a couple of other things suggested above.

    To all of you great posters, and to Helen and Margaret — have a wonderful season of peace and light, however you celebrate it and however you worship (or not). Kindness . . . sharing . . . family . . . watching out for those others who may need a helping hand . . . ’tis the spirit of the season (should be the spirit of the year-round!)

    danjanbee in Joseph

  22. Whirled said –
    ‘open the video link in separate window (right-click), pause it and let it load up in the background before you to play it.

    So in light of that I’ll send you an ‘easy-loading’ link”
    —————
    Oh cool! Works fairly well. Thank you! and I laughed a lot at Wonkette take on happenings.

    —————————————-

    “Delta: The Difference Operator

    Cool…and so appropriate!

    ~ Δ ~’
    ———————————-
    Yup- works well here. Lots of fun here in all the silly and serious playing with language. thanks for your part in it all!

  23. Hmmm Shoes seem to be popular lately

  24. Dear Trolls,

    Wow, apparently having a teeny-tiny penis really DOES affect one’s personality!

    Love, Mamacita

    =======

    Dear Sentient Nice People,

    Merry and Happy and Jolly _________ (fill in blank with word of your personal choice.) Because I hope y’all are genuinely happy.

    Helen and Margaret: you ROCK.

    Now, let’s all get out there and be kind to one another.
    Love, Mamacita

  25. Found your site from another blog. Happy belated birthday Helen, it’s my birthday too. And all this time I thought it was me and Emily Dickenson.
    ~Flo

  26. David,

    I grew up in a family filled with people like Patrick and Colorful, and yes, they DO believe that the only reason they don’t go around lying, stealing, and cheating is because of the grace of God (and constant prayer, of course, keeps them close to God’s grace).

    To their way of thinking, the human soul is just a bundle of depravity (“filthy as dirty rags” was the phrase most oft quoted during my childhood) incapable of any act or thought of good on its own. If Jesus didn’t tell you to do that good thing (read any “any act of kindness”) you did, well, it not only doesn’t count, it’s full of sin (“of the devil”) as well.

    Makes no logical sense, I admit, but there are millions who believe it.

  27. Colorful, Patrick, Cali, et al. — Why can’t you be good for goodness’ sake like everyone else? Why do you need external validation from us or even from God? Are you saying that God is the only reason you don’t go around lying, cheating, and stealing? What does that say about you as a person?

  28. Here’s a remake of an old song…

  29. Speaking of Δ…..

    Is anyone going to one of those Obama-recommended-community-meetings-for-recommendations on health carethis weekend?

  30. Need some Palin humor for today?

    Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau

    Δ

  31. Quote – Alaska Pi Δ at 9:42 AM

    “Δ is also a way of talking about change across multiple factors in many scientific fields of study.”

    I had no idea, but it sure does ‘fit’ around here.

    Delta: The Difference Operator

    Cool…and so appropriate!

    ~ Δ ~

  32. Quoted from Alaska Pi Δ:

    “Videos lose their punch when my dial-up buffers so slowly as to chop everything into 2 second blips…”

    Just a suggestion Alaska Pi Δ, open the video link in separate window (right-click), pause it and let it load up in the background before you to play it. It WILL slow everything else you might be doing in the foreground, but that’s the trade-off.

    So in light of that I’ll send you an ‘easy-loading’ link

    http://www.wonkette.com/

    A fun (rated R) look at today’s news and politics.

    Δ

  33. Thanks for Willard’s story, Whirled Peas. Sounds like he “showed” the teachers in his life who made him feel small because he can’t read or write, to the tune of selling his life’s work for how many millions of dollars? $20 mil?

    And JuneauJoe…If I’d been writing a formal paper, I’d have been less loose with my facts and figures, but for the purpose intended, I guess it came out close enough to my version of reality. I just got really ticked off that she challenged me about how much money I was contributing to the betterment of the world, like she was so holy herself! I love my daughter, but if I had remained childless, my husband and I would probably be a couple hundred thousand bucks richer by now! Oh well. Money ain’t everything, and my daughter is amazing and wonderful. And Maggie’s a horse’s butt. So, moving on….!!!

  34. That “Jesus Will Survive” video is hilarious!!!

    Thanks for finding that!

  35. Morning All, I am back online.

    Elsie, Great Note you wrote to your friend yesterday!

  36. Thank you Whirled Peas, The man and the work of Wigan’s is deeply beautiful.

  37. Just found your blog. What a hoot! I’ll be back a lot. :) Have a wonderful Sunday!!

  38. WOW, I’m so glad everyone enjoyed that ‘Jesus Will Survive’ video. The first time I saw it, I too, literally, spit my coffee. I’m the sort of person that believes even HE laughed. After all, humor is one of our greatest Gifts, right up there with sunlight and water.

    So let me start this beautiful Sunday with something to make “yous-guys” smile.

    Meet Willard Wigan – sculptor.

    Enjoy! ~ Δ

  39. Oh dang-
    I HAVE to save up for a high-speed connection! Videos lose their punch when my dial-up buffers so slowly as to chop everything into 2 second blips…

    Whirled –
    I’m slow in other ways too.
    Δ is also a way of talking about change across multiple factors in many scientific fields of study.
    dx=dt/dy and so on are simple elegant expressions of observed change and predictions of what will follow. It is risky to borrow too much from the if-and-only-if world of mathematics and cart it into messy everyday life. I am happy here though to borrow a NOTION of the reality of change in time…
    In my waning middle-age I occupy a wholly different patch than other epochs of my life… the vistas are very different. Δ is a beautiful symbol to tie it all together -past, present, future. Our lives are our eternities on one hand and so very short on the other…
    Thank you.

    Greytdog Δ and AnnΔ –
    I am holding you directly responsible for dangling temptation in my face -first thing in the morning , no less!!!!!
    Off to tear my tea drawer to bits to see if I have jasmine AND lemongrass to mix together…It sounds sinfully yummy!!!

  40. Helen and Margaret- be sure to watch the video that Whirled Peas has included….It is excellent!

  41. Elsie & Whirled Peas: Damn! I snorted Mocha Latte through my nose. . . . oh lordy. Gotta send that link to my mother! Thanks!

  42. Elsie & Whirled Peas; I went to the link and I am still in convulsions of laughter…..Thanks

  43. That video will really push the Jesus freaks over the edge. Watch and wait for the next onslaught of trolls!

    I didn’t link it right. Y’all can bop back up to Whirled Peas Δ on December 13, 2008 at 10:30 PM for the direct link.

  44. Whirled Peas…I’m sending that link of “Jesus Will Survive” out to all my friends right now. What a funny one. Kinda like a reverse sort of video-type Christmas card!

    Yes, you are excellent at what you do finding/linking videos!

    Repeating:
    Jesus Will Survive
    * Google Video: -2566269671806009973

    Funny thing. I visualized you as a wise female…so here we find out that you are “an A/V kinda guy”. It’s funny how that works in cyberspace.

  45. Funny, I had just made myself some cranberry juice, mixed with strawberries,celery, and yoghurt for breakfast. I really wanted to share that YOU CAN juice cranberries…And then the opportunity came along…Thanks for opening the subject of drinking…my entry is factual.

  46. Sarah G: Do you know anyone who doesn’t drink? I drink – I drink about 1 gallon of water a day, about 2 pots of coffee, about 2 glasses of orange juice, and when I’m in the mood, I may even indulge in a soda pop. On the weekends, I like to partake of an orange-mango smoothie after my morning run and on Sunday morning, there is nothing more refreshing than to sit down and read this blog while sipping on a mocha latte. When I’m a bit under the weather, I like to sip on jasmine tea with a shot of lemongrass juice and some honey. During the summer, I consider it the height of decadence to treat myself to a homemade dark chocolate milk shake, and you’ll rarely find me without my ubiquitous bottle of raspberry iced tea. So Sarah G ~ what do you drink that makes you so . . . grumpy?

  47. The fastest way to piss people off, Sarah G., is to insult our matriarch, so please be careful what you say.

    You might want to tread lightly on that subject.

  48. I think Helen drinks.

  49. I’m with you on the thank you notes.Hey! If someone bothered to send you a gift, the least you can do is acknowledge it & say thanks.
    I always insisted my kids sit down & write thank you notes, even made a list of the relatives that sent them something.
    Why should someone send gifts if you can’t bother to say thanks?

    I’ve not heard that song you talk about….
    so I’m counting my blessings.

    Merry Whatever!

  50. I’m with you on the thank you notes.Hey! If someone bothered to send you a gift, the least you can do is acknowledge it & say thanks.
    I always insisted my kids sit down & write thank you notes, even made a list of the relatives that sent them something.
    Why should someone send gifts if you can’t bother to say thanks?

    I’ve not heard that song you talk about….
    so I’m counting my blessings.

    Merry Whatever!

  51. Holy cow!! Who goes to the trouble to carry out an arson when it’s -20 degrees F. outside???? (-26 C converted to F., if my math is right)

    If it were -20 where I live, the entire state would shut down…

  52. Happy birthday Helen! Loved your post as always; I’m so behind letting everyone celebrate as they see fit. Agree, too, about that odious “Christmas Shoes” song. Ugh.
    Peace on Earth, Good will toward All.

  53. Alaska Pi Δ:

    You are right: nasty business indeed. I thought it was a little presumptuous of SP to “apologize” if the fire was because of her, but destroying property with people inside- if it is arson- is terrible business.

    Evil can exist in both extremes-

  54. Elsie-

    Bravo- well done! She who was once a friend is not a friend, and therefore not worth any effort on your part. Be sad…for her, as she is so narrow-minded she can’t appreciate the differences in us that make life so interesting.

    “G nite, and sleep well:)

  55. To Whirled Peas:

    Not what I expected in that last video link you posted. I’m still laughing!

    I did look at your link to Bing and David singing the Little Drummer Boy. I’ll give it to you that it may be the best rendition of the song I’ve ever heard. It’s a vast improvement to have any kind of interesting melody line added to that repetitive and mechanical song. It’s the best version I’ve heard, but I’m still not a fan. There is a lot of wonderful holiday music out there–Christmas Shoes and Drummer Boy just aren’t for me.

  56. Greytdog said “sometimes human acts get WAY outta hand. And while I may not agree with those folks up in Wasilla, damn – it just feels bad. Not good. Not good at all.”
    ————————-

    Nasty business, nasty , nasty.

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/matsu/story/621988.html

  57. Elise,

    I’ve been doing this for some years now. I have quite an extensive Fav/Bookmark collection, growing bigger everyday. I’m a news junkie / research-aholic and good at it if I do say so myself.

    As far as where I get them, I try my favs first. A lot of them are now dead-end links, so then I just search Google/YouTube mostly.

    I’m an A/V (Audio/Video) kinda guy so that’s what I link. Some people just want text to read (easier loading on slow connections probably), but as long as I have broadband, I’m linkin’ video.

    Like just now, I wanted something thread-wise (Jesus/shoes) and went to my favs. This is what I found:

    Jesus Will Survive.

    ~ PEACE ~

  58. I’m ready to call it a day. If the trolls show up tonight, I’m sure that the night shift can handle things. Y’all be good.

  59. Gillian, I tried to search the WalMart website for Chanukah candles and Menorahs. The only hits were for a couple of books with those words in the title.

    WalMart is definitely not my favorite store; I’m a Target girl, for the most part.

  60. Whirled Peas, that’s high praise coming from you. Thank you very much.

    Now, I have a question…where do you find all the amazing videos you link to from Helen’s blog? Is it your business to know videos, or, do you just google to find the right ones?

    You come up with some really interesting links. And thank you for the applause, too!

  61. The heads of corporate at Wal-Mart should take some pointers from your blog. I found out today that some stores have decided that Chanukah is not an important holiday, so they have stopped selling supplies like Chanukah candles, Menorahs, etc. Needless to say I will never set foot inside a Wal-Mart again.

  62. From AP: “No one was injured in the fire, which was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside, according to Central Mat-Su Fire Chief James Steele.”

    Now that’s just effing wrong wrong wrong. There were KIDS inside. I just hope they catch these people and make them listen to Patrick and Colorful nonstop through the end-time.

  63. Anyone else here read about SP’s church being set afire? Now I don’t like SP, and I have no time for her brand of religion. . .but I simply cannot abide vandalism – arson of any type – and it really angers me when the target is a church. For pete’s sake – what if people were in there? What if KIDS were there? What kind of jerk does that? Arrrggghhh. Yeah yeah I know – Vengeance is mine sayth the Lord, but sometimes human acts get WAY outta hand. And while I may not agree with those folks up in Wasilla, damn – it just feels bad. Not good. Not good at all.

  64. Hey Elsie – yupper that’s my corgi girl (aka Tank Girl, aka Bunny B*tt). A PWC through and through – She just turned 11 – and still rules. (God Save the Queen). She rides herd on all of us – including her “brothers” who outweigh her by almost 100lbs total. . . sigh. Corgis are big dogs in a short dog size. ( I don’t dare refer to her as “small” as she’ll lay a “booby trap” for me…)

  65. Elsie, I’m sure I’m speaking for all the ‘Wedgies’…

    Well Done!!!

    PEACE ~ Δ

  66. Thanks for your words of support, everyone. I would hate losing a true, old friend over politics, but she’s not really my friend, anyway, and I hate bullshit more at this point.

    So, moving on….

    Greytdog: Is that a Corgi in your avatar? I’m a huge fan of Corgis, ‘specially the Pembroke variety.

  67. Alaksa Pi wrote: “.Bundling up in everything I own and laying in the snow watching the sky dance is about one of my favorite things!”

    Damn. All we get here in Florida is the chance to watch Mickey Mouse dance with Katherine Harris. . . not quite the same. . .

  68. Elsie! BRAVO!!!! (standing ovation, stomping feet, whistling, dogs dancing) You go get ‘em girlfriend!!!!

    ******************************************
    Ain’t it just amazin’ how some folks think they have a “lock” on such things as salvation, charity, and family values? All the while, displaying behaviors that speak to the exact opposite! Wowee. You’d think their arms would be worn out patting themselves on the back, gosh darn it. . . I guess it’s the only way they can be sure the “right” people get the hand out. . . ah well, Elsie, you’re better off without that particular toxin in your life. I’ve been “fumigating” my life this electoral season, and have been dropped (boo hoo) from several email lists – a relief actually since I’m not subjected to their prayers and “pass this on or God will get you” emails. . . Of course, I am missing out on all those emails that promise me a HUGE financial reward for sending money into Bob Tilton and getting a blessed prayer rag. . .

  69. Way to go, Elsie!!!! I’m sure you make Helen and Margaret proud….

  70. Oh Elsie-
    Merry Christmas!!!
    Yup- you are probably off the email list now.

  71. Political Amazon said:

    “When someone with whom you disagere says “I will pray for you” it is very aggressive, and implies that they have sat in judgment of you and feel you need their prayers.”
    ———————-
    I’m not sure that sitting in judgment and “feel you need their prayers” is the nasty part. I think it is the dismissiveness of the act that is nasty. It is aggressive in that one is put on notice that you have been found beneath contempt by a secret judge and jury to whom there is no recourse.
    And yup- no “raggedy-ass poster” has the right to sit in judgment here. Folks have been working pretty hard to convince colorful et al tis not a privelege which can be abused either

    troutay “Where in Maine? ” is Cape Elizabeth for my son and his family. My daughter-in-law’s family is on Vinalhaven and a few are spread round those itty-bitty states all around back there. everyone is safe-whew.

    Have a great time running away for the holidays!

    I’m hanging out hoping to get my other wish for Christmas. Where I live the ever-present cloud cover means the aurora is a rare beastie on the horizon. I have not seen it for 2 years. We have a cold clear spell forecast for a week or so… seeing the moon has been wonderful(don’t see it often either) but am hoping it works further down phase and the Northern Lights are visible before cover moves in again.Bundling up in everything I own and laying in the snow watching the sky dance is about one of my favorite things!

  72. It’s a quiet night here at the blog, so I think I will share something with Helen and my Intertube friends here.
    *******************************************
    For about a month or two, someone I knew 15-20 years ago has included me in her email list of folderol. We have mutual friends from long ago. However, today, I doubt that this woman could pick me out in a crowded room, but, still, I’m on her email list. I seem to remember that she never had any children, so it was just her and her husband, going about their lives, accumulating their investments, and spending their money as they wished for themselves. (“Double income, no kids”.)

    I’ve ignored her silly emails, overall, and I just hit delete, until a couple of days ago when she sent out a “joke”. It turned out to be racist bigotry which aggravated me. I didn’t comment about it, though, because I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt that it was a one-time slip-up.

    *****************************************
    Then she sent something today that was a link to an MSN site. You are asked to vote on keeping “In God We Trust” on coins. Her comment was “I’m kinda tired of the leftist going against anything related to God and Christiany. If you feel the same way vote.” (I”m reproducing her comments as is, with all her special spelling.)

    ******************************************
    Well, after a good dose of Helen’s sensibilities these last couple of months, I decided to clarify things with ol’ Maggie. So I sent this note back to her:

    *******************************************
    “Maggie, just so you know…I’m part of that leftist majority in this country that voted Obama into office, after 8 years of Bush failures, his support of torture, his abuse of the Constitution, and his various war lies. But I support the “In God we trust” saying. I definitely support separation of church and state in the schools and the courts, but the thing with the money doesn’t bother me a bit. I’m a God-loving Christian…a moderate Christian. And I don’t listen to hate-filled blathering idiots like Hannity, O’Reilly, Coulter, Limbaugh, or Faux News.”

    ******************************************
    Well, apparently she’s not accustomed to such violent talk as that, so here is her reply back:

    “(Elsie), you and Alice (Alice is a mutual friend-Elsie) think the same but I love you anyway. I am acquainted with Bush fmly and think very highly of them and the way they think. They are god fearing people, who are honest to a fault…that is,except for the one son. If all people could raise their children to have the qualities this family has, what a wonderful world this would be.

    As far as Obama goes, I am keepimg an open mind.

    I do not agree that E and I, who worked hard to make our money, if fact, I did things so we could save our money that most people think it is beneath them and I do not want someone telling me I should give to the poor. I do give and all my monies will go to hospitals and colleges when I die. I would like to ask if you and Alice and the other democrats are giving that way. In fact, how much do you give to the church and charities each year? I pay high income taxes and I pay gladly as long as the gov’t does not over tax me because people were to lazy to get out and work and save their money. Work, at home and in the business world, was never beneath myi dignity.

    As far as wars, I am glad they are fought somewhere else. I am prould of Bush’s stand when the twin towers were destroyed and so many Americans were killed. I know one family who lost a daughter and another who thought they lost a son….and I know how the felt and how they still feel

    I am glad we live in a country where we can disagree and it is because Americans fought for this freedom.; I lost relatives and friends during the wars and have had two husbands and numerous classmates who were in these wars; in fact, one classmate was a POW in Germany, two POWs in Bataan, one at Pearl Harbor. I will never dishonor their memories.

    I remember Clinton and Carter and how poorly they represented our country. As I said, I have an open mind about Obama.”

    *******************************************
    Remember, as far as I’m concerned, she started all this bullshit, so I fired off this last response and have heard nothing back from her, which is just fine by me.

    *******************************************
    Hey, Maggie.

    I said nothing against the Bush FAMILY. I think George, Senior, and Barbara are fine people. But do you remember, when their son became president, our country’s financial system was healthy, with an enormous surplus left over from Clinton? That’s what the current president inherited…a strong economy and a solid financial base with little-to-no debt.

    Now, we are in the toilet financially…for a vast number of reasons….for things that occurred on Dubya’s watch. Our children and grandchildren are being left TRILLIONS of dollars of debt on a giant Bush Depression credit card. They will never enjoy the standard of living that we built up and take for granted, because they are left to pay off the Bush administration’s unconscionable debts of the last 8 years.

    We are in two wars, and over 5,000 Americans have died for Iraqi oil, not the phantom “weapons of mass destruction”. McCain is happy to leave our troops over there for as long as it takes to win an unwinnable war. Tens of thousands of American wives, children, parents, and other relatives and loved ones are trying to piece their lives back together, caring for their wounded, or dealing with the loss of their dead.

    I honor all the troops, even the gays, and the liberals, in uniform. You don’t have a lock on respect for the military! My brother’s on active duty, a career military officer. I pray for his safety, and the rest of our military. He has a loving wife and two magnificent children, and I love all of them.

    As far as my money, I adopted an unwanted child …does that count for something about putting my money where my mouth is? Not only do I support a woman’s right to choose, even though I, too, am adopted, but I took someone else’s child to raise. I support the child, not just the embryo. I have educated that child, paid $5000 for her orthodontia, paid for surgery for her, tens of thousands of other dollars, led her through dark days with mental illness, found appropriate help for her, and she’s come out on the other side healthy, studious, and fairly wise for her age. I am reasonably sure that she’s more inquisitive than the president of the United States and reads more than he ever did. I know for a fact that she’s making better grades at (her university) than he made at Yale. And she’s not an alcoholic, either.

    I give hundreds of dollars each year to support the needy. You’d be shocked at how many $100s and $300s I give out at a given time. So let me assure you that you don’t have a lock on charitable donations, or high taxes, either, for that matter.

    Clinton didn’t keep his pants zipped. Big deal….THAT didn’t bring the country down, and send us into a recession! His personal morals are pretty loose, but he left the country better off than he found it.

    Dubya has trashed the Constitution AND the country, paid off his cronies with job appointments, “Heck of a job, Brownie”, and we are struggling to keep afloat this sinking ship which is our nation, on an hourly basis. Bush, Jr., inherited a strong economy and turned it into a flaming recession…one that has repercussions worldwide today. So how great is all that?

    Bad personal morals/strong national economy (Clinton) vs. whatever morals /a wrecked national and world economy (Bush, Jr.)?

    Right now, the right-wingers have run this country into the ditch, and their hate talk is the accepted way of attacking everyone. There is no moderate view in the Republican party any more…it’s all hatemongers and bullies.

    Thanks for keeping an open mind about Obama. Maybe now that the electorate has awakened to the abuse from the right-wingers, and the majority has voted him into office, maybe he can pull this country back together again, while Dubya leaves behind a burning pile of debris to go off to build his presidential library.

    ******************************************
    I’m thinking maybe I’m off her email list now.

    And, thanks to Helen, I decided it is time to call “Bullshit” when I hear it.

  73. your gift to us is absolutely perfect. if i had to read or hear one more thing about strawberry shortcake…..well, let me just say: thank you!

  74. That is such bull babyming. Get your facts straight.
    Union workers do not, I repeat, do not make that sort of money. And the companies have cut back on retirement programs and health programs. Why do you not check this out before you make a major asshat out of yourself!

    I, on the other hand, don’t mind making an asshat out of myself, but please check your facts!!!

  75. An incredible 10% of all home mortgages are in some kind of financial trouble, millions of people are either looking for work or desperately worried about their jobs, and like clockwork, “The War on Christmas” gets trotted out. Is this to distract people from more reality-based concerns, like losing one’s home? (I must admit, I’m no fan of the left either, the way they whine that the United Auto Workers might have to take a pay cut from $50 per hour to $40 per hour.)

  76. JuneauJoe:

    Where in Oregon?
    I used to live in Oregon City, and have cousins in Portland.

    Alaska Pi: Where in Maine? I used to in
    Winter Harbor, Millbridge, and Corea by the Sea.
    And yes, we will be getting away for a few days at Christmas. Going from Minnesota (land of the tundra) to Arizona. Yay!

  77. Guess who went shopping at Nordstrom’s this week? You betcha! (pic posted on Mudflats)

  78. Colorful on December 12, 2008
    at 10:02 PM wrote:
    “You are all evil. I know that now. I know that I cannot forgive you…”

    Judy in CA:
    “You don’t have the right to forgive anyone here….”

    ————

    Yeah, and they don’t have the right to pray for us, either, unless we ask for it. When someone with whom you disagere says “I will pray for you” it is very aggressive, and implies that they have sat in judgment of you and feel you need their prayers.

    Some raggedy-ass poster doesn’t have the right to judge anyone.

  79. Hi again,

    My internet at home is down, so if Trolls get on, someone else will have fun with them. I also hope to get back to the Glacier tonight.

    Happy Holidays to everyone! (even Trolls)

  80. Hi Folks, hope all is well with everyone.

    Update: Between rants last night, I did get out and went to a glacier to check it out under a full moon.
    Great stuff. Today is Windy and cold, but also sunny and beautiful in Juneau.

    Keep warm folks.

    4 days and I bug people in Oregon. You can start feeling sorry for them if you wish.

    Have a good day!

  81. Helen and Margaret,

    Wow…Just in from the cold, real and virtual, after an internet down day and the onset of first of the season winds off the icefields…
    Feels like it has been pleanty warm here in your parlour.
    The meltdown by colorful cleaned up?
    Many voices here are more clear and succinct but I DO wonder about those like poor colorful and the judgement issue.
    Spouting off a beautiful prayer about the prayee granting forgiveness at the same time as saying you will not forgive is into the “word salad” territory of SWWNBN ( the gov of my fair state- She Who Will Not Be Named here in honor of Helen’s gift )
    Perhaps one who sports such poor judgement in the face of contradiction is unable to manage a step back and see that they have accidently ( I hope) sat down to rest in the wrong chair. Anyone who thinks they are seeing the world alongside the eye of God has to remember they are still but human.Real epiphanies are rare and brief…
    Poor old colorful seems to think one can stay in that rarefied place… I think a close inspection of where colorful really is would find a tiny human world beset by fear and resentment.
    Charles- I’ve been scrounging in the long-ago-I-once-read/knew shelf of my bookcases too…
    Plato’s Allegory of the Caves comes to mind here… and colorful sounds like one who has never made a trip to the real light…nor been able to hear the voice of one who has…the latter being really the most most of us ever manage.

    troutay said:
    “I have two brothers, both stanch republicans that love to argue with my poor husband who is a “progressive” who would never condemn another living person. Their rants seem all conspiracy theory, the government is stealing their money, its all the “liberals” faults, etc. I get so sick of it, I just leave. I have no intentions of trying to change people that just seem so bitter about everything. Its not just their politics, its their every day lives.”
    Ouch. Ouch.Ouch.
    Worse than a busted toe…
    I hope for you and your husband, this season of light, a time of quiet and peace. Even if you have to pull the shades and turn off the lights and pretend you are not home to get it!

    I already got my wish for the season… and HOPE the same for ALL of you in that part of the country. I have been able to find out that my son and his family are safe and warm enough in Maine, after the icestorm that hit the northeast. Power has been restored to enough folks that my family has options ,beyond their own lil generator, now.
    You too, Margaret… hope you are warm and safe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  82. Harley the retriever and Beau the greyhound say Merry Christmas to Roooooo for all the four-legged sane beings out there!

  83. OOps! meant “exception”
    Need more coffee!

  84. I am sad that I didn’t get to play last night…Friday and Saturday nights I tend to stay at my fiance’s home.

    Juneau Joe…you really cracked me up reading your posts…My fiance is a dog groomer and she has done it for over 20 years, she is very spiritual and she actually finds quite a connection to “source” through them, they are real, in the moment and honest, so I found the fact that Dog spoke to you last night quite appropriate.

    Several times I have done research to refind things I learned back in college and through reading since and trolls don’t care where their ‘faith’ came from, it is much easier listening to Pat Boone telling them how the opponents to Prop 8 are like the terrorists who killed people in India. Before I was angered by their attacks, now I am just saddened that their perspective on god, creation, existence is so fearful, close minded, hateful, cold. It is very similar to what the Medieval Europeans experienced through their churches during the plague…when life is so frightening, so ‘cruel’ when you have no idea, no sense of control it is easier to empower yourself by finding someone that is worse than you, someone to hate.

    I think that you will find the far right ‘christianity’ much more reactive, striking out, holding out for the rapture, for salvation…and in their fear, their hate…they are going to miss the wonder that is god, that is life. I still think that the interconnection, the relationships, the action of living is god…not just some foreign, distant diety that arbitrarily causes things to happen.

    So, I sit here, it is cold and wet out and they are calling for snow tomorrow which we get little of and means I have to put on snow tires and dig them out of the small storage room of my apartment…and I have sandalwood incense burning, my fiance’s golden retriever is over to play with my pit/lab/chow(?) mix whils she is at work and I am going back to research the Jewish experience in Nazi Germany for a dark fantasy novel I am outlining…everyone enjoy their holiday season this weekend, I will check in later…and please save some troll, I hate leftovers.

  85. Colorful on December 12, 2008
    at 10:02 PM wrote:
    “You are all evil. I know that now. I know that I cannot forgive you…”

    You don’t have the right to forgive anyone here. That belongs to God alone. And I doubt very seriously God finds anyone here that He feels needs to be forgiven. Well, maybe with the exeption of you and others like you.

  86. For all of you who are thinking of giving this season, but don’t know who to give to….

  87. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!

  88. “Daddy’s gonna kill Ralphie…..”

  89. Elsie,

    I thought Colorful was just really ANGRY, and because of his/her religious convictions, couldn’t say the words he/she REALLY wanted to say. So instead…the random letters.

  90. Well I see the troll smack down continues! I can’t decide if they are serious or just stirring the pot.

    Elsie “A Christmas story” Is our family favorite too!

    Dinner in a Chinese restaurant sounds wonderful this year!

  91. Let’s hope Colorful and Patrick and Cali will also watch “The Christmas Story” and participate – I vote for them to put their tongues to icy-cold metal in the deep of wintertime snow frolicking. . .

  92. Hey, we have a Christmas custom in my home: Each year, we have to watch “A Christmas Story”. My family is kinda like “Rocky Horror Picture Show” groupies in that we know many of the lines to “A Christmas Story” and participate in the movie as we watch it.

    To Helen’s community— If you’ve never seen this sweet-natured movie set in the 1940s with a lot of gentle laughs, I invite you to give yourself some time to relax and chill, and see it this year with your loved ones.

    Here’s one of our favorite quotes: “In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.”

    Here’s a link to a story on CNN about all this: http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/12/08/christmas.story.turns.25/index.html

  93. I’m thankful for this: that in Helen’s house here, reasoned voices come through, loud and clear, over and over again. And that comforts me in the wars against the wackos! Thanks to all, and to Donna, especially, just now, and always to Helen, Margaret, and Helen’s grandson, Matthew, who made this site happen for his grammy.

  94. who knows? Maybe colorful and cali and Patrick really think they’re a riot. Maybe they’re weird people who like to stir things up for the sake of doing it. Maybe they’re sincere.

    If it’s the first, then they are rolling on the floor with the deep enjoyment that a second grader takes in poop and pee jokes, since their sense of humor is about at that level. If it’s the second, then they are probably disappointed at the lack of outrage. If it’s the third, their response depends on their mental health–either their view that the rest of the world is evil is validated or they are be thinking “whoops–didn’t handle that so great.”

  95. Helen and Margaret rock!!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

  96. All that random typing bullcrap that is supposed to be, I guess, “typing in tongues” (?!) leads me to consider that the purported “Colorful” is just making fun of right-wingers and has a really warped sense of humor. What’s your take on it?

  97. Thank you. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature at play here. Say to someone “you must do X” and the reaction is “who put you in charge?” Say to someone “I rebuke you” and the reaction is “who gives a rat’s ass?”

    Say to someone “hey–I’m sure you didn’t mean to do it but that kind of hurts when you say that” and most people will say “sorry–not my intention.”

    And, to come full circle, the mentality displayed by the few people who are the topic of discussion here is exactly why Sarah Palin scared the crap out of me. Sure, she was dumb and didn’t value education and was phony and hadn’t done jack–but that just meant she wasn’t competent to hold office. But ascribing to a religion that really promotes the idea that they are the only correct view and that their little cadre is entitled to (and will obtain) all good things at the expense of everyone else? Having a world view that accepts the Limbaughs and Hannitys and their hatefulness as great stuff? It was that that caused me (and I am betting a lot of other people) to become more engaged in this election than in any previous one. And that, in turn, led me to this website which I find to be absolutely terrific.

    I don’t remotely pretend to know the answers to theological questions. But I’m pretty sure that God has a sense of humor. He likes Molly Ivins and Ann Richards and he probably looks forward to a new Margaret and Helen post as much as I do. And he shakes his head over the people who purport to speak for him.

  98. Greytdog Δ and Donna:

    Well-done. Excellent responses. I’m taking notes…

  99. The trolls bothered me a while back–a few weeks ago when this blog was new to me. But now their little rants serve only to bring together Helen’s little community here, so I simply find the trolls entertaining now. Or, perhaps, it’s our various responses to the trolls that are so entertaining, huh?

    Some responders are thoughtful and kind; some are cheeky and satiric. I can learn from all. JuneauJoe had a long time working here alone last night, holding down the fort, so maybe he’s resting now; it’s 4am in Alaska. Hope he got a refreshing adult beverage in there some time!

  100. GO DONNA! L’CHAIM & Yosakoach

  101. Let me try…futile though it is likely to be.

    Colorful and Cali: You made your point about how you feel Christmas should be celebrated. But then you went beyond that and started attacking people for their views and statements. And that’s where you erred. See, that sort of thing doesn’t do what you claim you want–to bring people closer to the God in which you believe. It drives them away.

    Nobody–and I mean nobody–says “wow! Some stranger on a website is saying stuff and typing words that are incomprehensible to me so I am going to agree!” Please–stop for a minute–and think about whether you have ever remotely persuaded anyone by what you are doing here. I am morally certain you haven’t.

    So, in light of the fact that you aren’t persuading anyone, is there an impact to your words/statements/mysterious typing? Yes, there is. You are creating exactly the reaction you object to. The responses that supposeldy are so distasteful to you and your beliefs are the direct reaction to what you are doing. And so, if those responses are, in your view, offensive to God, you are the one bringing that offense about. People aren’t making fun of God–they are making fun of you. But if you perceive them as making fun of God, it’s because you have provoked it.

    I don’t like bullies. I don’t think God likes bullies. I don’t think Jesus or Mary or the Holy Spirit would like bullies. And saying that two ladies in their 80’s are Satan is the cheapest sort of bullying. The God you claim to revere would be ashamed of you because you reflect poorly on His teachings.

    I happen to be Jewish. However, I am close to a number of deeply religious and observant Christians. Would they like me to come around to their point of view? Boy howdy, they would because they really do believe in it and they love me. But what they don’t do and never would is to be anything but an example in the way they live their lives. They are a model of goodness and love and kindness. You are models of meanspiritedness and nastiness and intolerance.

    Please don’t equate yourselves to Jesus chasing the moneylenders out of the temple (the normal rationalization of those who use their religion destructively). That is the gravest sort of arrogance–to equate yourself to God. Nothing in the New Testament suggests that you do more than live a good life and love others, regardless of whether you agree or disagree with them. Nothing in the New Testament suggests that you get to judge other people.

  102. From Emma the cat – trolls simply are spraying the bushes. . . to prove they are the ruling tomcat but all they do is stink up a place.

  103. I think trolls become trolls because they are asexual, genderless, a genetic mystery looking for a home. They are a by-product of evangelical waste, an algae bloom on the Lake of Life. They multiple and reproduce for the sole purpose of choking the life-giving Life.

  104. One more item for Colorful: here’s the Lord’s Prayer again – learn the words correctly. There will be a quiz and no more Rapture excuses, okay?

    PATER noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

  105. Oh & I am Ann with a wedgie

  106. Colorful seems like a girls name… pretty. I have no idea why we do that-hahaha

  107. hahaha! Greydog!

    Anna, I thought Colorful was a female too! Why do we do that?

  108. I thought Colorful was a female troll. Do trolls have gender? Also, in my religious orientation we speak to HASHEM in Hebrew and Aramaic sometimes.Not everyone is the same.We use different words entirely. Just needed to share that!

  109. I hope that really confuses Colorful – tried to combine the words he knows with the real words. . .wonder if he’ll spend time in solitary meditation now. . .or just plain old solitary???

  110. Oh and this is for Colorful once he wakes up from his Rapture-induced coma – when reciting the Lord’s Prayer, please get the words correct – remember everything in the Bible is from God’s Mouth (according to y’all) and so it is upon your soul to make sure you use the correct wording and not some namby pamby modern interpretation. So for your edification I provide you with the corrections:
    Our Father who art in heaven.
    Holy Hallowed is be thy Thy name
    Thy kingdom come
    Thy will be done On earth as it is in heaven
    Give us this day Our daily bread
    And forgive us our sins trespasses,
    As we forgive those who sin trespass against us
    and lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

    See Colorful, that’s how it’s done. Now, go to confession or whatever, say twenty Hail Marys, flog yourself for two months straight, wear a hairshirt (burlap will do), and bay at the moon for 30 nights. And get a job.

  111. WAG MORE, BARK LESS! I agree

  112. Oh dear Lord in Heaven, it looks like Colorful had another Rapture moment. Wow. (Looking around) seems the night watch managed to clean up most Colorful’s spittle. . . (wiping a small spot in the corner). . .oh good grief, you’d think Colorful’s god would have other things to do than torment that poor soul by forcing him to come here all the time. . .doesn’t Colorful have any friends to pray with?
    Thanks to all who helped Colorful during his seizure. . . isn’t it just so sad he can’t afford medication under the Bush Healthcare plan? Maybe his local ER was filled up and no one was available to Baker Act him. . . .
    JuneauJoe, you and I must share the same doG – after all, my car bumper sticker loudly proclaims doG is my co-pilot (of course Harley the retriever doth believe the sticker is talking about his ability to ride shotgun) which often draws the ire of Colorful’s Southern cuzzins. . . . and to their howling and baying at the moon, harley and I both say Wag More, Bark Less!!!

  113. Yeah…gifts are not really a big part of our deal, either, though more due to monetary issues usually than anything else. Only one getting any gifts this year is my daughter!

  114. Are you sure Colorful wasn’t reciting the Lord’s prayer backwards? I thought that was satanic stuff.

    Get thee away from me Satan/colorful!

  115. I do not make sacrifices very much anymore either.

  116. dyricci, your celebration sounds yummy.I light candles to celebrate the miracle of freedom,not big on gifts,but I will be giving some loved ones beautiful Margaret&Helen tshirts. Colorful is such a nice name-something must have gone wrong. Perhaps she was kidnapped & indoctrinated by some really messed up & mean meshuginah fire &brimstone trolls.

  117. As far as Colorful and Patrick et al are concerned…

    If they’re so concerned about desacrating the holiday, well then they need to not celebrate their god’s “birthday” on/during the pagan holiday as they are currently doing and have done theiri whole lives.

    Everyone knows that Jesus was born in the spring, as that is when he Roman census was taken (that’s why Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethleham). The Church moved the date to December to placate the various pagan factions that all had a holiday during the solstice. Most notably is the Roman Saturnalia

    Saturnalia: December 17-23. The festival of Saturn celebrated in ancient Rome, at the end of the vintage and harvesting, with feasting and unrestrained merrymaking. It honored Saturn, the god of agriculture. Observance included exchanging presents and offering sacrifices. Masters served their slaves as a token of the equality of rank and the lack of class distinctions during the golden age (which was supposedly ruled over by Saturn). Many Christian customs are derived from this festival.

  118. Let’s let in some light and happiness back into this thread, really!

    Being Pagan over at our place, we prefer to celebrate the original meaning of the “holiday” in that it is the winter solstice…or Yule. Thing is, it’s actually easier to get our friends together on the 25th because of work obligations and the fact we were all brought up on the whole Christmas thing and tend to be fond of our family memories associated with the holiday.

    So, me and Dave have a private celebration of Yule on the 21st, and then on the 25th, everybody is invited over for my famous belgian waffles and mimosas! Bases covered! More merriment!

  119. They are serious & it is very disturbed

  120. wow …

  121. Are Colorful and Cali and Patrick serious??

    THAT’s disturbing!

  122. WTF…?!??

  123. 11:00 PM and I am not drunk!!!!

    Damn you Cali!

    What about the whores? This is not about me!

    Still on heavenly hold!

  124. no

    shit!

    Cali, help me out here! Use any influence you have so you can swarm this site! I am trying to help you out.

  125. Dear God,

    I am your humble servant and I have done as you asked. I humbly ask you to allow me to and deal with the Whores and drink. I promise I will not get thrown in jail or anything.

    Someone needs to help the whores sir.

    Please

  126. Shit,

    God said, I am on call and cannot leave!

    I hate you Cali! You are ruining my heathen life!

  127. This is JuneauJoe:

    Please God, I have taken the time to deal with Colorful and Cali as you had asked. I am praying please sir, let me go get drunk and deal with the whores now!

    What do you say Big Guy? Please!

  128. Cali,

    God said, the bark, bark was a holy joke!

    ha, ha

    God has a sense of humor! He made you!

  129. Dog said he loves you too! bark, bark

  130. Cali,

    God loves you even though you are stupid, ignorant and misread his words!

  131. Cali,

    Dog said,

    You are to call Rev. Luthee and get beaten until you are holy enough to please Sarah Palin.

    Luthee got Sarah elected Gov of Alaska, Cali gets to be elected as dog catcher of Wasilla, if you meet Sarah Palin standards.

  132. Cali,

    You have a Christmas Tree sticking out of your ass!
    What is it with you people?
    You just shit all over your Christmas Spirit!

  133. Let go let God.

  134. Cali,

    God says you just shit yourself! Is this true?

  135. Cali,

    God says you itch all over! The little bugs are biting your ass.

  136. Cali,

    Dog says, You will be smitten with fleas or something like that.

  137. Cali,

    God was about to let me go but now he has a message for you!

    Cali: Go to heck

  138. Colorful,

    Dog just told me that if you see, smell or step in dog shit: THINK DICK CHENEY!

    God: Can I please go get drunk now? That is me on my knees pleading. Let me go back to my heathen ways! Please!

  139. This is the work of the devil. Margaret and Helen thy name is Satan.

  140. God just sent me a text and said it was him saying those things: He think GW Bush is tapping his messages again and changing his name to Dog.

    Colorful: Please talk to your Republican friends.

    Whenever you see or hear Dog: think George W Bush

  141. Colorful, it is 9:30 here in Alaska and I wanted to go get drunk but Dog won’t let me!

    Dog told me to get my ass back on the computer and tell Colorful to:

    QUIT PICKING ON TWO 80 YEAR OLD LADIES!

    I hope that is all. I am emotionally drained from this!!! Dog will still not let me go out and get drunk though.

    Damn you Colorful!!! You are ruining my heathen life!

  142. Colorful,

    Dog says REHAB for some reason.

    God says you are not listening to him so I have to be the person he goes through. Dog also says to GET THAT STUPID TREE OUT OF YOUR ASS! It could give you gas.

    God also says: Quit the jfjdsooedofjod crap

    You just told God to go to hell with the last batch of letters. Quit the tongues until you can speak English first. One language at a time.

  143. Our Father
    Who art in heaven
    Holy is thy name
    Thy kingdom come
    Thy will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven
    Give us this day
    Our daily bread
    And forgive us our sins
    As we forgive those who sin against us

    Hail Mary
    Full of grace
    The lord is With thee
    Holy Mary
    Mother of God
    Pray for these sinners
    Now and at the hour of their death
    Amen.

    dfasjfkjfaslkfjdf
    lkfjsdkfjsklfsjf
    jaslkfjdkfdsjf
    ajdflksdjsdkfjslkjask
    alkfsadfkjdkfljas
    nvcmeitugkncvmgneg
    ijqegdmletjfg,db
    oitgntewrpgdnmsdb

  144. Colorful:

    I read your post again (good thing I don’t have a red pen in my hand…tsk, tsk, grammatical errors), and you are so confused: hate, sadness, forgiveness, understanding, anger, evil…

    Perhaps a nap on the couch with a cold compress on your head will help-

  145. Juneau Joe:

    I thought Colorful had been nipping at the bottle of Focus instead of Swaggart…Dobson is so good at slipping in the bitters in his brew.

  146. Elsie and JuneauJoe:

    LOL!! Heh heh …very funny:)

  147. Aloha Ladies..
    I just found your blog!! Can I give you a ((((Hugz Of Aloha)))) thanks for making my heart smile and for chasing my Sighs away….

    A sister In Hawaii

  148. JuneauJoe…I think I figured out that it’s 4 hours earlier there in Alaska than here in the central time zone. So it is about 11:30pm here, and I’m still trying to get to bed. Still, I peeked back in here and found your comments to Colorful. Hang tough. You are providing a real service by passing along God’s messages to Colorful, even if they are a bit garbled. But your messages are at least real words. And, funny ones at that!

  149. Quoted AnnΔ at 9:56 PM

    “seems a little too quiet.

    Quoted Colorful at 10:02 PM

    “…erdfbryythmetu
    agqetwrghnwrty
    gdshwtrywrj
    asdgertyw

    sdhwrtyerjdfjetujetmjetyursghbstywr
    sdfgewtyrwjshnfs
    werebh
    wrtrshwryuetyuethmn”

    How did you do that AnnΔ? Pretty neat trick. Bet it goes over big at parties.

    Namaste ~ Δ ~ Peace

  150. Colorful,

    It was God and he said you have been sipping the Swaggart and you need to get the demons beat out of you by Rev. Luthee… I think that is it.

    It was God, bad reception in heaven at times so the message got scrambled. God also thinks GW Bush has intercepted his message and that pisses him off.

  151. OK, maybe I missed it somewhere, but exactly what awful sin did Helen or Maragaret commit against Jesus, God or the Holy Spirit in this post?

    Then again, I’m sure that Colorful would also lambast my blog and declare me a heretic while spouting off typed tongues…which is even more ridiculous than the phony-ass verbal tongues speaking I’ve had to put up with in a couple churches.

  152. Colorful,

    Now your friend Dog is telling me that you are sucking the Haggard again and you need to get off of it.

  153. It was one of your friends. Seems you are not listening so they have to go through me.

  154. or was it DOG sent you that message?

    Dyslexia, you know – easy to mix things up.

  155. Colorful:

    GOD just sent me this text message:

    ‘Colorful: Rehab NOW!!! GOD’

    I figured it was for you. Just passing it along.

  156. As entertaining as trolls are, I’m really pooped after a long week, so I’m leaving the watch against right-wingfundamentalistbullcrap to ABros and Helen’s other guests. Y’all keep the parlor tidy, and put away the leftover pie when you’re done, ‘kay? I hope that tomorrow will bring some new thoughts from the Blog Mistresses.

    And, Colorful, go to bed, Hon. You are obviously worn out and need some rest. Time for evening prayers…and what a long list you must have. You need to get started… Nightie-night.

  157. ABros- Don’t you find it fascinating that someone can hate and pray for you at the same time? Don’t they sorta cancel each other out?

  158. That was to Colorful, Ladies and gentlemen.

  159. I don’t care how you celebrate the Holidays (most likely Christmas, from what I can inferr) as long as you don’t try to force it down my throat.

    I don’t give a rat’s ass that you’re praying for my soul, and that you hate me.

    In fact, I think people dislike you because you try to force the Holy “Love” of Jesus down our throats like a cat owner shoving a pill down a cat’s esophogus.

    And on the subject of cats. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, KEEP THEM AWAY FROM YOUR KEYBOARD!!

  160. D,

    At least you’re making actual words…

  161. Nowhere I mean. Lord I’m off on my typing today.

  162. Whoops, sorry ABros on mistyping your name there. I’d like to blame that on my cat but he’s no wear near me.

  163. D-

    “I figured it was more Cat than Aramaic. At least that’s what it looks like when one of my cats decides to ‘help’ with the typing.”

    Hilarious!

  164. Hey, Colorful, I don’t know what you’re drinking, but you need to stop. Try some nice 2% milk; it’s good for you. Maybe mix in a little Hershey’s syrup for a real treat.

    YOU probably aren’t evil, but you are really messed up.

    Supposedly God takes care of children and mental cases, so I guess you are covered there.

    On the other hand, maybe you are just someone with a really warped sense of humor.

    So, ANYWAY, go play with your cat; maybe that will give you something pleasant to do instead of trying to be funny here in Helen’s nice parlor. And, please, Darlin’, try to keep your kitty off the keyboard, okay?

    One last thing:
    “sdhwrtyerjdfjetujetmjetyursghbstywr
    sdfgewtyrwjshnfs
    werebh
    wrtrshwryuetyuethmn” backatcha.

  165. Abrose-
    I figured it was more Cat than Aramaic. At least that’s what it looks like when one of my cats decides to “help” with the typing.

  166. Colorful,

    Calm down!! No one is trying to take anything away from you or anyone else. You can celebrate Christmas (or any other holiday) any way you like or any way that God tells you to. No one is taking any of that away from you.

    YOU chose to come onto this site. If you don’t want to hear anyone else’s opinion then perhaps you should stick to blogs where the thinking is more in line with your own. Your blood pressure will thank you.

  167. Colorful-
    Here’s a thought: Stop visiting this site and it can be “no more” in your eyes. Oh, and here’s a little news flash: None of us give a flying f@%k about what “sadness” you feel for us.

    I believe we’re a pretty content crowd.

  168. Aramaic!!! Like in “The Passion of the Christ”!!!

    You know, that anti-semetic movie!!!

    Oh wait… I think Colorful had a seziure while typing, and his thoughtful, composed argument turned into a hateful, critical argument that grants nothing in the eyes of his/her colleauges.

    Colorful should really see the doctor or something…

  169. Geeze Louise, Colorful! I’ve never seen “speaking in tongues” in print before! Or is that just the cat on the keyboard again?

  170. I am trying to fogive you for this sin. I am trying to see you through the eyes of our Lord – with eys of forgiveness and understanding. I am trying but as I read your words I am so filled with sadness for you and I am also filled with anger.

    This is His time. This is His day. How dare you tear that down. How can I fogive you when you wiffully sin in His eyes.

    You are all evil. I know that now. I know that I cannot forgive you becuase you haved showed yourself for who you really are. Against God.

    I refute you.

    I pray over this site to take it away. It will be no more in my eyes.

    Kfalkfjaskdjakldjfaksjflkjfjfjadfj
    qoiueiflkadfasvitusvm cvmjf’lwjgfksdnvna,a,dd/.,/.,ys.fgktjelkjtagm
    ksfnnltlqjagfnads/g

    mfasklkjwksadnm/adfgnadgmnasdnas,mgas
    fsadererhgetyjmhgmyui
    sgy4ryvcxvfgjty67354fgdf
    rwyuwfg
    n

    erdfbryythmetu
    agqetwrghnwrty
    gdshwtrywrj
    asdgertyw

    sdhwrtyerjdfjetujetmjetyursghbstywr
    sdfgewtyrwjshnfs
    werebh
    wrtrshwryuetyuethmn

  171. seems a little too quiet.

  172. beautiful to read many waxing poetic and loving after that creepy visit by the meshuginah fire&brimstone trolls…pre terrorists – may their numbers decrease significantly. Shalom y’all.

  173. As a teacher, I have often used the following lesson to impress upon my students the need to be open, considerate, recognize free will, and respect others–no matter what.

    I tell them that deep within each human is a “gut feeling” that produces a drive to go one of two ways:

    A person can choose to be good-hearted or mean-spirited. Simple.

    “Everything we say…..everything we do….is a reflection of who we are.” Simple.

    So…..for all the humans who denounce others….where is that coming from?

    For all the humans who help others, lift others up, and support our humanity…..where does that come from?

    Good-hearted versus mean-spirited. Simple.

    I also say….”with all the hurt in the world today…you wish to add more?”

    Good-hearted=good world
    Mean-spirited=troubled world

    It’s Friday–and my Christmas decorations are calling me from the garage. My decorations for my home put up in the way I want to celebrate the season.

    Peace on Earth and……….
    Always believe in good will……….

    Steven

  174. In honor of this Season of Light, some words from TS Eliot from Choruses, The Rock:

    O Light Invisible, we praise Thee!
    Too bright for mortal vision. . .
    We thank Thee for the Light that we have kindled,
    the lights of altar and santcuary;
    small lights of those who meditate at midnight,
    and lights directed through the coloured panes of windows
    and light reflected from the polished stone,
    the gilden carven wood, the coloured fresco.
    Our gaze is submarine, our eyes look upward
    and see the light that fractures through unquiet water.
    We see the light, but see not from whence it comes.
    O Light Invisible, we glorify Thee!

    We are, all of us, seekers of the Light Invisible. We are each of us the holder and the source of light – we of many races and many creeds – coming together in communion with the Light, regardless of whatever outer form our personal acknowledgment of that Light may be. To each and every one, May the Peace of Light be with thee and thine. Keep the light burning this season and throughout the coming year. Peace.

  175. “Charles:
    ““Charles is right. ”

    That is something I rarely hear and even more rarely see in print. Excuse Me while I sit down at the kitchen table and savor this moment…”

    ——–

    Let’s write it on our calendars and we can celebrateit next year with an anniversary party.”

    You know I meant correct by “right”, right?
    LOL…

  176. Dang Alaska Pi:
    Interesting but painful story (as my toes are clenched up in my slippers). I do not understand the hate hate thing either. I have two brothers, both stanch republicans that love to argue with my poor husband who is a “progressive” who would never condemn another living person. Their rants seem all conspiracy theory, the government is stealing their money, its all the “liberals” faults, etc. I get so sick of it, I just leave. I have no intentions of trying to change people that just seem so bitter about everything. Its not just their politics, its their every day lives.
    And so I tend to think of the trolls here the same way. I might react for a moment, then I walk away because they will never change me either. I don’t understand the constant need to blatherize that sort of bullshit especially when they know they are out of line and upsetting people. That, to me, seems like a weird sort of “control” thing.

    Abro: I am an old lady. You are a young person. You have all the time in the world to learn about that stuff. And I doubt I could teach you much anyway. Young people today seem to pick up “knowledge” through osmosis.

  177. Laughing…I do have abundance, it just doesn’t present itself as financial. I do struggle with money, as dumb as that may sound but everywhere else, there is plenty.

    Such as goodwill from a stranger on the internet…which I appreciate as well.

    Thank you.

  178. Quote Charles at 3:33 PM

    “Whirled…
    Thank you but I have abundance. “

    Quote Charles at 1:20 PM

    “I have been broke and underemployed for three years now…”

    “…unfortunately, I also have issues buying groceries, paying utilities…and struggling is not a core value to me. “

    Sorry, I must have misunderstood you.

    Whirled Peas Δ 2:04 PM
    “May all your needs be Fulfilled”

    The idea of Abundance is that there is enough for everybody. And more…by definition.

    If you believe you are lacking, you will experience lack. If you are content, in your words and actions, you will experience fulfillment.

    Abundance comes is all shapes and sizes and colors. Take all you need and pass the rest out.

    Δ

  179. Whirled…
    Thank you but I have abundance. I have family, friends and dogs that love me. I have a job, I have a sense of wonder and silliness that I embrace. I have a creativity that is coming back into my life. I have intensity. The rest are just things…bright, shiny objects. Sometimes I get distracted by them, but they are just objects.
    As for giving away, that is something I am relearning regardless of my finances…giving is a great experience.
    So thank you, but I am certain someone needs abundance more than I do.

  180. I would ask Patrick.
    As he has stated: “I have studied this for many years.”
    He must know a thing or two about positions….

    Oh, did I not quite quote him correctly?

    Oopsie!

  181. troutay

    Will you teach ME sex ed? They don’t teach the good parts at school.

  182. hmmmm…..I’ve looked and LOOKED throughout the Bible, but I can’t find where it says that anyone who celebrates December 25 by putting a tree in his house is going to hell.

    Am I missing something here?

  183. Charles:
    ““Charles is right. ”

    That is something I rarely hear and even more rarely see in print. Excuse Me while I sit down at the kitchen table and savor this moment…”

    ——–

    Let’s write it on our calendars and we can celebrateit next year with an anniversary party.

  184. Dear Charles,

    Usually I have a reply for any comment; right/left/center…

    Ya kinda got ta me.

    So, after a moment to gather my thoughts, what I will say is:

    May you and your loved ones be Blessed with Abundance this coming holiday and Beyond. May all your needs be Fulfilled, Now and in the Future. So much Abundance,
    you have to give the Extra Away.

    Good Luck and God Bless

    That goes for all-a-ya’s!

    PEACE ~ Δ

  185. troutay-
    rags’ remarks here “Hate you. Hate you. Hate you. Tthat is what your comments sound like to God.” were peculiarly tough for me. My family says I tend to overthink simple things.
    I simply CANNOT connect to this visceral hate thingy when folks start it up. All this flinging of “you hate me, god, America, blah,blah,blah so I hate you ” stuff.
    The only time I can remember feeling true blinding hatred was when I broke my lil toe on my own bedstead rushing for the back door .Someone was breaking into my garage in the middle of the night and boy, was I mad that I wounded myself before I even made it out there to do battle!
    My roar of pain and rage WAS sufficient to scare the creep off and wake neighbors nearby so I ‘spose being that mad at myself had limited value.
    After a moment’s thought and icecubes on my toe I realized my entire response to the situation was stupid. I have tried not to fall in that hole ever since.
    All this is by way of saying that I spent too much time trying to puzzle out the WRONG part of rags’ post.
    I wondered whether poor rags had the same trouble I did trying to set up a recorded macro at work. I spent hours before I got Ctrl/F1 to reliably print “thank you” on receipts…
    I thought maybe rags ought to move away from using Ctrl/F8 cuz it kept spitting out “hate,hate,hate”

    This AM it hit me.The rest of the post tracked with someone who DOES buy into this hate thingy, whether I do or not…and the import of the last bit of spittle was obvious!

    “You are all sinners.

    Go to hell bithces!”

    VOILA!
    Denture cream commercial material aside, I still do not understand this hate thingy. Why folks keep chucking themselves in ever widening pits of offal is beyond me.

  186. A belated Happy Birthday Helen and a Very Merry Christmas to you and Margaret.
    Since being introdused to this Blog, it has given me so much pleasure each morning. I have pondered for two days over a response to Patrick, Colorful, Rags, Stuart etc.

    Wednesday I was treated to a visit to Disneyland to see the Christmas decorations. (My daughter works there) She thoughtfully pushed me around for several hours in a wheelchair. The throngs of people included some of other faiths or counties as by the way they were dressed. So many pushing strollers with little ones and a few older children in wheelchairs. All there of admire all the beautiful decorations and Trees,(. Upright).

    Through out the day, to see the pleasure on the faces of different faiths was wonderful.

    In the Bible there is a wonderful statement “In my House there are many mansions”. I interpret that to mean that there are many ways of believing in God. If those of us who don’t believe as one particular group think we should, the rest of us , as per their idea would all go to hell. Then we who don’t believe their way
    would have a great time talking and enjoying tea and pie!!

    Unfortunately, the message I get from these trolls is anger, lots of deep anger. Suppose if we invited them for pie and put them in the middle of all thue Love that is radiating here, would they get the idea? They would have to promise not to mess up Helen’s parlor!!

    A VEry Christmas to all of you.
    The fact that I am still here for this one,iis cause for deep gratitude.

    And a belated thanks to Mathew for letting us share with his Grandma.

  187. I have been broke and underemployed for three years now…and Christmas has always been about family for me, biological or friends ‘adopted’. I enjoy buying presents, something I do throughout the year, usually small items but tokens that symbolize my thinking about someone.

    If this ‘depression/recession’ brings us back to the core aspects that are important, then great…unfortunately, I also have issues buying groceries, paying utilities…and struggling is not a core value to me. It is easier to focus on our relationships when you are scrambling to survive.

    Personally, I need little…which is good since that is what I can afford!

    Namaste

  188. Is it me, or have more and more people decided to “scale down” on Christmas this year??? I’m sure the economy has most to do with it…or do you think we are slowly moving back to a time when Christmas was truly about being with family and not SO materialistic??? Just a thought….

  189. Mirror Man wrote:

    “Really, now. I was not aware that all of my esteemed colleagues were, in fact, whores. I am not a whore, which means either you have no idea what you are talking about (big shocker!) or you are a liar. Lying is a sin.

    Hey, everybody! SINNER! We have a SINNER here!”

    Dang it! Double snort!

    Patrick is a sinner, Patrick is a sinner!

  190. Love you Mirror Man!

  191. Alaska Pi:

    You made me snort my coffee!

    Abros: When they let me teach sex ed in their churches, I will let them teach religion in my schools. And I am not talking about any abstinence program either. Just ask Palin about abstinence being the only way. It just doesn’t work.

  192. Dear Patrick,

    So what?

    So what if the “Lord” thinks that opening that new present you wanted is a sin?

    “So what?” I ask you.

    I am willing to allow your beliefs to pass, but don’t try to force it on me. That is oppression.

    And besides, this isn’t a “Christian country.”

    This is an American Country, and because it is an American Country, religion shouldn’t be taught in schools.

    MORALS should be taught in schools, and by looking at the way you write, Jesus’ moral of “Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you” just doesn’t seem to have sunken in completely.

    I wouldn’t want to force my views upon you, but you seem to have given me no choice.

    And what if I want to celebrate the birth of the Lord by giving someone a gift? That is a nice thing to do, and I’ll bet the Lord would be pleased at all the happiness being spread by people giving other people gifts out of the goodness of their heart.

    And I belive Santa is an incredibly nice person, because he gives people who can’t afford anything gifts.

    THAT is what Christmas is about. The giving of gifts to make other people happy. And I believe the Lord would be pleased, if he is who I think he is.

  193. I love you people.

    It’s great to have a vast group to laugh with in the virtual world. Makes life a little shinier in the “real” world.

    Elsie:

    Of course, if you are dyslexic, that would be:
    “Butt Munchers of the World, UNTIE.”

    What an image!

    My. sides. hurt. from. laughing. Can’t. breathe.

    Δ skyewriter

  194. troutay said-
    “Rags:

    What does “bithces” mean? Must be a nutto definition.”
    ————–
    I have been puzzling over that too. In the light of a new day I realized poor rags’ top plate came loose. Maybe some of that moldy fruitcake we had show up here did it. Aren’t there products that hold dentures in better?

  195. My in-law inappropriately bashes liberals as godless unpatriotic loonies, regardless of their religious beliefs or the quality of their character. He’s also manipulative and corrupt in his business practices, is far more materialistic then spiritual, competes with everybody else for the affections of authority, and is quite possibly a latent homosexual. Sound familiar?

    It’s been said that Ayn Rand’s objectivism was as much a rationalization for her own sociopathic behavior as it was a ‘celebration of the individual’.

    Is it any surprise that conservative evangelicals and atheistic objectivists came together as “The Right” to shout down and smear anyone who “disagreed” with them?

  196. Was it Charles who said that his son called him a “butt munch”?

    That inspires me to make a new call:

    BUTT MUNCHERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE!

    Fall in line behind Helen, MirrorMan, and all the other fine people here.

    And, Merry Christmas, ET CETERA.

    Of course, if you are dyslexic, that would be:
    “Butt Munchers of the World, UNTIE.”

  197. Δ Tine on December 12, 2008 at 10:45 AM:

    “MirroMan: Stop! Ow! Hot coffee spurting out my nose!”

    ********************************************
    Of the many things for which I am thankful, I’m especially grateful that I wasn’t drinking MY morning coffee while reading “MirrorMan on December 12, 2008 at 10:41 AM”. Get that guy a piece of pie. What a hoot.

    And I agree with Lee323 up there, that the religious pontificaters soiling Helen’s parlor with their rantings are not happy people satisfied with their own lives. They are mean as hell and abhor happiness in others, so they come here to insult the contented folk who enjoy Helen’s essays. Perhaps all of us heathens need to pray for THEM, huh?

  198. I have read all the comments on this site and have come to this conclusion:

    The “religious” posters who have bashed Helen and her posters are angry that other people can actually be happy and satisfied with their lives even if they don’t believe as the “religious” posters do. Odd source of anger. Has more than a whiff of fear, self-doubt, and jealousy. Pitiful, really.

    Margaret and Helen….You both wrote excellent posts on the “Season of Light.” I enjoyed reading them.

  199. MirroMan: Stop! Ow! Hot coffee spurting out my nose!

  200. Patrick wrote: ” No one speaks for me except for me. I am not some dummy.”

    Trust us, Patrick, the jury HAS returned the verdict on that. Of course, you could always appeal….

    “I have studied this for many years.”

    How nice for you. But in all that “studying”, did you ever actually LEARN anything? Because it looks like all you learned was how to be a judgmental jackass, with the emphasis on ‘mental’.

    “This site is for sinners and whores.”

    Really, now. I was not aware that all of my esteemed colleagues were, in fact, whores. I am not a whore, which means either you have no idea what you are talking about (big shocker!) or you are a liar. Lying is a sin.

    Hey, everybody! SINNER! We have a SINNER here!

    So now that you are a sinner, are you going to preach to yourself and pray for your magical sky Grandpa to cure you of your sin? C’mon, Patty! Buck up! You can pray your badness away! Of course, you could always just CHOOSE not to be a douchenozzle, but where is the fun in that? You couldn’t be a judgmental hypocrite that way!

    “I cannot return here. I will not return here.”

    Promise? And take “Colorful” with you. If I wanted to see bad typing (What was THAT about, anyway?!?!) I would let a cat walk on my keyboard. But just so you know, we are praying for you…..to go to the hospital for that operation to get your head and that stick out of your ass. That will have to happen before there is room enough for the Christmas Tree!

    Toodles!

  201. Oh my-
    poor Patrick and colorful…Colorful, colorful,colorful-
    Was that a breakdown or a magic mushroom ride?
    I would add to what our neighbor here
    Greytdog said-
    “Please, allow me the favor of addressing this whole concept of intercessory prayer – this is not a prayer of Thanksgiving or praise or hope. This is prayer as a weapon. Intercessory prayers are usually two-fold: God turn the hearts of enemy to my way of thinking or smite them and part two consists of Thank you God for letting me be better than THOSE people. Intercessory prayer is AGAINST some one disguised in words that sound like the person praying is actually praying FOR someone.”

    Whether there be a God or no, prayer is the voice of our hearts and instructs our hands and feet to move in THIS world, the one we live in , right now.

    The voices raised up here in Helen and Margaret’s parlour, for the most part, have made a hymn -in marvelous complex harmony – to the best of what we strive for in the human community.

    You can pick out specific voices and know those hands are spinning many threads of well considered works of humanity all across the horizon…

    You can let the whole of all the voices wash over you and be properly awed by the enormity of what so many small hands can build when added up together…

    But, poor Patrick and colorful, you may not come here and demand that no one else live that you may feel safe…

    We are going to continue to move the furniture around in here, in M& H’s parlour, and in our lives, til we get some kind of arrangement which accomodates the whole gang .The physically blind will have no trouble making their way to tea and pie here…for such as you I think you will be lost til you wipe your own dirty fingerprints off your own glasses.

  202. ΔProud Community OrganizerWA
    December 12, 2008 at 8:50 AM:

    Beautifully stated. Thanks.

    Good luck with your rummage sale today so that you can better help the needy children in your community. May you, me, and all the other “whore sinner asses” continue to appreciate our various efforts to make our little corner of the world a bit better.

  203. Quoted from Charles 8:33 AM

    “Personally, I have come to the understanding that everything is god, even those caught up in the illusion of seperation, including the concept of a seperate god. Though a couple of the people who have posted here seem to have forgotten the divine within…thinking they have to bludgeon god or damnation over our collective heads.”

    As a “Recovering Catholic”, I needed to find PEACE in the world in order to find the ‘connection’ I was missing. When “War, AGAIN”, looked like the wrong idea, I had to find peace in myself to get the ball rolling. A good friend turned me onto the practice of…

    Namasté!

    *Ready w/ Pause for reading purposes

    That’s kinda the reason I’ve been posting with the ‘Δ’. Its symbolism is multipurpose. It not only covers the ‘Wedgies’ (Regulars at M&H), but also is a ‘Delta’, defined as: “An area of fertile ground at the mouth of a river.” (M&H comment section) ;)

    And for me personally, it looks like hand pressed together at the chest, conveying:

    “The Divine Light in me honors the Divine Light in you.”

    Namasté ~ Δ ~ Peace

  204. So, let me get this straight. I’m not only a sinner for visiting this wonderful website, but now I’m a whore too? Hey, at age 61, I’ll take that as a compliment! Thank you, Patrick—you made my day.

  205. The sad thing in all of the rantings of Patrick, Colorful, et al is that they seriously don’t understand how negative and damaging their behavior is. It pushes people away from them, not towards their savior. Even though I’m pagan, I understand that it’s about LOVE. It’s not about judgment. And even if one believes it’s about judgment, we are commanded not to judge. Jesus told the woman caught in adultry he did not judge her. But what Jesus DID teach was two-fold: love your God with all you are and love others as yourself. He stated all the Law and the prophets were fulfilled in those two commands. And if it’s about the love, where in all the comments of the fundamentalist trolls on the site, is it? It’s not in the words we read. It’s not in the attitude that comes across. There is no LOVE. And where there is no LOVE, there is no GOD. The apostle stated that GOD IS LOVE.

    I’ve had so many of these well-meaning “christians” in my life. And, I can say I used to be one of them. However, my life has never been touched by a single one. You know who touched me life? The ones who never talked down to me about my faith vs. theirs. The ones who simply LOVED.

    And the sad thing in all of it is that I can only point to a handful of folks who fall into that category.

    So Patrick, Colorful and our other “christian” trolls out there, reconsider your tactics. And reconsider your relationship with that which you call Lord. You are doing much more damage than good. And I cannot imagine your God being very pleased with that.

    To everyone else: carry on!

    Blessed be!

  206. Good Morning all!

    Well it seems we go round and round. Patrick and Colorful it seems to me that you need to quit worrying about other peoples souls and concentrate on your own.

    My soul is my soul I got the license to it when I was born. It is up to me (free will) to decide how I chose to honor God or not. This is my personal journey to make mistakes and learn from them. It has nothing to do with you. My understanding is that when the day comes I am the only one who can answer for my life. Last time I checked I do not get to take you with me so you can be a character witness.

    As far as worshipping false Idols, I have a different interpretation of that. I personally think God is referring to people who go to worship and take the word of the person in the pulpit preaching to him as the gospel truth. However I find it interesting that we keep reading about these exhaulted beings in the news as they fall from grace. Maybe he means watch out They could be leading you astray.

    I will continue to muddle through and do what I think is right. It may not be your way but it is my personal way. Once again that is my right.

    Religions that preach their way is the only way are in my humble opinion dangerous. Whether they be Christian, Muslim, etc…. That is how fanatics are born and many die along the way. It is not in the name of God it is in the name of Man’s overwhelming pride and control. As you all seem to want the main objective of controlling the world.

    I want to be able to live my life in peace and just take care of me and maybe help some people along the way.

    You know that phrase Unconditional Love? Well it seems to me your way has way to many conditions and I would have to prove myself to you daily to achieve any inner peace. My way I do the best I can and will let God speak to me when my time comes about what I did wrong or maybe what I did right.

    PS I do not believe in speaking in tongues. In the bible Jesus spoke in tongues but if you analyze that, it means he learned many languages to communicate with many people, not jibberish so he could feel special and exclusionary.

    Now I am going to take my Whore sinner ass and go get dressed for my day. The evil I have in store? Well I have to help set up a rummage sale today to help raise money to buy toys and clothing for children that come to our local food bank every week. I know evil isn’t it. Trying to sway the minds of children with no food and will probably have a miserable Christmas.

    So please look inward and ask God about you but leave my soul out of it.

  207. Helen, I always feel that we’re on the ” same page”. However, when I read the bit about the Christmas Shoes, I said to myself ” that’s it, we’re soulmates!” That song is ludicrous and so is the man who sings it ( he also sings ” butterfly kisses by the way, kinda cute but also kinda barf cute).
    Christmas should be whatever it wants to be for whomever wants to celebrate it. I don’t care if you want your tree upside down, or not at all, just don’t go around judging what others are doing for Christmas, or not, because there are millions who don’t celebrate it at all.
    You call us scrooges but I’m not criticizing how you want to spend December 25th.
    Jeez, I was trying to be in the Christmas spirit, even gave Condoleeza Rice a compliment ( http://www.democraddicts.com ) and people were all over me!
    Merry Christmas everyone, enjoy your family and friends, just keep judgements to yourself.

  208. “I was raised as a Baptist, and the cool thing about Baptists (or it used to be) is that their #1 concern is their own relationship with God. It is considered unhealthy to focus on another’s relationship with God, or to sit in judgment of them.”

    This I understand, I was raised Conservative Baptist and besides having very boring services they also focused on the ‘personal relationship’ aspect…how you perceived god was your own business, in fact it seemed like the one thing conservative baptists seemed to deal with was scripture which called for ‘witnessing’, your life was your ‘witness’ not going out converting people…in fact they would get nervous over the thought of conversion.

    Personally, I have come to the understanding that everything is god, even those caught up in the illusion of seperation, including the concept of a seperate god. Though a couple of the people who have posted here seem to have forgotten the divine within…thinking they have to bludgeon god or damnation over our collective heads. I don’t have the discipline to be practicing any ‘religion'; but I also think that it is not necessary…I go back to what Bharat taught me, which is ‘The only thing you have to know is to love god and to be happy’. I have images of Ganesha to remind me that god dances through life and that is the closest I come to ‘worship’ that and trying to stay awake, aware.

  209. I’ve been out of town for several days, playing catch-as-catch-can with Helen and Margaret’s blog.

    So, HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, HELEN!

    In reading this particular post here, I realize that I USED TO think of the Patricks, etal, of the world as “fundamentalists”.

    Then, I began referring to them as “right-wing fundamentalists”.

    Now, I just automatically regard their rantings as “right-wing fundamentalist bullcrap”.

    It’s like just one long word to me now: “right-wingfundamentalistbullcrap”.

    Over several weeks of reading Helen’s thoughts, I’ve come to realize that I don’t even think that these Patrick-Colorful-“Faith”-type rantings are necessarily all bad. Their rants crystallize, for the sane ones here, why we come together to celebrate Helen’s reasoned, spunky essays.

    And our community spirit here revitalizes me. Merry Christmas, etc., to all.

    Thanks, Helen!

  210. Me? I’m too busy whoring it up to pray.

    Maven Δ

    (Greytdog Δ, the hackeysack line made my morning.)

  211. Greytdog Δ,

    You mean something like this:

    Religious Right Prays for Rain on Obama Speech

    From the info:
    “Rev. Shepherd prays God to rain on Obama acceptance speech; says that if God decides great rain is proper for that occasion, it will be good. Reason: To get anti-choice, anti-gay president to appoint right-wing justices to Supreme Court. Did God answer his prayer in an unexpected way with Hurricane Gustav during Day 1 of the RNC? And Hurricane Hanna hits landfall the day of McCain’s acceptance speech.

    Perhaps these are signs of God’s displeasure with the fanatic Religious Right. “

    I wonder….

    ~ PEACE ~

  212. Merry Christmas, Margaret and Helen!

    Thanks so much for your blog, I enjoy it so much and love both of you! Also, Happy Birthday Helen!

    Looking forward to many more posts!

    Michelle

  213. One of the best things about staying out of the malls and listening to public radio is not having heard “Christmas Shoes.”

    But it’s fun to hear about it from you.

  214. Please, allow me the favor of addressing this whole concept of intercessory prayer – this is not a prayer of Thanksgiving or praise or hope. This is prayer as a weapon. Intercessory prayers are usually two-fold: God turn the hearts of enemy to my way of thinking or smite them and part two consists of Thank you God for letting me be better than THOSE people. Intercessory prayer is AGAINST some one disguised in words that sound like the person praying is actually praying FOR someone. I consider it this type of prayer to be the WMD of the Fundamentalist Christian arsenal. Of course, my answer to Intercessory prayer is Back At You Jack followed by a resounding AMEN.

  215. Y’all ever notice how these wonderfully fundamentalist types always say “Sinners and Whores” . No wonder Haggard, Swaggert, et al like to consort with call girls/guys – whore is apparently a different kinda thing from sin. . . so to my fellow sinners and whores, ain’t life great?
    Oh and Patrick – please keep your word (this time) and STAY AWAY.
    To Colorful – thank you for the letting us play with your brain. Here – you can have it back. You need it more than we do. We have a hacky sack that’s bigger and more fun.

  216. It seems as if some of your grumpier readers have heard the “Christmas Shoes” song one too many times. Maybe they are worried about what Jesus will think of their shoes?
    I appreciate your blog. Happy Holidays.

  217. “Colorful adds a third person to my pray-roll. (Thanks, Colorful, you keep right on praying for me…..)

    So, after I adjusted my metrics, Colorful has me good to about 2021.

    I figure you’re just joshing, so I’ll address colorful’s latest asshatedeness.

    I’ve never understood the whole “I’ll pray for you” gig. It’s really very condescending and aggressive.

    I’m Buddhist (an engaged Buddhist) so, although I appreciate the good wishes, if someone is praying for me because they think I NEED it, it is insulting.

    See, that’s what gets me about colorful’s brand of Christianity–it’s okay to be aggressive, insulting, and a Class-A1 asshat if you do it in the Lord’s name.

    Well, from what I’ve studied about Jesus, I don’t think he’d appreciate colorful pulling that bullshit using his name.

    I was raised as a Baptist, and the cool thing about Baptists (or it used to be) is that their #1 concern is their own relationship with God. It is considered unhealthy to focus on another’s relationship with God, or to sit in judgment of them.

    Why can’t people just say, “I wish you well” and leave Jesus out of it? Jeeze, it’s like they have to pimp the poor guy for every little piece of change they can get from him.

  218. “BTW: Political Amazon at 1:22 PM

    I didn’t mean to nit-pick, I loved what you had to say about the Jesus business. But I actually believe after you got done explaining everything done wrong in His name, He’d probably say:

    “I knoooow! Doesn’t it suck? ”

    ———-

    Well, that’s what I HOPE he’d say…but, unless he’s undergone an incredible transformation since the last time on earth, I think he would pitch a fit and want to overturn a few money-changing tables…except with the current bunch of money-changers, it might turn out unpleasant for Jesus, before he had time to make an impact this time around.

  219. Quoted from Colorful at 10:03 PM

    “Lord Bless this site so that they will see the truth.

    ahdkasfdkfas;….”

    This is what that tirade looked like:

    Colorful at ‘it’s best!

    I.S.P. thx ~ Δ

  220. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    I just fell off the ‘Good Will Toward Men and Good Cheer’ wagon – temporarily. I am referring to the Illinois governor. I can’t spell his name or pronounce it. If I said it I would have to go wash my mouth out with soap. Since I am a ‘bleeding-heart-left-wing-liberal-femi-nazi’, am also appalled that that a fellow democrat would stoop so low as to let us down and sell us out. This scandal will keep Fox News et al in ammunition for the next four years and beyond.

    I know, I know. This is only an allegation and he is innocent until proven guilty. But considering the evidence that has already been released, I am in favor of nailing the greedy egotistical bastard’s hide to the barn door! When and if the case ever gets into a courtroom, he will probably weasel out somehow. After all he is a lawyer himself and no doubt knows legal loopholes better than anyone else.

    What bother’s me is, this is not really a partisan issue between the ‘Religious Right’ and the ‘Skeptical Left’. It paints a bleak picture of the damage one SOB can do to the new Obama Administration before it even has a chance to get off the ground. More important, it speaks to what kind of people we are and are going to be – what kind of communities we want to live in and what it will mean to the lives of our kids and grandkids.

    I am going to quote from Bill Moyer’s excellent book, “Moyers on Democracy”.

    “These fundamental issues are for all of us to address, as free and equal citizens, through the political process. But when the public servants are privately financed, ordinary people are shut out of politics. Elections are turned into auctions and access to public officials into a commodity available only to the highest bidders. [Campaign contributions.] Most of that money then goes to enrich the broadcasting industry through distorted political commercials, which in turn lead to what one longtime observer calls ‘the cynical acceptance of falsehood as a way of government and a way of life’.

    We must change the rules and it won’t be easy. Powerful entrenched interests write the rules to their own advantage.

    But an aroused public can change this system. Nothing less than democracy is at stake.”

    I’m aroused. How about you?

    Aloha!

    Jean

    P.S. Whew! Glad I got that off my chest. I’ll get back into the Holiday Spirit now.

  221. Check 1-2 Check 1-2… Is this thing on? Testing…

    Problems postings.

  222. Quoted from Colorful at 10:03 PM

    “Lord Bless this site so that they will see the truth.

    ahdkasfdkfas;fjsfksdjldsfjasf
    klfjskfjsklfjds
    sjflkfjskfjslfkjs
    jskfjsa;fjslfjaskfljds
    lsfksdjdfjsklfj blaglrituqwioanbge
    ajjkadjasdkfakfjafklsjfsfjk
    j///a/f// //ldkdfllk]r]pt3dbmdmbd

    akfjalfjalkfjaslfjalfjas
    akdfaslkfjakfjaklfj

    ajdsdfksjslkf
    bakdfjbkletj
    ‘hjyjewqrbmerug
    mmbmgeqkterlbmbbm”

    This is what that looked like:

    Colorful at ‘it’s best!

    I.S.P. thx ~ Δ

  223. Colorful adds a third person to my pray-roll. (Thanks, Colorful, you keep right on praying for me…..)

    So, after I adjusted my metrics, Colorful has me good to about 2021.

    Δ

  224. Ok,
    I’m having a conversation with myself…’g night, and peace to all who converse on Margaret and Helen.

  225. By: Patrick on December 11, 2008
    at 9:53 PM

    I think you have gone round the bend, taken a wrong turn, wandered off into the woods…your last post sounds like you cut and pasted sound bites in a random order.

    Perhaps a long, long nap might help- and please take Colorful with you.

  226. JuneauJoe Δ

    LOL! Great imagery…I will be snickering all night:)

  227. Colorful:
    Thank you Patrick for saying what I am having trouble saying. We are trying to save all of you. You will be damned.

    Perhaps you could pray for us from afar…very, very far. Maybe Siberia? That way you, Patrick, and the other bitter lumps of coal can listen to each other, and we can converse with accepting, intelligent people on this blog.

  228. Rags:

    Go to hell bithces!

    *sigh* If you are going to call us by a name, at least spell it correctly. Poor spelling loses its venom…

  229. Happiest of Birthdays to our dear Helen and most of all may these coming holidays and the coming New Year bring you and your families much health and happiness. May Margaret’s family find joy in being with her as well.

    I never let the small minded people take me away from my core values of belief. I have faith that there is an omnipotent being that has some hand in what happens, but I also think a lot of our lives are already written as our fate.

    I choose to celebrate humanity and therefore I can celebrate with all humanity instead of just one portion which would so limit my scope. For me living is experiencing all and every difference. No matter what a person chooses to call a certain date that they observe or celebrate, it is no less than what any other person deserves as well.

    Like others have said before me:

    “Let there be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me”

  230. The whore union to which I belong insisted on a separate and distinct category of sinners. ;-)

    I am thinking more and more that Colorful and Patrick cannot be real.

    Seriously, could anyone that mentally incapable and backwards be able to get on the interwebs, much less have the literacy skill to key in responses? I think they’re fakin’ it.

    G’night to all the wedgies and warriors and good M & H fans out there. Good luck to the night crew. Those off to see the sandman, may you all dream of all the fun us sinners are going to have the day after the rapture when the world belongs to us BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Δ skyewriter

  231. I now believe.

    Patrick has to have a special connection! How does a person light up Christmas Lights on a Christmas tree when it is not plugged in?

    Gas? Has he been eating beans? Check the cupboard.

  232. Patrick,

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out!

    Patrick does look kind of funny with his suit, tie,
    bible and a decorated christmas tree sticking out of his ass!

    Would someone please help him with the door so he can leave.

  233. Fellow bloggers, it is looking like we are driving someone mad! To think here that we were trying to instill reason! Shame on us!

  234. Merry Christmas, Ladies. I just absolutely adore your blog. I heard the “Christmas Shoes” song today, and I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s the stupitest of all stupit songs ever. I couldn’t listen to the whole thing, it made me sick to my stomach. Happy Birthday, Helen.

  235. Sinners AND whores.

    I did not realize that whores had a special classification. I assumed they would be lumped in their with all the other sinners.

    Who knew?

  236. No one speaks for me except for me. I am not some dummy.

    I have studied this for many years. This site is for sinners and whores. I cannot return here. I will not return here.

  237. Juneau,

    I think he is saying something about sticking a Christmas tree up Colorful’s ass.

  238. Merry Christmas and nice common sense. Both of you write well.
    God Bless America because You are in it!

  239. Here is the message I am reading from Jesus:

    Colorful: Shame on you……

    Help me here! What is Jesus saying on line 2?

  240. Happy B-Day to my adopted grandmother Helen!!!!

    I was cracking up when you said stick the tree up your ass!! LOL…You are a mess!!

    and I never heard the Christmas shoes song, and I thank you for the warning in advance!

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to Everyone!

  241. Oh boy,

    Looks like Colorful Haggard is on crack. He is speaking in tongues on the computer.. Such a talent.

    Ruth, that was so well stated.

    Merry XMas Colorful and Patrick!

  242. ,cvmv,xmvx.vmx.vmcv.,mxdkgptert

    right back at ya honey.

  243. Patrick and Colorful Haggard,

    I fell on my knees! Laughing at your stupidity!

    Being dumb is innocent but you two and your holier than though ways are just plain stupid!

    Go on the Hagee website and talk your Love Jesus but hate regular folk talk. I see the collection plate is coming around again.

  244. Good lord did she just start to “type” in tongues? I don’t know whether to laugh or get a fire extinguisher in case she bursts into flames. I assume of course that colorful is female – maybe wrongly.

    That is something, I tell you what.

  245. Let me try to practice what I’ve preached:

    Patrick and Colorful, thank you for your concern for my soul. If you’re praying for me, thank you for that. However, I am at peace with the decisions I’ve made with my spiritual life, as I imagine most of us here are, and I don’t think that it will really be worth your efforts to continue to try to proselytize here. Enjoy your Christmas as you see fit, and I will enjoy my winter holiday season as I see fit. Hopefully if we cannot agree, we can at least leave each other in peace about it.

  246. Lord Bless this site so that they will see the truth.

    ahdkasfdkfas;fjsfksdjldsfjasfas
    klfjskfjsklfjds
    sjflkfjskfjslfkjs
    jskfjsa;fjslfjaskfljds
    lsfksdjdfjsklfj blaglrituqwioanbge
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  247. I repent! I repent! Waiting on the rapture!

  248. Thank you Patrick for saying what I am having trouble saying. We are trying to save all of you. You will be damned. You will. You must understand that this is a Holiday – a HOLY Day. Santa Claus is evil. He is from Satan to turn us away from the true intent of the miracle birth.

    The Christmas tree is a sin as well. It has no meaning other than distraction.

    Helen knows not what she is doing. But if she does, then she is from Satan. We can only pray for her now.

  249. Happy Birthday Helen!

    http://democralypsenow.blogspot.com/

  250. remember forlks, this country that was
    founded on religious freedom forced
    indians to become christians. those who
    refused were killed, inprisoned, institutionalized or denied rations. the first americans did not get religious freedom until 1978. and we still have to fight to pray in many cases.

  251. You have all missed the entire point of Christmas. It is a day celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ. How can it be about anything else without insult to our Lord.

    How would you like it if we decided to celebrate something esle on July 4th.

    You may not realize this because you have turned your back on God for too long. But this is exactly what was warned about in the Bible. You are worshiping false gods and idols – greed and excess.

    You must repent or you will burn for all enternity. Those are not my rules. Those are God’s rules.

    Fall to your knees – yes! Repent. Repent.

  252. Rags:
    Be gone, before someone drops a house on you, too.

  253. Helen: Wish I could send you a cupcake with a candle in it for your birthday.

    Margaret: I hear you on the thank you notes. It takes two seconds to do and people appreciate it so much. Just seeing someone’s handwriting these days is rare. I just think Americans overall have lost their manners. My daughter is seven and I’ve been torturing her with the thank you notes for years, now she does it automatically. I hope it lasts! Anyway, thank you for bringing it up.

  254. God has no favorites! Sorry about the typo.

  255. Attention is living; inattention is dying.

    The attentive never stop; the inattentive are dead already.

    – Dhammapada 21, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

    Actually, I’m on the short bus…but I am not stopping :-D

  256. It is so mind-boggling to know that people so seek to put in a bottle, the Creator of this world and all the people in it, the Creator of the galaxies, and all of the entire universe. Do the people who hold such narrow views of God that they believe He is that worried about whether or not we practice one religion over another? Really! Why would He prefer some of His creations over others when most societies on earth recognize the existence of a Supreme Being? Why would He be so partial? Christ’s message took and so did Bhudda’s, and Mohamed’s, Confucius, and many others because they are messages of love and peace. Some of the people wishing eternal damnation upon the writers and visitors on this site should really read Christ’s message. He was more worried about us accepting and heeding His message than he was about Himself. He would be more concerned about us getting His message than about us genuflexing to Him 10,000 times a day. It was our spiritual growth, more than anything else, I would think, that was important to him. How we care about our fellow man would probably reflect better in His eyes than the intolerance we throw around. That said…

    Go has no favorites, we all are His creations.

  257. LoL, Charles, thank you for your kind response. The South is a very different beast than is the North, but I do live in a lovely area, outside of the Bible Belt, and I feel blessed to have been brought up here (I even have a sangha here that I belong to!). I do intend to move once I finish my undergraduate work, but this area will always have a place in my heart, even with all its problems.

    The all-encompassing heart of bodhichitta is something that we all struggle with! And if someday we meet and I look familiar, it’s because my picture is right next to yours under “monkey mind”. It’s a journey to enlightenment, not a bus ride. :)

  258. Helen — you mentioned your annoyance at being forced to listen to the song “Christmas Shoes,” about a mother dying on Christmas Day. It made me think about folks in Mooresville, N.C. Well, 11 of those folks and their families. If they die on Christmas Day they won’t be able to be buried in their family plots. How come? Our country’s economic crisis has created ethical and financial conumdrums. A sign of the times, I guess, and one that effects seniors. The town has repossessed 11 cemetery plots, most are part of family plots, because people haven’t paid their bills. So a husband buried with a granite gravestone which also has his still-alive wife’s name already carved except for her death date will be lying next to someone other than his wife.
    Ethic Soup blog has an article on it at:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2008/12/death-dying-ethics-cant-afford-to-die-cemetary-plots-repossessed.html

    Sharon McEachern

  259. “I’m a liberal in the deep (very deep) south, raised Catholic, now studying Buddhism…I meet more than my share of ignorant people who try to tell me how I need to live my life. And I don’t always succeed at treating them with compassion, but I try to.”

    You have my respect here…though I have never lived in the South, I have several friends who have, including my fiance who lived there for awhile and what little I have heard, it is definitely a different world than where I live.

    Also that you attempt to treat people with compassion, this is something which I work towards, as much respect that I have for buddhist thought, the all encompassing heart is one that I tend to lack. It seems as if my all encompassing sarcastic tongue tends to get in the way. That and a general lack of self-discipline…if you look up monkey mind, you will see my picture.

  260. Wow, that was a slightly more heated response than I’d anticipated.

    I understand what you’re saying, Political Amazon, and I understand the analogy you made between what I said and criticism of what many passionate left-wing bloggers say in their blogs. But I do think that there is a difference between making pointed remarks at (or even name-calling of) political officials who aspire to some of the highest positions in our nation and have the gall to say the ridiculous things that, for example, Sarah Palin said, and making similar remarks to a random ignorant person on the internet.

    I assume from one of your posts above (where you said you thought of Jesus as a bodhisattva) that you are, as I am, Buddhist. If I’m right, then you’ll get what I’m saying when I just think that we should adhere to Right Speech. I understand that we can’t back down when ignorant people defame us or those we care about. I’m just saying that maybe we shouldn’t be so harsh in going about it, because that only promotes further behavior from them in the same vein. If we raised the level of dialogue, maybe one ‘troll’ in a thousand will follow our lead, or even be given something to think about in terms of our point of view.

    I’m not trying to cast judgment on anybody. I understand how frustrating people like that are. I’m a liberal in the deep (very deep) south, raised Catholic, now studying Buddhism…I meet more than my share of ignorant people who try to tell me how I need to live my life. And I don’t always succeed at treating them with compassion, but I try to. I just thought I’d bring up these points.

    ~Namaste

  261. all i want for christmas is to meet margaret and helen, howard and harold and matthew. and, heck, i’m right here in bee caves! AND i get to maine once or twice a year!

    you gals flat out keep me going somedays!

  262. You obviously have missed the entire point of the Christmas shoes song…it is about giving and sacrifice from the heart of a little boy….it is absolutely NOT about shoes! And I cry everytime I hear it….

  263. To answer the question posed by the title of this blogpost: jesus wouldn’t be wearing shoes. . .he would have given them away to someone in need of shoes.

  264. “Charles is right. ”

    That is something I rarely hear and even more rarely see in print. Excuse Me while I sit down at the kitchen table and savor this moment…

  265. Looks like Rags had a bit of a breakdown. Pity, eh?

  266. AMEN! I so enjoy reading both of your thoughts. You are so true and honest.

    Traditions … my family’s tradition is to see how “untraditional” our holiday can be. We look for ways to top the last “traditional” holiday.

    Christmas is about peace that passes all understanding. Christmas is about a joy that fills you completely. Christmas should be shared year round, not just one day. Your religion may not call it Christmas – but you have “That Day” that I describe above. May we all live everyday like it is Christmas Day (or what you may call it).

    Shalom!

  267. [...] What Shoes Would Jesus Wear? Well, the holidays are upon us and many of you are asking about the War On Christmas.  I wasn’t aware the holiday [...] [...]

  268. THX Δ skyewriter,

    It’s Christopher Walken as Ed Glosser: Trivial Psychic

    “A power so mighty, only one man can wield it.”

    PEACE ~ Δ

  269. The Christmas Shoe song – a Sarah Palin favorite perhaps?

  270. um, fellow wedgies? Can we keep the trolls that are praying for me? So far, I believe I’ve got Patrick and Stuart on my prayer-roll. There may be more, but there were a lot of posts since yesterday and I lost count.

    Anyhow, I am doing some analyzing here…. The way I figure, if I add up the countless *indulgences* I had to say in Catholic grade school with the hours of God-talking being provided by some of the posters here who have offered to pray on my behalf, and spread that across the time line of the remainder of my life span (assuming actuarial tables are accurate), then take off 5 years because I smoke, well, then I am good for Destination Heaven if I die in the next 11.4 years. ….and I won’t have to do a thing! Call it the metrics of prayer.

    Δ Maven

  271. So, Helen, was it Birthday Cake or Birthday Pie?? :-)

  272. Peas Δ ~

    Re: your new gravatar: (love it)

    Makes me think of the “Dead Zone” in which Martin Sheen looks just like that nub from IL who’s making a mess of the senate replacement.

    Δ skyewriter

  273. Patrick

    “I get down on my knees everyday and thank the Lord God Almighty for giving me so many blessings. Today I got down on my knees and thanked the lord that I am not like Helen.”

    Are you for real? Don’t you know your words echo the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14? I recommend you read that passage to understand more about Jesus whom you purport to love.

    And didn’t you ever read Jesus’ admonition, to “Judge not that you be not judged?”

    The Constitution pushed religion out of government. I recommend you google it and read it.

    Charles is right. Christmas has pagan origins, but it is a time that most Christians feel more access to their own sprititual feelings.

    I say we should treasure this time, and celebrate as best we know how. We should, as Dickens said, keep Christmas in our hearts.

    Thank you Helen and Margaret for producing such good articles for us to discuss.

    Season’s Greetings!

  274. Tine:
    “I’ll admit that the only reason I don’t feed the trolls is that I’m not very clever at it. And that I am very entertained by the troll smackdowns that sometimes occur here. (*hangs head in shame*)”

    —–

    No worries. They aren’t very clever. You would still look brilliant in comparison.

  275. ” don’t have a lot of moral high ground, because I’m a first-time poster, but I think that the lovely sentiments in the original post (respecting everyone’s traditions, etc.) should lead to a respect of everyone’s opinions in the comments, or at least a lack of troll-feeding. Lashing back and calling names doesn’t make them stop, it makes us look the same as them. Turning the other cheek, as their religion would tell us to, is really easy online.”

    ———

    You realize, of course, that this is the same criticism that trollies use against Helen, her opinions and the way she says them.

    The problem is that extreme rightwingers have convinced themselves that “Democrat” = “Doormat.” We have helped them to this conclusion by being so freaking namby-pamby in addressing their outrageous actions.

    Do you know WHY there was no GOP BS in Ohio this year? Or Florida?

    IT wasn’t because they didn’t have incentive or ability to do so.

    It was because Obama started lawyering up months before the November election. He had volunteer and paid lawyers, specializing in every aspect of election law you can think of, in every state in the Union.

    Obama didn’t say anything; he didn’t threaten…he simply prepared himself for what was logical would occur.

    The GOP didn’t do it because–as many of us have been saying since November 2000: THUGS AND BULLIES BACK DOWN WHEN THEY ARE CHALLENGED.

    When the GOP congressional aids stormed the election office in Florida to stop a legal recount, the Democrats did what? Pulled a Lieberman and wrung their hands, whining about how it should be stopped, how wrong it was.

    Well, too bad. Damage was done.

    And Kerry? OMFG. He cut and run the morning after the election, when there was clear evidence of vote fraud in Ohio, leaving us the battlefield to clean up after him.

    If you went to China, did not speak any Chinese, and me a native who did not speak English, and you needed to get them to stop doing something that was harming you, do you think simply stating a request over and over again will get the job done?

    NO. You don’t speak their language. You need to speak in a language they can understand.

    If a thoughtful conservative came in here and raised legitimate concerns, there would be a different response.

    But that’s not what trollies do.

    So if you want to play doormat to the GOP thugs, go for it. I’m not goning to join you.

  276. ‘Wack-a-mole’ smack-down inspires cognitive thinking and hones debating skills. Remember, at the ‘very least’…
    {28% of Americans don’t think Sarah Palin is an Idiot}

    http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/28-of-americans-dont-think-sarah-palin-is-an-idiot/

    …72% of the time, you’re gonna be smarter than our ‘Repuglickgan visitors’. Enjoy the show and step up when you feel like it. Or just stick to the facts/topic so their venom stands out as a glaring example of just how far out of touch with reality these ‘igdigs’ really are.

    Δ

  277. I’ll admit that the only reason I don’t feed the trolls is that I’m not very clever at it. And that I am very entertained by the troll smackdowns that sometimes occur here. (*hangs head in shame*)
    ;)

  278. MERRY CHRISTMAS, MARGARET & HELEN!!!

    It sounds like so much love and joy at your homes, I wish I could be there with you.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

  279. Oh, I understand the guilty pleasure of feeding a troll–notice how I couldn’t help but stick in the parable jab! I know how nice it is to finally have a forum where left-leaning views can be expressed in a safe, comfortable place, and how irritating it is to have trolls come in and try to mess things up for us, especially when they hold sway on the majority of the popular media. But remember, the president-elect is our guy, so we have to practice being the gracious winners now.

    And nothing irritates a troll like being ignored!

  280. Ruth and Lori:

    We know we are bad when we do it, but it feels so gosh darned good! I would never go to another site (i.e. right leaning) and spout garbage knowing it would incite anyone. So, if they want to come here and get their behinds stomped on, so be it. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. This is not meant for you two, just a statement about trolls in general.

  281. Ruth, for what its worth I was thinking the same thing and I share your feelings.

    Free thinking people are not offended or defensive of others who do not see the world as we do.

    Open mindedness does not just apply to what I may believe or tolerate.

    If Helen and Margaret welcome different opinions I say lets hear them, even if I don’t agree. ;-)

  282. Happy birthday, Miss Helen!

    I don’t have a lot of moral high ground, because I’m a first-time poster, but I think that the lovely sentiments in the original post (respecting everyone’s traditions, etc.) should lead to a respect of everyone’s opinions in the comments, or at least a lack of troll-feeding. Lashing back and calling names doesn’t make them stop, it makes us look the same as them. Turning the other cheek, as their religion would tell us to, is really easy online.

    So as tempting as it is to cite the parable of Pharisee and the Publican in the temple (the one where one man goes up and praises his god that he is not like the lesser people, and the other man goes and prays to better himself in the sight of his lord…and only one goes out vindicated, guess which one?), let’s turn our cheeks. Because really, one’s eternal judgment does not hinge on the comments of a blog troll.

    Namaste everyone, and enjoy this season with your loved ones.

  283. Happy Birthday Helen, I am wishing you a day filled with love and laughter.

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS all….

    My 15 year old daughter is studying cultures and religion this year in world history.

    In spite of me harping for years that there isn’t much difference between all “major religions,” it must not have been sinking in.

    Until this year, as she was studying for a quiz and it “dawned on her.

    She announced to me “MOM! Do you know that the the muslims and christians believe in the same thing only they have different first names for “him”? One has 5 big rules the other 10 rules. What’s the big deal?”

    I just smiled and knew at that moment my offspring “got it”. ;-) Momma didn’t raise no fool (or republican? ) .

    Lovely post, thank you.

  284. Happy Birthday Helen. I hope that you and Margaret and your families have a joyous Christmas. Thank you for continuing to invite all of us over…it is the greatest gift. ALL THE BEST to you all, Ann Δ

  285. My Grandmother puts out a nativity scene every year and I LOVE to watch the reaction from visitors to the house. You see, my Grandmother’s beloved dog bit the head off the baby Jesus years ago and Gran still insists on displaying it every year..as is. How’s THAT for a Christmas memory? Merry Christmas, Margaret and Helen!!!! :-)

  286. Just checking my Gravatar —>

    BTW: Political Amazon at 1:22 PM

    I didn’t mean to nit-pick, I loved what you had to say about the Jesus business. But I actually believe after you got done explaining everything done wrong in His name, He’d probably say:

    “I knoooow! Doesn’t it suck? ;)

    Δ

  287. “However you celebrate the holiday with your family – celebrate it fully and savor the time with loved ones. Hang your tree right side up, upside down or stick it up your ass for all I care. Quit worrying about how others choose to celebrate it. It accomplishes nothing except to ruin your own holiday.

    And look – for those of you who are now crafting the comments about the history of Christmas, Christmas trees, Winter Solstice, Druids, Pagans and what not – because I can already hear you typing out there – you’re missing the point of my rant. The holiday is about what it means to you and your family and no one can take that away from you and your family except you and your family. So Merry Christmas at my house. Happy Holidays at yours. Either way I wish you happiness and good health for the coming year.”

    Written by Helen and again I emphasize:

    “The holiday is about what it means to you and your family and no one can take that away from you and your family except you and your family.”

    Now why in the hell did that bring out hate trolls? If we wanted insecure christian responses to this blog some idiot should have allowed me to have typed it, with enough coffee and late at night I am certain I could have even insulted the buddhists…

  288. Helen, I want to be just like you in the unlikely event that I ever grow up.

    People who are worried about a ‘War on Christmas’ are the people who spend way too much of their time looking for things to be upset about.

  289. “Well, if it were not for Fox News, there would be no discussion of any war on Christmas.”

    ———

    That’s what bothers me…I mean, the one season when grudges are forgotten, when people do good for others, and when divisions between groups of people are lessened are the December holiday season.

    I’m not even a Christian (in that I don’t believe Jesus is a diety; I think he’s probably a Bodhisattva, and he was certainly an admirable man), yet I feel more warmth towards humanity during that time of year just on reflecting on what Jesus taught and the life of service and community organizing that he led.

    To pervert even the true (IMO) holiness of the season–where mankind is gentler with each other–for cheap ratings boosts or fundraising dollars is heinous.

    It’s made a bitter thing of what was and could be untarnished by that type of avarice and greed.

  290. Quoted from Political Amazon at 11:20 AM

    “I would explain to Jesus that some of these people in the Jesus industry are very, very powerful, and capable (both spiritually and financially) to do about anything they wanted.

    ———-

    WhirledPeas:

    “Spiritually???

    They got nuthin’…

    …you betcha’!!! ,-)

    That’s why they are the way they are…don’cha ya know?

    PEACE ~ Δ”

    ———

    I could have written that more clearly…what I meant is that their spiritual development was such that they could and would do anything…in therwords, their spiritual beliefs would not impeded them from doing evil.

    I’ll try harder next time :-)

  291. Whirled Peas,
    I agree with tryiing to change Dody’s opinion of Little Drummer Boy. Especially that particular version, listening to the words, it is anything BUT boring!

  292. Happy birthday, Helen!!

  293. Oh, one other thing:

    In regards to Thank You notes: I have always done my best to either send them or make certain that the person who gave me… whatever… knows that I do apprieciate them.

    Ms. Helen and Ms. Margaret, THANK YOU. You are both wonderful.

    C.

  294. Merry Christmas to you and your families and Happy Birthday Helen!

    Consider this my thank you note. I like getting them, and I try to send them to people who help me out or share ideas with me, as well as people who give me more tangible gifts. They really are appreciated! And so are you!

  295. Political Amazon – Don’t you think that the very people you are talking about (you know the “good” Christians – Dobson, Falwell, Robertson, etc.) wouldn’t have been the ones putting Christ on a cross the first minute they could? The Christ they promote is not the Christ in the Bible that is for sure. I am quite convinced that these people don’t believe because if they did they would NOT be saying/doing the things they do.

  296. The reason for the season…

    A whole bunch of people have different ones.

    Ramadan
    Hanukah
    Christmas
    Winter Solstice
    Yule (not the same as Solstice…)

    And people wonder why I say “Happy Holidays”…

    For what it’s worth to the trolls… that much hatred in your hearts (saying someone will burn… I’m presuming you mean “Burn in Hell”… I will say this much: Was it not Jesus Christ himself who said, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” as well as “Do unto others as you would have do unto you”…) At the very least, all that hate in your hearts is not good for your stress level.

    Happy Natal Anniversary, Helen.

    C.

  297. U.R Welcome Δ Judy in CA.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. Wonderful link to pass on to friends this time of year. Spans the generations, always a good thing.

    But I was reeeeeeally trying to sway Dody opinion. ;)

    Δ

  298. Well, if it were not for Fox News, there would be no discussion of any war on Christmas. Now my friend in retail gets abused every time she or her employees wish someone happy holidays. Shouldn’t it just be considered nice to have someone which you a nice holiday? Does it matter that they specifically say “Merry Christmas?” Isn’t it the thought that Happy Holidays is more inclusive and not less so what really matters?

  299. Whirled Peas, thank you for the link to the Bing/David version of Little Drummer Boy. That is my favorite Christmas carol and I think this is my new favorite version.

    Glad all the religious fanatic trolls seem to have left. Fanatics are the same everywhere, whether they are Christian or Muslim or whatever – close-minded, intolerant, bigots. Definitely NOT reflections of what God/Jesus teaches.

    Peace to all!

  300. Happy Birthday Helen!

    Margaret thank you for writing about the importance of tradition.

    however that tradition looks to each individual, I agree that holidays are about tradition and passing that tradition on to younger generations.

    I very much cherish the traditions that my family and I take part in, and I hold close to my heart that my family that has passed on also celebrated with the same traditions that we celebrate with today.

    Holidays, especially Christmas, are not about consumption…they are a time to share, reflect and enjoy one-anothers company. Find people you love and be with them and like Margaret said create traditions.

    Happy Holydays!

  301. Quoted from Political Amazon at 11:20 AM

    “I would explain to Jesus that some of these people in the Jesus industry are very, very powerful, and capable (both spiritually and financially) to do about anything they wanted.

    Spiritually???

    They got nuthin’…

    …you betcha’!!! ,-)

    That’s why they are the way they are…don’cha ya know?

    PEACE ~ Δ

  302. Rags:

    What does “bithces” mean? Must be a nutto definition.

  303. Patrick’s comment made me giggle. I almost wonder if it was a parody. (What a silly, silly man).

  304. Thank you to the many “Wedge Warriors” that protected Margaret and Helen’s Blog thru out the night from the trolls, preachers, and potty mouths.

  305. “…I swear, if Jesus and/or Mary came back right now, they would get bursitis in their shoulders for all the bitch-slapping they would have to do among their so-called “followers”….”

    ———–

    Oh, I think it would have a far more dark outcome than that.

    A few years ago there was a contest: “What would you do if Jesus returned to earth, came to your house, and you were the first person he had met and talked to?”

    My answer went something like this:

    “If Jesus returned to earth and knocked on my door, I would immediately drag him into the house, lower the blinds and close the drapes, and start preparations for us to get out of town immediately. I’d get every bit of camping equipment I had, empty the pantry of food, throw it and Jesus into the car, and we’d be on the road within 15 minutes.

    I would explain to Jesus that there was an entire industry built up on him, and people in this industry twisted his words to scare and anger people so they would donate money. I would tell him that some of these people were so unethical that they lived in million-dollar mansions and drove very expensive cars, but would eagerly solicit poor, old people for donations.

    I would explain to Jesus that some of these people in the Jesus industry are very, very powerful, and capable (both spiritually and financially) to do about anything they wanted.

    Then I would infor him that these Jesus-industry folks had used the power Jesus had to unite followers to build their own empires. They used this power to control politics, and they used hate, cloaked in the mantle of “Jesus said” to build their influence in governments around the world.

    I would explain to him that the reason we had to leave town immediately, and go into hiding, was because–unless he had changed from the last time he was on earth–he would be outraged at what is being done in his name.

    I would tell him that if he tried to do the “Jesus in the Temple/Money-Changer” fit-pitching that he did the last time he was on earth, they would, at the very least, use their power and money to discredit Jesus, may get him arrested and imprisoned on false charge.

    Finally, I would explain that his life might even be in danger because these people are ruthless, had supported death squads and military coups, so putting a hit out on someone who (they would convince themselves) was claiming to be Jesus would be nothing compared to what they had done in the past.”

    I didn’t win or even place. The first place went to someone who said they would take Jesus to all the childrens’ hospitals so he could heal the kids, etc., etc. I don’t remember what the 2nd and 3rd place winners were about.

  306. What I want to know is why these idiot trolls are reading such a blasphemous website as this instead of reading the bible and praying. Seems to me they are seeking out the evil they claim to eschew. Aren’t they worried they’re going to get some of our inclusiveness and peace lovingness on them? Since they seem to have slithered off, maybe they already melted from the contact.

    AG Δ

  307. Have a wonderful holiday!

  308. Oh and windswept – what a wonderful family would love to know you.

  309. Happy Belated Birthday Helen!

    Thank you Margaret and Helen for another good post.

    My husband is an atheist and I still haven’t decided what to believe so I send out Happy New Year’s cards – added benefit is you have more time to get them out.

    Didn’t have time to read through all the comments even though I’d like to – job searching. But I must admit I thought Patrick’s first few comments were a joke and laughed and laughed.

  310. Dearest Helen and Margaret—*Sigh* The holidays used to be so much more fun when people weren’t bashing each other over the head with the “Merry Christmas” truncheon like they’re doing now.

    The year before last, my sister-in-law forwarded me an email (in huge font letters) about how we should be saying Merry Christmas, and about Christmas trees not being Hannukah bushes, etc. It was very much “in your face” and really offended me, ESPECIALLY when her own son-in-law is Jewish—go figure.

    When I replied to the email and asked why we should be so small and constipated in our thinking as a country that we can’t include everyone in this magical season, I offended HER. She said she hadn’t really looked at the email all that much before she’d forwarded it, but that it reflected what she’d “been taught” as a child. (Needless to say, I didn’t receive a Christmas card from her last year, although I sent her one.)

    So…my belief is that just because we’ve been taught something as children doesn’t necessarily make it true. Children can be taught to be prejudiced too, and to hate others for the color of their skin and for a myriad of other nonsensical reasons.

    Here’s something from Joan Baez’s new album “The Day After Tomorrow”; part of a song by Steve Earle called “God Is God”:

    “God, in my little understanding, don’t care what name I call.
    Whether or not I believe don’t matter at all.

    I receive the blessings.
    That every day on Earth’s another chance to get it right.
    Let this little light of mine shine and rage against the night.”

    Shine on ladies!

    Love,
    Memaw

  311. Sharron H,

    Jesus would probably say: “What? All this for me? You shouldn’t have! As long as we’re partying…let’s invite everyone!!!

    Δ

  312. Helen, remind all those people who ask, “What would Jesus say?” that Jesus was a nice Jewish boy. He would most likely say “Happy Hanukah”.

  313. Morning all,

    I actually prefer Merry Christmas but since the haters have hijacked the term, I will change my tradition.

    Pie for breakfast? What would Jesus do?

    I will eat the pie.
    Have a good day.

    I have this mental vision of the haters walking down the street, all holy, clutching their bibles and black suit and tie – with a Christmas tree sticking out of their ass.

    Peace and Merry XMas to all, even the Jesus lovers who hate me!

  314. Just checking to see if my wedgie is firmly in place!

    Alaska Pi your post made me teary this morning. I hope that “the kid” will hang on. I will send up a quick prayer.

  315. Patrick,

    You missed a chapter:
    Thou shall not judge.

    But, have a slice of pie anyway. Δ
    Maybe putting something sweet in your mouth will help you choose your words better.

    At the very least, it will keep your mouth shut for a few minutes.

  316. Thank you, kind watchpeople of the night, for keeping the lights of love and reason lit here on M&H’s porch.

    And for the snorts of laughter I enjoyed while reading the comments this morning! :)

  317. Happy Birthday, Helen! May you have many more full of health and happiness!

    Margaret, your reminder on the thank you notes is sorely needed. It’s just not done anymore and, well, dadgummit it should be! What ever happened to manners?

    I can tell you after many years of working in retail that manners have gone out the window. There are no thank yous. No men who hold doors for women. It’s just sad.

    I can’t count the times I’ve had militant, fundamentalist christians insist on merry christmas. I don’t even say anything anymore. It’s just not worth the stress. The company even, in an effort to appease the christian shoppers, insisted all signage have “merry christmas” instead of “happy holidays.” It’s just annoying.

    In our house, the tree was a sheffeleria (sp?) bush that my mom stuck holiday bows on. Putting up a tree became too difficult as she became more ill. However, I think that little bush had a lot more love on it than any old tree.

    To my pagan friends, may you have an especially joyous and blessed Yule/Solstice. To my friends of other faiths, may you find peace and comfort in your faith tradition, be it Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Eid, etc.

    Blessed be!

  318. Oh my-
    Greytdog, Donna, troutay, Proud, et al-

    Good Morning!
    So glad to see the nasties of the night have fled in the light of a new day…Whew.
    They will be back- they always come back.They are the truly poor and will always be among us…
    They do not understand tolerance already gives them a place at the table.They always try to muscle their way through the door that is already open to them…

    Charles kept the lamp of reason burning all night I see…

    As I sit and drink my coffee and watch it snow this morning I find myself thinking of a different group of my neighbors.
    They are in tents, dotted through the mountain forests which surround my neighborhood. They are gentle but broken people…I see them every day at the hardware store I work at.
    They sober up enough to come buy candles and propane and other sundry items to stay warm and see in this time of the long-dark.

    When they are mostly sober they know God loves them.

    When they are drunk they think God loves them

    There is always at least one, this time of year, who freezes to death -alone and in despair- who has given up trying to hold onto whatever hope they have of God or anyone loving them…

    This season , however we mark it, is about kinship in the human community and lighting enough lights to check on all our neighbors in the long dark.

    I hope “the perfessor” drops by the store today. I want to put out the word that “the kid” -the one who calls me mom- has that look in his eyes…
    He’s drifting out of the circle of light we have lit…

  319. What. Δ skyewriter. SAID.

    “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me!”

  320. You know…I hope those who crashed in on a posting that has to do with everyone enjoying Christmas as they believe and start spewing hatred…I hope you have a good Christmas as well. I hope that you feel safe in your inclusive, authortarian fear-filled doctrines. I hope that you live in a homogenous, insulated world where you can feel safe and that seeing diversity, different faiths, even a lack of faith is an abberance in your world so you can have a peace of mind and spirit, instead of having to expand your worldview and potentially feeling an expanding compassion towards the variety of reality. I hope that the fear of being at war with Satan, of possession, of not making the cut during the Rapture does not keep you awake at night. I nope that your irrational fears, hatred, spite does not interfere with your daily existance and that fear of losing your faith or not being accepted by the grace of god or any of the other multiple potential fates do not f–k with your peace.

    I hope that the sympathy towards your miserable, fearful, hate-filled, spiteful, twisted existance is accepted in the spirit of giving that it is freely given from me…and I thank you for showing me my own disdain for you was a waste of energy and that you want this type of worldview to feel worthy and saved.

    To everyone else…have a wonderful Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas, et al.

  321. Whoa, my head is spinning in a vacuum of intellect from the Bible-thumping trolls.

    First, you sound exactly like the same extremists who seek to destroy our country.
    “This country will be damned and Satan will rule for a thousand years” Colorful, shame on you! Cite your sources when you plagiarize from an Al Qaeda handbook.

    All the thumpers who have arrived be put on notice; I think you are all Satanists since YOU are perpetuating that myth and are convinced somehow (illogically according to your own claims), that entity is stronger than your God?

    Syllogism: belief in satan= satanism.
    It’s ontology, baby!

    And, please, stop your preaching.

    Bottom line; we don’t give two sh*ts about your beliefs in RE: our souls and our eternal lives. Keep it to yourselves and laugh all the way to heaven at us when the rapture comes (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA)

    America is on the mend; won’t it be great to say on January 20: shut your sh*t pie holes and EAT IT!

    Good Thursday to all my wedgies and warriors.
    Δ skyewriter

  322. OH, yeah, and Happy Boithday, Helen!

  323. Margaret and Helen, I laughed out loud when I read your posts….tree up the ass…priceless!

    I have never heard the song, “Christmas Shoes.” I suppose there are benefits to hearing loss. The song I dislike the most is “Oh Holy Night.” I really don’t like being commanded to “fall on my knees,” in any way, shape, or form. ;-)

    While we are both a thousand miles from close friends and family, they are all in our hearts. We will be spending our first Christmas together with our upstairs neighbors and friends.

    Margaret, I must admit I’ve neglected those “Thank you” cards in the past (but I did send them out after the wedding!) I will put that on my to-do list after the holidays are over.

    You should see what I have to say about our Governor, Blagojevich. Why? There’s an extra musical treat at the end!

  324. Rags

    I was going to write something horrid in response to what you wrote, and then I thought about what God might think. So I’ll just pray for you.

    You should add douche to your name, it’s more fitting to that mouth of yours.
    You have a blessed day :o)

  325. Sorry Dody,

    I have to disagree with you on Little Drummer Boy… especially this harmony with Bing and Bowie:

    Absolutely beautiful.

    ~ PEACE on EARTH ~

    Δ

  326. rags…… why don’t you go RAG some place else!!!!

    Over one million people feel the LOVE here at this blog. It appears to me that you are the sinner here… just spewing your hate!

    Again GO RAG SOME PLACE ELSE!

  327. The first time I heard Christmas Shoes it made me cry. Because “merry christmas, mommy’s dead!” is sad.
    The next 2456 times it made me cry because it wouldn’t stop.

    I don’t get to spend christmas with my family this year, because
    1) part of my family are jehovas witnesses…so they don’t celebrate christmas in any way, shape, or form
    2)Everybody lives too far away
    and
    3) My parents are divorced.

    so, yeah. I absolutely agree with you guys. Spend Christmas with your family as much as you can. It’s the best way to celebrate, no matter what your ‘traditions’ are.

  328. You guys make me miss my best friend from childhood. She came to me in a dream not too long ago. She died at 38 of lung cancer.

    I miss having a friend like that.

    I’ve never heard Christmas Shoes – I refuse! I knew what it was about and I don’t want to hear it. I’m joining the war!

  329. Hate you. Hate you. Hate you. Tthat is what your comments sound like to God.

    You are all sinners.

    Go to hell bithces!

  330. Beautiful speech. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday, Helen! <3

  331. troutay: “will say that I have a more spiritual experience being out doors, seeing nature, etc. And Christmas as in a holy holiday does not have that meaning to me.”

    Like you I see god in nature and feel his calming presence around me.

    Personally I feel him in the little things in life. Sharing a laugh with a stranger over something silly, when another person lets me out into bumper to bumper traffic, a heartfelt thank you or a wink and a smile. Sharing tears over something sad and taking comfort that someone else feels the pain with me. My dogs rushing to greet me or laying by my bed when I don’t feel well. Little things.

    If that appreciation and those small moment to moment celebrations mean I am going to hell for not thinking that Christmas should be the one day to celebrate all that is holy, well then that is not a god I can believe in.

    My job is to help were I can and to appreciate people from all walks of life. I somehow in my heart of hearts just know that by sticking to a narrow view and path that God would say “you missed the whole point in life”.

    For the few that have come to damn us all to hell all I can say is that you are missing the point in life and I have to wonder what God will say to you when you meet him.

  332. I think Jesus would wear Doc Marten’s…because he’s a stylin kinda dude…long hair and all…trick J-man out with some Oakley shades, English Rag threads, and he would be killin it!

    I would take him out for his birthday to Cheesecake Factory for some feastin, and a piece of Cheesecake that he’s swear was made by angels.

    Then he’d look at me and say “dude, if dad had told me about this place, you wouldn’t be celebrating Easter!”

    Gotta go…work to do and all…

    peace out!

    Happy whatever you celebrate!

  333. I have never posted here before but have become a huge fan of this site, the authors, and the lion’s share of those who post. This is a funny, tolerant, independent group and I wish I’d discovered it earlier.

    For the Carls and Patricks and their ilk: Do you admire Fred Phelps and his daughters? Those are the folks who show up at funerals and protest about how the deceased is going to hell. They abuse people who are grieving. They make fun of people who are different from they are, whether in appearance, behavior, or belief. They are, by anyone’s measure, a hateful, destructive, noxious pile of steaming ugliness. Your words are their words. You are indistinguishable from the Phelps clan in your smugness, your incivility, and your willingness to justify atrocious behavior by your insistence that your beliefs–and only your beliefs–are the correct ones.

    There are genuinely devout Christians whose faith is as strong as you contend yours is but who accept and appreciate other people. Billy Graham strikes me as one of them. He’d be ashamed of you, just as your God would be. But Fred Phelps would give you a hearth “right on, brother.”

  334. I’m going to make this post a holiday tradition. I just don’t know how I’m going to fit it in to the cards we’ll be sending out this year.

  335. I am always amazed when I come here to see people that resort to outrageous statements that condemn everyone that doesn’t believe in their religion to hell.

    I am going through a personal battle with my own belief system. Someone on another blog, and I have said it here myself, defined Christianity as the belief in God and his magic baby. I thought it appropriate.

    I will say that I have a more spiritual experience being out doors, seeing nature, etc. And Christmas as in a holy holiday does not have that meaning to me.

    However, I am willing and accepting of all people of all faiths, regardless of my personal beliefs. I just can not understand why someone would think that their religion is the only true one. After all, if Patrick or Colorful had parents that were Buddhist or Muslim, or anything else, they also would believe in those religions. They sound more like the fundamentalist jihadist sects of Islam than they do people who believe God and Jesus are kind, compassionate beings. And that, my friends, is the reason for the season. Compassion, kindness, sharing, and trying to be open minded.

  336. Thank-you notes make for a gentler and more pleasant world. I send them by the mail-satchel load.

    Thanks for the surprises in your blog!

  337. Final thought before the dogs revolt and order out:
    You know how little kids are often told that if they aren’t good, Santa will bring them coal only (although in this economy, that could be a good thing), well….trolls and haters are like the coal of life – little lumps that are useless on their own but believe that somewhere in their darkness they are really diamonds. Poor little diamond wannabes. Not all that glitter is gold, and not all lumps of coal are diamonds.

  338. Oh my – see what happens when some of us wander off to bed. . . I think I must have forgotten to close a window cuz it seems as if some trolls came in. Actually though, I tend to see this religious fanaticism and self righteousness as more the work of scroggins, those nasty pieces of leftover shadows whose only purpose is to destroy and create havoc. Makes you wonder who the real anti-Christ followers are, doesn’t it?
    And I just am so pleased to see this miscreants praying for my soul – of course, their prayers are not poems of thanks or joy, but interessory prayers for God to smite their enemies. In their point of view, the only good non-believer is a burning non-believing – gives them more light to find their pathway to their little god.
    One thing though – have you all noticed how this doom and gloom believers are sooooo very fearful of Satan and so-called heretical ideas? Can you imagine yourself being chained to such a feeble and little god like these folks are? I don’t know about anyone else, but I celebrate with my God – we celebrate life in all its fullness, the good, the bad, the ugly, the hope, the despair, the FULLNESS thereof. And my God has the wisdom and courage to often tell me NO and remind me that my job is NOT to make a place in heaven for myself, but to work to make heaven on earth for all people – through thoughtful stewardship of the earth’s resources, through using my intellect and faith together to move mountains of obstacles like idiot governments who squander lives in a war meant to parade the leadership’s cajones. . . oh well… Time to make the coffee and feed the doggies – the dogs, wise ones that they are, don’t like the taste of trolls, but ohhhh they love to eat those scoggins!

  339. Totally in agreement with you on the Christmas Shoes song. And may I add “Little Drummer Boy” to the list of Christmas songs that must go? So monotonous, so pointless, and only made worse by every pop artist in the world that tries (in vain) to make their own rendition somehow interesting.

    I also agree with you about the different meanings of Christmas–all worthy and legitimate. I enjoy the season for many reasons. If you lean towards Jesus being a reason for the season, you may enjoy the song/video at joytoeveryone.com Fabulous photographs of people from around the world, and a nice little Christmas tune as well.

    Happy Birthday Helen!

  340. this is just a note to say…

    thank you for the wonderful blog posts. i appreciate coming here.

    happy birthday, helen! i’m a “by the way, happy birthday” girl, myself–dec. 25.

    merry christmas/happy chanukah/joyous season to all!

  341. Oh and the first part of My post was a quote from Colorful or some other dipsh-t, not me…

  342. I posted this site on another blog. THey will show you when they come here that there are more of us who believe in the Christ Mass Holy Day than there are on this blog.

    So, there is your Christmas story for all you haters…but wait, what was the last thing he said again? “And on Earth, peace and goodwill to all men.” I think I like Linus’ Christianity over the troll’s Christianity but then again, that’s just me.

  343. Whirled…

    Δ for Pi…
    Thank you!
    (I’m not sure about the wedgie thing though. Thought that’s what I gave myself when I ate too much pie.)
    Thanks Helen and Margaret for having all of us in.

  344. Dear Helen and Margaret,

    God’s in his heaven and all’s right with the world. Welcome back, Margaret!!! And Happy Birthday, Helen!!! You both are in rare form!!!

    In the spirit of the Holiday Season, I decided to lighten up with a little good will toward all, well most all anyway. A couple of years ago my husband and I took a river cruise in Russia up the Volga River from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Because we had been to St. Petersburg before, we wanted to go back and see more of the country. There were approximately 140 passengers aboard, most of us the geriatric set. We spent three days using the ship as a hotel while we toured Moscow. They had lectures and orientation sessions so we would be better acquainted with and appreciate more of what we were about to visit and see. Most of those sessions were conducted by bi-lingual Russians.

    On the cruise in cities, towns and villages, in additional to historical and modern sites; we visited countless Russian Orthodox churches, cathedrals, monasteries and convents, most of which are operational today. The Cathedral of St. Basil on Red Square is a treasure of architecture. We also saw some functioning Catholic and Protestant churches as well as Jewish synagogues. Most of them are the oldest in Christendom. We encountered throngs of Russian people along the way, none of whom appeared to be ‘Godless’ or ardent citizens of an ‘Evil Empire’. Just ordinary people going about their daily lives. The only obvious difference was that they spoke Russian! As Americans, we didn’t.

    On the third day we were off to Red Square and the Kremlin. Our first stop was the ‘Armory’, a very large museum housing the Fabergé Eggs, the Crown Jewels and priceless artifacts of Russia’s history. It is the equivalent of a Smithsonian. The Kremlin complex could be compared to Capitol Hill in Washington as the seat of the government’s power. One difference is that the Kremlin is ancient! The buildings and grounds are beautifully maintained, especially in summer.

    Many of the passengers took off on their own in taxis or on foot to the Metro. The front desk provided a stack of business-card size cards with the name of the ship and address in Russian where the ship was docked. The ship was about an hour and a half’s bus ride from central Moscow. You could just hand the taxi driver one of those card for directions back to the ship. I put some of them in my purse.

    Because of the priceless nature of many of the exhibits in the Armory, security was similar to that of airports. We were advised that we could not take backpacks or purses into the museum, but we could check them in the cloakroom for convenience. I decided to just leave my purse in the safe in our cabin. My husband took both our passports in his shirt pocket and I had $2.00 American in my pocket. Many restrooms in Europe require a fee for using the facilities and/or an attendant. It is considered nice to tip the attendant.

    We arrived at the Kremlin quite early before the crowds showed up. We spent several hours in the Armory and were given a restroom break before we pushed on to see the rest of the Kremlin. Our guides had designated a spot outside the building to meet to continue the tour. There were 10-12 people in our group with two English-speaking guides.

    When I came out of the Ladies room, my husband was nowhere to be seen. USUALLY he is waiting impatiently for me, tapping his foot, and complaining, “What took you so long”? I figured he had gone to retrieve our jackets from the cloakroom. I went outside and rejoined the group. By then, it had become EXCEEDINGLY crowded!!! There were long, long lines, five abreast waiting to get in. We waited a while for my husband. Finally one of the guides and a fellow male passenger from New Zealand went back in to look for him. The man could check the men’s room. They couldn’t find him so the group had to move on. They advised me to stay with the group, especially considering the fact that my husband had my passport and I had no purse and only $2.00.

    Don’t ask me what the rest of the Kremlin was like!!!!!! We all knew that he was an experienced traveler and would find his way back to the ship. (THEN I remembered those cards with the name and address of the ship on it, nice and secure in my purse in the safe in our cabin.)

    Here’s what happened. He lingered a little long in the men’s room, probably due to too much borsch. Realizing he had missed the group, he wandered around trying to find someone who spoke English. His only Russian were ‘Pepsi’ and ‘McDonald’s’ signs! He finally found a Russian professor who spoke English. He helped my husband find a taxi to direct him to the business district of the city where he could find a computer – somehow – and directions back to the ship.

    In the city, he was walking down a street when he spotted three young men speaking English. He explained his plight. They took him into their office, got on a laptop with the name of the cruise line’s offices in LOS ANGELES and found the address where the ship was docked in Moscow!!!!! Turns out, the young men were American stock analysts living in Moscow. They gave him some Russian stock tips!!!!! They asked if he had enough Rubles for a taxi. No. They took him a couple of blocks away to a bank to get some more Rubles with his ATM card. Next, they flagged down several different taxis. In Moscow, it is customary to negotiate the fare before you get into the cab so you don’t get an unauthorized tour of the city.

    Meanwhile, our tour group arrived back at the ship at 3:30PM. I gave the guide my $2.00 for a tip and walked UP the gangplank with no purse, no passport, no money and……..no husband! Nothing but the clothes on my back! The ship was sailing at 5:30PM. I went up on the sun deck to chew my fingernails off up to the elbow!!!!!

    At 4:15PM the front desk paged me. I flew down the three flights of stairs, and there was my husband, soaking wet and grinning from ear to ear. He had had quite an adventure!!! The cabbie could only bring him as far as the wrong side of a freeway-type highway. (The day before we had risked life and limb to scramble across that highway during a brief traffic break to a supermarket. We needed some Hershey Kisses for the mini-bar in our cabin.) The cabbie got out, locked the taxi, and motioned for my husband to follow him. A fair distance away they came to a pedestrian underpass. When they emerged from the underpass, the cabbie pointed to the ship clearly docked about a half mile away along the bank of the river. My husband paid him the Rubles, they both smiled, shook hands and parted company. It started to rain HARD, the ONLY rain we had during the whole cruise.

    We went back to our cabin. While my husband changed from of his wet clothes, I chewed him out. Then I gave him a hug.

    Aloha!

    Jean

  345. Happy Birthday Helen! and happy holidays to everyone else, however you spend them I hope there are moments of happiness that will lighten the sorrow of economic hard times.

  346. “The fear stricken, born again Christian, they got a vision a homogenized state
    Texas textbooks, Bibles, and prayer books,
    They want them memorized, but don’t want you to think”

    NOFX from the song “Leaving Jesusland”.

    Troll hunters masquerading as a punk band…

  347. CO almost native,

    Cut and Paste: Δ Δ Δ Δ

    Pie for everyone…even the idgits.

    ~ PEACE ~

  348. Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen, glancing perhaps at the discreditable imperial Natalitia, asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday; Arnobius (VII, 32 in P.L., V, 1264) can still ridicule the “birthdays” of the gods.

    Alexandria
    The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. About A.D. 200, Clement of Alexandria (Stromata I.21) says that certain Egyptian theologians “over curiously” assign, not the year alone, but the day of Christ’s birth, placing it on 25 Pachon (20 May) in the twenty-eighth year of Augustus. [Ideler (Chron., II, 397, n.) thought they did this believing that the ninth month, in which Christ was born, was the ninth of their own calendar.] Others reached the date of 24 or 25 Pharmuthi (19 or 20 April). With Clement’s evidence may be mentioned the “De paschæ computus”, written in 243 and falsely ascribed to Cyprian (P.L., IV, 963 sqq.), which places Christ’s birth on 28 March, because on that day the material sun was created. But Lupi has shown (Zaccaria, Dissertazioni ecc. del p. A.M. Lupi, Faenza, 1785, p. 219) that there is no month in the year to which respectable authorities have not assigned Christ’s birth. Clement, however, also tells us that the Basilidians celebrated the Epiphany, and with it, probably, the Nativity, on 15 or 11 Tybi (10 or 6 January). At any rate this double commemoration became popular, partly because the apparition to the shepherds was considered as one manifestation of Christ’s glory, and was added to the greater manifestations celebrated on 6 January; partly because at the baptism-manifestation many codices (e.g. Codex Bezæ) wrongly give the Divine words as sou ei ho houios mou ho agapetos, ego semeron gegenneka se (Thou art my beloved Son, this day have I begotten thee) in lieu of en soi eudokesa (in thee I am well pleased), read in Luke 3:22. Abraham Ecchelensis (Labbe, II, 402) quotes the Constitutions of the Alexandrian Church for a dies Nativitatis et Epiphaniæ in Nicæan times; Epiphanius (Hær., li, ed. Dindorf, 1860, II, 483) quotes an extraordinary semi-Gnostic ceremony at Alexandria in which, on the night of 5-6 January, a cross-stamped Korê was carried in procession round a crypt, to the chant, “Today at this hour Korê gave birth to the Eternal”; John Cassian records in his “Collations” (X, 2 in P.L., XLIX, 820), written 418-427, that the Egyptian monasteries still observe the “ancient custom”; but on 29 Choiak (25 December) and 1 January, 433, Paul of Emesa preached before Cyril of Alexandria, and his sermons (see Mansi, IV, 293; appendix to Act. Conc. Eph.) show that the December celebration was then firmly established there, and calendars prove its permanence. The December feast therefore reached Egypt between 427 and 433.

    From The Catholic Encyclopedia…now what was that statement by the early Church “Father” again. oh, that’s right ” that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday”…oh and what did that other early “Father” state, wait, was it…”ridicule the “birthdays” of the gods.”? Oh, for those curious also from the Catholic Encyclopedia about the origin of the word “Christmas”:
    The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ, first found in 1038, and Cristes-messe, in 1131. In Dutch it is Kerst-misse, in Latin Dies Natalis, whence comes the French Noël, and Italian Il natale; in German Weihnachtsfest, from the preceeding sacred vigil. The term Yule is of disputed origin. It is unconnected with any word meaning “wheel”. The name in Anglo-Saxon was geol, feast: geola, the name of a month (cf. Icelandic iol a feast in December).

    Shaking My head…if you are going to damn me at least do a “Google” search on what you are damning me for if you don’t have an understanding of the historicity of where your faith developed. I think that faith in god, the interconnectedness of everything, the desire to lead a spiritual, moral life is a positive thing but using a poorly defined, essentially misunderstood grasp of what your ‘faith’ is and then using that as a blunt instrument to beat people over their heads because they don’t have the same belief system as you is just dumb.

    Oh…and back to the point, I hope everyone appreciates the blessings in their lives and embrace the spirit of love for each other.

    Namaste.

  349. Colorful: Remember, it was Betty Bowers who would throw rocks at nonbelievers and scream: GOD TOLD ME TO HATE YOU! (Betty Bowers is the world’s greatest Christian!)

    I will enjoy the company of friends and family for my Merry XMas!

  350. I’m with MirrorMan; it’s past time for bed in the Rocky Mountain state. I hope Patrick, Colorful, and all like-minded trolls find or create their very own web site, and rant to their hearts’ content about those who believe in something else. Like God’s love for all: the true meaning of Christmas…and many other Muslim, Jewish, and other faiths/nonfaiths’ celebrations.

    Let peace begin with each and everyone-

  351. Alright, past time for bed.
    I will be rested in the morning, though.

    I suggest you be prepared!

    Patrick, Colorful, et. al…..

    BRING IT!!!!

  352. Zeb Pike:

    Did you know that Dobson is no religiously trained- no Reverend is he. I feel he is a huckster, using religion to become powerful and wealthy.

    I am sorry he is hunkered down in CO Springs; a blight on my fair state. And for those who feel America was founded as a Christian country- nope. Most of the governance comes from Hammerabi, handed down through the Magna Charta, a slight detour passing by John Knox and the Presbyterians, masters of governing by committee:)…many of the Founding Fathers were deists.

  353. Colorful,

    You remind me of a site which exposes us pagans:

    http://bettybowers.com/betty4president/?p=147

    Merry XMas

  354. “Anonymous”, you have made my point exactly!

    And in the spirit of the season, I will donate $20.00 to a GLBT charity in the name of “Colorful”, so that they know that their words have spurred me to action to help those less fortunate, although those “less fortunate” are in that state because the unbending, rigid, ancient theology of people like “Colorful” have forced them to be there because they haven’t followed the teachings of their “Messiah”!

    I wonder, do you guys ever even READ that book you quote from so often?

  355. Ok that’s it…
    Colorful-
    YOU or someone with YOUR voice murdered a dear family friend 5 or 6 years ago -2 weeks before Christmas…
    I don’t WANT to remember which year .I don’t want to remember the picture of a young woman in a wheelchair being beaten to a bloody pulp in front of another terrified woman and HER 2 children by a slavering fool yelling “you are worms in his eyes!”
    I will always remember spending your so-called holy day huddled in tears with those who loved her…
    YOU get hold of your nasty lil self or you will find your place in heaven has cold steel bars and 3 servings of gruel.

  356. Why do you want to ruin a beautiful Holy Day? Because you are not holy! You are worms in his eyes.

    Colorful:
    (big sigh) We have explained this sooo many times; this post is about celebrating what each of us believes in a way that is true to each of us. The only one who can “ruin” a Holy Day is YOU.

    God so loved the world He sent His son- He didn’t smash the world into itty bitty pieces because some didn’t believe in Him…Christmas is about love for all.

    I am surprised you haven’t shriveled up into a bitter lump of coal- such bitterness you have inside.

  357. p.s. As for the “War on Christmas,” people need to beware what they wish for. Prayer in schools? Don’t forget that it would mean ANY prayer. Religious ornamental displays on public property? Don’t forget that it would mean ANY religious on public property.

    I was born and raised a Christian, however, I have tolerance for other religions and have a strong belief that most religions come from the same beginnings. They also have the same tenets: treat others as you would yourself (the golden rule).

    Many of those here in the U.S. railing about this subject are the right-winged like Rev. Dobson (he of meth & male-whore fame). What happens when prayer is allowed in schools and they realize that it includes ALL prayer? They’ll try to make it only prayer to a Christian God, that’s what. And when a Muslim or a Buddist or a free-loving peace-monger wants to pray to their god? Oh the wrath that shall follow …. scary! Keep church and state separated. Please.

  358. Colorful Haggard:

    Hang your tree right side up, upside down or stick it up your ass for all I care…

    This came from Helen’s essay. Did you even read the essay? The message is enjoy family, friends and believe what you wish. You believe as you wish and I will believe as I wish – we can both enjoy our holiday season.

    Too simple a concept for you though.

  359. oops. I forgot I switched to Firefox…I’m not anonymous- I’m me:)

    PS. I wish I could figure out how to do the wedgie-

  360. You both are fantastic! Hitting the nail on the head every single time is what you do (and you actually spell, follow grammatical rules, etc., a minor pet peeve) … and do it so well. I ‘found’ you today via, well, I really can’t remember how, but I found your site. I can’t say the past few hours were wasted b/c I laughed my a** off (but it’s not really like a diet where your a** disappears). Long-winded response short … THANK YOU!!!

  361. You can fight with me if you want but I have the Lord and the Holy Bible on my side. I win. You lose.

    Patrick:

    I think you must be a reincarnated Puritan from Salem, MA. (Or perhaps a troll…it’s hard to tell the difference) You may have the Holy Bible in your hand, but I doubt you have read it, especially the lessons Jesus teaches. How about the verses in Matthew 22: 37-40? You may think you follow the first great commandment, but you fail at the second great commandment. You obviously do not love your neighbors…

  362. Colorful Haggard:

    Hang your tree right side up, upside down or stick it up your ass for all I care. Quit worrying about how others choose to celebrate it. It accomplishes nothing except to ruin your own holiday.

    Merry Xmas to all! You too colorful. (The collection plate is now being passed!)

  363. “Colorful”, it is holy TO YOU! Not everyone!

    READ THE MEMO!!!!!

    Why must you condemn those who have different beliefs? We are not trying to stop you from celebrating YOUR holiday, we just don’t want you to force us to acknowledge it, or make it the focus of a single day! Not all of us follow your belief system!!! In point of fact, you want to punish US for not believing in YOUR holiday!!! As I recall, those of your faith were fed to lions because they refused to conform with an edict that ALL must worship a certain way!!!!

    There is a word for people like you.

    HYPOCRITE.

    Look it up. It will do you a world of good!

  364. (The funniest thing is, I have only outdone her in ONE dish, pork,or country, gravy, and she refuses to give me any credit for it, even though she was munching on BOWLS of it the last time I was there and made it! I love her, but she drives me crazy! Would it kill her to say I did something right? After all, I learned it from her!!! Mothers!!!! )

  365. Why do you want to ruin a beautiful Holy Day? Because you are not holy! You are worms in his eyes.

  366. But DAMN!!! They are TASTY!!!!!

  367. Helen and Margaret, I fear I have stained the parlor carpet with troll blood! Please allow me to make amends! As a chef, I shall not only have the chambermaid restore the carpet, but I shall bake the next round of pies! But I must first contact my mother to secure her recipes, as those were handed down through generations to her, and she will not surrender them without a fight!

  368. It’s the candied fruit. I quote:” It is an abomination!”
    (I am a chef in another life. I can’t help it!)

  369. I don’t know that “shoes” song but it sounds mawkish and maudlin. In fact, it sounds like Christmas got hijacked in that song! Someone, somewhere is making a nice buck out of it, any bets?

    In South Africa we get endless doses of Boney M’s Christmas Songs (a German band of the 70s) played in stores and malls. That drives me crazy enough!

  370. J-
    That’s it!
    We were blaming the fruitcake they brought!
    I’ll wash up this round of pie plates if you all will get the next. Have dogs to walk ere I sleep…
    Have a great trip JuneauJoe !
    Snow coming tonight… too bad those spuds who showed up tonight here don’t know about the heaven-on-earth thingy we all have all around us.
    Millions of diamonds winking in a snow covered meadow in the moonlight…
    The hymn made of waterfalls fed by melting ice. That blue, blue glacial ice – the child of ancient snow.
    Chittering eagles …
    Oh my… a warm comforter and a pile o cards to write to folks who aren’t close enough to hug. Warm food , good conversation and laughing kids …
    Too much to add up all around…
    and those spuds wanna go somehere else in a hurry…?

  371. Patrick,

    The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” – Hosea 3:1

    Why’s God always dissin us fruitcakes?

  372. “Christmas Eve will find me
    Where the love-light gleams.
    I’ll be home for Christmas
    If only in my dreams.”

    Buck Ram, Kim Gannon and Walter Kent

  373. Mirrorman,

    Well said! I get to go hang out with grandkids (and Parents) so I feel very fortunate. They do all the decorations and I bring some food and give the parents a break. I like this grandparent gig.

  374. Happy Birthday Helen. Happy Holidays to all. I’ve been enjoying this blog for quite some time now and hope it keeps going. To all the nay sayers and hate mongers… Please go somewhere else. I know it’s hard for you to see happy people and know you’ll never be one but is it really necessary to vomit your garbage everywhere? Take your so-called Christian spew and choke on it. – Those of you who practice rather than preach, forgive me for that comment. I know and appreciate the difference between the two – The holidays for my family is a reason to get together, eat like fattening hogs and laugh our asses off. It’s a celebration for making it through another year and being together. To all the H & M fans… Blessed be. May your holidays be festive and may you get everything you need. Like we say at our house… “Damn! You made a haul”!

  375. I mean, REALLY!!! If it isn’t about love and family, then what is the FREAKIN’ POINT! I would give body parts to be with my family this holiday, but since it wouldn’t make a difference, I will celebrate the family of friends that I have with me at the time, and I will see my other family when time, money, and weather allows! It’s love, people! Not love with conditions, because that isn’t love! Do the math!

  376. Can’t remember who did not like X in Xmas – however, Google X in Christmas and you’ll find it was a Greek letter at the beginning of Christ. I learned that today and will pass it on to all of you who object to X in Xmas. Several of my friends and I started our new tradition – donations to charities in lieu of gifts to each other – and we’re continuing it forever – adding birthdays, as well! And I will write a thank you note to each and every one of them for their donations in my name! Merry Xmas to all of you!

  377. The late-night comment room is not as warm and friendly as the morning one.

    Does anyone else suspect guests are bringing liquid religion from rehab into Helen’s parlor?

    There has to be an explanation for the hell and damnation tone tonight.

    Spike their eggnog and have a Merry Christmas!

  378. Helen and Margaret are right. It is about family.
    I fly out next Tuesday to hang out with the fam.

    I don’t think Colorful and Patrick read the whole essay.

    However you celebrate the holiday with your family – celebrate it fully and savor the time with loved ones. Hang your tree right side up, upside down or stick it up your ass for all I care. Quit worrying about how others choose to celebrate it. It accomplishes nothing except to ruin your own holiday.

  379. MirrorMan,

    No one expects……
    ‘The Spanish Inquisition’!

    Δ

  380. MM- You have a point.

  381. “D”, that would be a waste of perfectly good butter…..

  382. JuneauJoe- They’re at least buying insurance from him.

  383. I was just thinking: The Spanish Inquisition…religiously fueled, by “Christians” no less, lots of death, torture, forced conversions and confessions and whatnot….

    My, how times HAVEN’T changed…..

  384. Thanks,

    I wonder if the Holy Spammers are praying to Ted Haggard before they come had terrorize this site.

  385. To the Trolls:

    You are tracking filth upon the carpet and inviting filthy vermin into the parlor. Please be kind enough to notice the “No Trolls Allowed” sign at the entrance, ere we must summon a footman and a constable to escort you from this refined enclosure to a locale more suited to your ilk, namely, the latrine!

  386. Colorful-

    wow i cannot believe what I just read (even though I have read a lot of things that seem very odd in my life)

    Blinded by satan? I always thought of Satan as what George W looks like at night without the cameras and the media. So yeah I guess you could be right about that… ha ha ha

    Now last time I read my bible and went to church God was a forgiving soul….. wow now you are saying that he damns… which one is it?

    I dont think Helen was trying to say whether or not God exists… She was basically trying to distinguish the christian christmas ideals with the fake ones in order to make her statement.

    Her premise basically is that nobody is going to agree on the traditions or religiousness behind it all completely but that we are to uphold those traditions with our loving families!

    Satan will rule for a thousand years because of Obama eh? Well Satan has already ruled for 8 years. I want to know how Satan is going to rule for a thousand years with Obama in office. What do you have against Obama anyways other than the fact that he beat your bible beating Palin and war prisoner Mccain.

    We feel sorry for people like you on here. You take your shallow interpretation of religion and use it to justify your unhappy existence and hatred for others. You refuse to learn about and accept people who are different than you. Thats the reason why theres such a divide. Why can’t you give Obama a chance? Your obtuse comments about Obama would make more sense after he has taken over and been president…. instead of just merely president-elect. Jesus preaches “love thy neighbor.” Why can’t you love thy neighbor as Jesus would have. Jesus loved the people who damned him to the cross despite their obvious evils.

    Margaret and Helen- One thing I have seen in public places is a nativity scene with a Santa or Reindeer closeby. I think to be politically correct a courthouse could have a nativity scene as long as the nativity scene is not the main attraction for decorations. In other words the huge Santa sleigh and reindeer must be either equal or greater size.

    As always its been a great blog….. and from some of the comments here I can tell that some people didnt get the main message. As you said or at least meant to imply, the plastic virgin Mary and plastic Jesus are not going to save them from eternal damnation!

  387. JuneauJoe, it was Ted Haggard. Yet ANOTHER upstanding follower of Christ!

  388. Alaska Pi, I am not even flexing a lobe at this point, AND I have been drinking! I can’t WAIT until they really get me started! Until then, I am also a December child, and that Capricorn stuborness has been a hallmark of my life. Bring it on!!!!

  389. While we are being insensitive to our religious brethren, who was the preacher who liked to have trysts while high on crack? He was a leader in the evangelical community? I think he was married, etc.
    From Colorado?

    I could not think of his name so had to go with Swaggart!

  390. They are quite tasty dipped in butter.

  391. I hate to break it to you “Colorful”, but you can try to flood this site with as much brain-dead, conservative, religious crap you want, but the reasonable people in the world STILL outnumber you by at least 100 to 1. But hey, go nuts! Oops! Too late!!!!

    (I love Trolls! Especially if you use the right marinade!!!)

  392. D-
    “We’ve really downgraded, haven’t we? Once it was rats, now fruitcakes.”
    ———————
    Almost has me wishing for a couple rats to eat these fruitcakes…Almost.

    Mirror Man- you get those treats just like you asked ,dear.
    These slobs have obviously called all their lil gatecrashing buddies so you best relax before we have to get out the floorsweepers and trash bags and all.

  393. Whirled Peas- This little Pagan thanks you for the above. :-)

  394. U.R. welcome JuneauJoe. I’ve got a million of ‘em!

    CHRISTMAS : Why Dec 25th?

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2000/dec08.html

    “For the church’s first three centuries, Christmas wasn’t in December—or on the calendar at all.

    ~ snip ~

    “The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen’s concern about pagan gods and the church’s identification of God’s son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman “birth of the unconquered sun”), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian “Sun of Righteousness” whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.

    Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity the empire’s favored religion. Eastern churches, however, held on to January 6 as the date for Christ’s birth and his baptism.”

    ~ snip ~

    The pagan origins of the Christmas date, as well as pagan origins for many Christmas customs (gift-giving and merrymaking from Roman Saturnalia; greenery, lights, and charity from the Roman New Year; Yule logs and various foods from Teutonic feasts), have always fueled arguments against the holiday. “It’s just paganism wrapped with a Christian bow.

    Δ

  395. “Colorful,” I want you to respond and quote EXACTLY where Helen says there is no god!!! I know for a FACT she said no such thing! She merely said she was going to let people believe what they want. That is called “accommodation”. Repeat after me: “Accommodation”. It means making space for something, be it an annoying relative or an opposing viewpoint. And we have made room for you. The problem is, you won’t make room for us. And who is being intolerant here? (The “Jeopardy” theme music plays!)

    Time is up, dear, and remember, your answer MUST be in the form of a question!

  396. Pi- My vote would be of ignorance. However, I don’t believe that’s the angle “colorless” was taking.

  397. Somebody-
    What in the world does colorless think Patrick is a sign of ?
    The only sign I see is poor Patrick’s sammich board proclaiming “Jesus loves me more than you…”

  398. You know, I really wish that when people come here to throw in their little hateful threats that the least they could do is take the time to check their spelling, cases, and grammar.

  399. Rags: You LOVE JESUS but you hate my guts!

    That your message?

  400. From Carl: You ladies suck. Jesus is the only reason and you will burn one day for ignoring that.

    *

    Way to win people to the Lord, Carl! Jesus would be so proud. Sheesh Carl. Get a clue. God is LOVE.

  401. Burn in hell bitches!

    ,|,, me shooting the finger at you on my way out the door.

  402. Ok kids I am going to go hit the demon rum with a drop of eggnog!

    I would like to know which one of you community organizers donated the computers to the mental institutions? LMAO

    Keep up the good fight!

  403. I posted this site on another blog. THey will show you when they come here that there are more of us who believe in the Christ Mass Holy Day than there are on this blog.

  404. Jimmy Colorful Swaggart,

    Monitoring is what my super religious neighbor told the judge when he got busted for porn! (The rumor was that he produced the porn) He repented on Sunday so it was OK.

  405. Patrick, your special bus with the nice, young men in the clean, white coats are here to take you to see the doctor, because you think that that your view is the only one that counts. I have a feeling the jews, the muslims, the wiccans, the athiests, the…wait, why am I wasting my time with this clown when I could be having a nice slice of Chocolate Pecan pie with REASONABLE people. Patty, you are nuts. I have a suggestion for you. Read the bible. Pay extra special attention to the part where Jesus says “There shall be no other Testament before mine.” Now, I can tell by your absolutely rigid theology that critical thinking is not your strong point, but stick with me on this. He said, in basic terms: “Don’t do that! Do this!!!!”

    And Jesus said love…..

    And so I will…..

    I believe you are deluded, and I believe you hate, and I think you need a great amount of help, and I love you anyway.

    That doesn’t mean I like you.

    Get help.

    Really.

    (And as the nice young men take Patrick off to the Happy Home, I hope the coffee is ready and the Ice Cream is just soft enough for the pie!)

  406. Alaska Pi-
    We’ve really downgraded, haven’t we? Once it was rats, now fruitcakes.

  407. Swaggart got tired of picking up prostitutes in his corvette!

    Colorful is really Jimmy Swaggart!

    Merry XMas Jimmy! Colorful

  408. Colorful thank you! Good information! I now know that God and Satan have time in between wars, famine, Genocide, global warming etc….to read Helen and Margarets Blog!

    Bless your cold little heart.

  409. @D

    Throw the dang fruitcake out the door! I think it’s got a GPS hidden in it!

  410. Merry XMas Patrick!

    Before you leave, watch the video link from Whirled Peas. It is quite informative…

    Thanks whirled Peas

    Thanks Helen and Margaret!

    Goodnight John Boy!

  411. Oh good god, here we go again.

  412. I have been monitoring this site waiting for a sign. Patrick is that sign.

    you are all blinded by Satan Helen. She will lead you into darkness and fire.

    God does damn. He damns you for writing this hater talk and for saying that he does not exist.

    This country will be damned and Satan will rule for a thousand years because of Obama and his followers.

    I am sorry for all of you. I will be saved before that happens.

  413. Peace on earth and goodwill toward men. That should be the message we should head at this time of year and all year round. Such a simple message and so often forgotten! Happy holidays and Merry Christmas everybody! Thanks Helen and Margaret for sharing your space with us.

  414. Patrick-
    You have fun being gooder than anyone else.
    We’re gonna go on with all this sinful well-wishing for ourselves and our neighbors here…

    Mirror Man will see you to the door…

  415. Patrick-
    Well the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live, did prove that “Santa” with the “n” moved to the end does spell “Satan.”

    Btw, there are many religions in this world. Walking around with thine Bible at your side saying that you’re right could be quite the farce. If the Hindus are correct, you’ll be lucky to come back as a guppy.

  416. Oh, Helen, I am so with you on that terrible song. I have already informed my family that if I am ever about to drop dead, I want them with me instead of out buying me presents.

  417. I meant praying not praning.

  418. Alaska Pi: Yes vibrating slippers! Should have heard the family jokes about those babies!

    Patrick you do realize you are strangely sounding like some extremists we all know about. Great way to win people to your God.

    Shhhhh everybody the Fanatic is showing.

  419. I am praying for the end of this website. I am praning that Helen will stop what she is doing before it is too late. I am praying for her soul. I will pray for all of you too.

  420. I meant children.

  421. A child opening a present on Christmas morning is a sign that the devil has marked that child as his own because the parents have turned from Jesus and made the day of his birth about money and greed.

    We are teaching our chilrend to worship things instead of the one and only thing to worship – Jesus Our Lord and Savior.

    You will all see this one day. But you will be too late.

  422. He is not my Lord. He is THE Lord.

    There is no other purpose for Christmas than to celebrate the birth of Jesus. To make it about something else is to suggest that the original purpose is flawed. That is the sin.

    Santa Claus and all that other stuff is an attempt to make children see the holy day as something else. That is from satan.

    You can fight with me if you want but I have the Lord and the Holy Bible on my side. I win. You lose.

  423. fruitcake-
    Somebody ALREADy dropped off a moldy fruitcake… don’t want anymore.
    Thanks anyway…

  424. Come on, Patrick! I ain’t got all night!!!!

    If, as you say, these “floods” (and I think you mean Katrina because that is about all I can tie it to) are sent by your “Cosmic Muffin”, then why did it wipe out almost all of New Orleans BUT the gay part? Answer THAT one, wise-ass! Come on! I’m WAITIN’!

  425. Repent. Repent.

    What no exclamation points?

    LEARN… EVOLVE…

    GET OVER YOURSELF patrick.

    You don’t have an exclusive on Dec 25th. I’d say you’re last in line.

    Δ

  426. MirrorMan- “You ready to dance, M*&therf#@ker?”

    That one had me rolling! Take him down!!!

  427. @Proud-

    Vibrating slippers??
    Holy moley…

  428. I just got sent over here from conservativia as a present. Where can we go with this?

  429. Oooh! Patrick, I think you just became my new “special” friend!!!

    H & M, pardon my french, but this is directed at Patrick..

    You ready to dance, M*&therf#@ker?

    Your small-minded, arrogant, christ-centric view of the world holds no truck with me, and I will shred you and your vicious, hateful view of people like cole slaw at a summer picnic! I was under the impression that Jesus taught love. What book you been readin’, Patty? Doesn’t sound like the one I know! One more time for those of you who weren’t paying attention: “Your” Lord, not mine!
    And you have no, and I mean no, as in zero, nix, nein, nyet, nada, moral authority to condemn me just because I don”t believe in your little fantasy. I am sorry if this offends you, but you offend ME with your tireless bleating that if I DON’T believe, I am rotting in hell. Do me a favor, act out what you believe in! Jesus hung out with a hooker, remember? AND he didn’t condemn people! He merely taught a better way. Too bad you yahoos can’t learn any better after 2000 years. I guess I am going to have to get Jesus and Mary some Vap-o-rub and some pinch-slappers for you gods-quad goons out in la-la-land!

    Oh, and Patrick? You said:”We have pushed Him out of our schools and our government so he has cursed us with floods and economic disaster.”

    As I recall, the republicans are all about God, and they have been in power for 8, count ‘em, 8 (That’s all but TWO of the fingers on your hands, if that helps) years, and this is what happens? You really want to put all of this on prayer in schools? Get your meds adjusted!!!

  430. Oh for crying out loud…
    Using refresh on a dialup modem is slower than this donkey I requested for posse duty…
    Did someone see if poor Patrick left a puddle when he left?
    I don’t think he’s gonna get the part he was practising for . There has to be a better scene to show off his skills…Ideas?

  431. Carl, Stuart and others! I am crying for you! Well tears of laughter! Boy you people never disappoint! Clueless to the end. One question who peed on your fruit cake?

    Helen and Margaret wishing you and yours a truly wonderful holiday season! Oh and Happy Birthday Helen!

    I am in need of a new tradition as I am sick to death of putting up the Christmas tree! Dragging all of the crap out and then putting it away. Untangling the lights etc… Last year I went to put out the Nativity and discovred that Baby Jesus is missing. Still have not found him. One of the grandkids probably took him home. I think I have decided that God or Jesus doesn’t give a rats patootie either way.

    After hearing about he upside down trees I may get creative and light up the lazy boy! Seems anything goes you just have to call it designer!

    Margaret I am sorry to say I gave up on thank you cards. I always give a big hug and even wear the ugly sweater I get when I go to see the gift giver! I refuse to write a thank you for the vibrating slippers I got last year. Tried to wear them and almost fell over felt like an earthquake.

    What I want this Christmas is to be happy that I have have a roof over my head and food for the table and lots of hugs and kisses from my loved ones. That is it. There are lots of material things I could want a few I need but nothing replaces the hugs and kisses.

    Wishing all of you here the best for this Holiday season. Sending you all ((((Hugs)))) and Kisses!

  432. Hey Patrtick,

    Ted Haggard is ready to pray with you!

    How about my Born Again neighbor! He would pray for you. It seems he had to see the evils of porn so he could pray for the poor sinners. Police busted him.

    Then there is a certain relative who prayed multiple times during the day and told me I was going to hell. He got married and divorced 5 times, me – far less. It kind of felt like the pot calling the kettle black.

    You might want to go to Wasilla to see the Afican VooDoo preacher that got Sarah Palin elected governor. He likes to run off the evil ones! Like the little old grandma in the African Village that he swore was a witch – killed her snake, burned down her house and she ran as fast as her old legs could go. Real Christian like.

  433. I vote for a cavity search…that’ll teach him.

  434. Well, Patrick said:

    “You are a nasty old woman who has angered God. You will one day pay for that but I will not be there to see it. I will be in heaven with MY LORD and SAVIOR.”
    —————-
    CALLING UP POSSE NIGHT SHIFT!!!!!!!!!!!
    HEAD EM UP, MOVE EM OUT!!!

  435. I will give Patrick some credit in that his grammar is much better than some of the nay-sayers that drop by and comment here.

  436. @ Sue: I think Patrick needs more than the coffee can!

  437. Sorry. I meant ASS with a capital A-S-S

  438. For the love of God, Somebody get Patrick the coffee can, I think he’s gonna blow chunks any second now….

  439. Oh—that Shoes song…I have not heard it (yet)

    Probably, it will eventually be on the classic rock and oldies stations I listen to.

    Or, maybe it already is, and I am just not listening when it is played?

  440. Hey Patrick. Maybe you could try sticking a Christmas tree up your ass on your way out the door.

    Bye. Bye.

  441. Christmas with a capital C.

    I will stop now.

    Peace be with you.

  442. Happy Birthday, Helen, from another December kid!

    and Merry Christmas, Happy whatever-holiday-anyone-may-celebrate! Just enjoy it, spend it with family and friends.

    and NO PIE FOR THE TROLLS!

    Hugs and Love!

  443. Forgive me for not making the g in God a capital G. I wish I had read that better. I am sure God knows what was in my heart even if it didn’t make it to my hands and my keyboard.

    Repent. Repent.

    Happy Holy Day. Merry christmas.

  444. I get down on my knees everyday and thank the Lord God Almighty for giving me so many blessings. Today I got down on my knees and thanked the lord that I am not like Helen.

    Jesus IS the ONLY reason for this season and you are going against God’s only son to suggest otherwise. The word is CHRISTmas. Not SANTAmas.

    You will indeed meet your fate in the firey pit for mocking the birth of our Lord. This is a CHRISTian nation and celebrating the BIRTH of CHRIST should be part of every aspect of our nation for it is only through CHRIST’s love that we have become such a great nation.

    You are a nasty old woman who has angered God. You will one day pay for that but I will not be there to see it. I will be in heaven with MY LORD and SAVIOR.

    The rest of you who agree with her should get down on your knees and ask for forgiveness. You have angered God and we have seen what God does to our great country when he is angered.

    We have pushed Him out of our schools and our government so he has cursed us with floods and economic disaster. Get down on your knees now and repent.

    This woman is no better than the Anti-Christ. She is leading all of you away from the light and into the darkness.

    She would have men lay down with men and women with women and now she would have us forget the day our Savior was born. She is wicked and you should stop reading this blasfemy here.

    Bless all of your this holdiay season. May god shine within you once again. Merry CHRISTMAS. To say otherwise is to sin.

  445. Howdy ladies,

    Nice to stumble across such wonderful work.
    Way to go.
    Just wanted to add that when I was a kid I used to sing – Dem Golden Slippers – don’t that take you back?
    I always thought that’s what Jesus wore, after he hit Heaven. ;~}

    Congrats on your long friendship.
    All the best.
    Love,
    LuRain Penny
    x

  446. For an inspired read about the song “Christmas Shoes”, go to Joshilyn Jackson’s blog – Faster Than Kudzu – where she explains how it used to rip her heart into little tiny pieces and then her natural wit and cynicism kicked in and she analysed it. I love her conclusions.

    And Happy Birthday! You share this day with a good friend of mine, and that just proves that today is a good day for good people.

    Wonderful blog as always!

  447. I second (or third or whatever) ridding the world of “Christmas Shoes,” and that horrible christmas list song (it begins: do you remember me, I sat upon your knee…” That’s as far as it gets on my sirius, I start scrambling for the tuner as soon as I recognize it. Give me Dean, Frank or Bing, and a classic Christmas song (secular, religious, whatever–they’re all pretty)

  448. One of my favorite phrases, which I often use to remind myself of exactly who, what and why I am, is as follows:
    “Perspective. Use it or lose it.
    What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
    the master calls a butterfly.”

    And my other favorite, borne true through the years, and evidenced by this blog:

    “The bond that links your true family
    is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.
    Rarely do members of one family grow up
    under the same roof.”

  449. Thanks for reminding me MirrorMan:

    [audio src="http://www.dailywav.com/1200/scrooged.wav" /]

    ~ Δ ~

  450. Honest to God, I couldn’t believe it when I happened to go to one of those conservative sites that I think exist solely to voice outrage, OUTRAGE I tell you! about nearly everything outside their own narrow view of what life should be like — they were bitterly condemning Comcast Center for playing secular Christmas music, no hymns please.

    I was at that site yesterday, but I cannot find it today — I was going to copy some of the text of the original blog entry to post here — but wow, I sure did find a lot of similar Outrage blogs.

    Name an issue, there’s someone Outraged about it.

  451. carleigh in TX:
    “To me it’s hard to keep the holidays in perspective. I find it harder and harder each year to capture the Christmas spirit.
    For me …..it’s 12 days to Christmas and I haven’t dragged the Christmas decoration out. Today it’s too cold. But soon I hope.”
    ——————————–

    Can you turn it all inside out and let what you think of as the Christmas spirit capture you?

    My family has always teased me about being so careless about personal appearance as to be in need of a check list at the door.
    While I am not fastidious about matching colors my clothes are always clean, always hooked or zipped and secure upon my person. I think it most likely the family is trying not to bring up -directly- that I manage to get out the door-regularly and often- with bits and pieces on inside out…

    Carleigh-
    My family simply doesn’t understand that the inside-out thingy is great for inspecting the interior of a garment AND an idea.
    Getting a different perspective…
    Let the spirit capture YOU this year !

  452. First of all: Happy Birthday Helen!

    Second: I have yet to hear the Christmas Shoes song. Something to be said for playing CDs instead of turning on the radio. However, I’ve heard the story and I believe that some shoemaker must have been behind the story in an effort to be touching enough to compel one to purchase shoes… or some crap like that.

    My family is not Christian. However, I still grew up with a Christmas tree, and my family did set out cookies and wine for Santa. (Santa was lactose intolerant… at least at my house.) We also put up Christmas lights. Hell, I have Christmas lights up on my house right now. On most years, I still fly to New England to spend time with my mom and sister for Christmas. We even have Christmas dinner- lasagna. (So much better than turkey in my book.)

    Life is too short to get worked up over Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays. Say whatever holiday greeting you want and move on. Hell, I don’t care if it’s even “Happy Kwanzaa!” It’s the holidays so be happy. If you need booze to cancel out the family in order to accomplish that happiness, then drink up!

    There is so much crap going on in the world these days and so few times set aside to celebrate. The holiday season in December is an opportunity to be happy. So, instead of wasting the time arguing semantics, enjoy this time for what it is!

  453. Barbara Anne: you’ve got my vote for the best quote of the day (tough call because all the smarties here):

    “Blogs: little First Amendment Machines”
    F.A.M.

    Love it!

    ∆ skyewriter

    PS: I keep copying and pasting the wedgie, so in a very real sense the pie is getting passed around.

  454. One of my Christmas traditions, the movie “Scrooged” with Bill Murray as Frank Cross:

    Frank: “You can still have fun tonight.
    Call people you haven’t seen – a college friend, an old army buddy, your personal banker.
    I’m not crazy. It’s Christmas Eve.
    It’s the one night when we all act a little nicer. We…we smile a little easier. We…we…share a little more.
    For a couple of hours we are the people we always hoped we would be.
    It’s really a miracle because it happens every Christmas Eve.
    And if you waste that miracle, you’re gonna burn for it. I know.
    You have to do something. You have to take a chance and get involved.
    There are people that don’t have enough to eat and who are cold.
    You can go and greet these people.
    Take an old blanket out to them or make a sandwich and say, “Here.”
    “l get it now.”
    And if you give, then it can happen, the miracle can happen to you.
    Not just the poor and hungry, Everybody’s gotta have this miracle!
    It can happen tonight for you all!
    If you believe in this pure thing, the miracle will happen and you’ll want it again tomorrow!
    You won’t say, “Christmas is once a year and it’s a fraud.” It’s not!
    It can happen every day! You’ve just got to want that feeling!
    You’ll want it every day! It can happen to you!
    I believe in it now.
    I believe it’s gonna happen to me, now. I’m ready for it!
    And it’s great. It’s a good feeling.
    It’s better than I’ve felt in a long time.
    I’m ready.
    Have a Merry Christmas. Everybody.
    Calvin!
    Did I forget something, big man?”
    Calvin, the Tiny Tim character: “God bless us, every one.”

  455. Happy Holidays, Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, Blessed Be!
    And most of all, Happy Birthday dear Helen, and thank you both, Helen and Margaret, for opening your door and allowing us all to sit a spell and visit.

    PS My vote for the worst Christmas song ever – Grandma Got Ran Over By A Reindeer. Luckily haven’t been exposed to the Shoe song . . .yet.

  456. Nan, if you are not happy with the posts on this blog, feel free to not read it. In fact, we would prefer it that way, so take your poor, tired, bitter old self on out the door, because in all honesty we will not even notice you are gone. If we wanted negativity or boorishness, there’s Faux News or WingNut Daily, or the Free Republic.

  457. Happy birthday, Helen!

    Blessedly I have not heard the Christmas shoes song and I won’t be going out of my way to correct this omission. But I have to say that last year I had a total shock when I received handwritten thank-you notes from two grandsons aged 12 and 15. Their mom said it was their idea. :)

    It’s a season about love and family and wishing well to others, enjoying traditions. I grew up with the same ornaments on my tree every year, and even after I was grown and married, I’d go back to Grandma’s house and see the ones I’d loved as a child. We always had a big family dinner, the cousins, aunts and uncles drew names for gifts, and we opened our presents on Christmas Eve. Santa came on Christmas morning.

    I got older and had my own kids and combined some of my traditions with some of my husband’s. In the later years of my marriage he wasn’t home much, and the kids and I carried on and developed new traditions, such as somebody every year gets one gift totally wrapped in tape. And then the kids left.

    The last few years I haven’t done much for the holidays. The lady who was my secret santa at work last year was appalled that I wasn’t putting up a tree, and gave me a festive candle and holly ring. But I don’t decorate just for me. One daughter lives clear across the US from me. The other daughter has her own family traditions with her own children. My son – well, he’s back home this year because he’s unemployed (Thanks, W!) and he’ll be getting a lot of socks and underwear because he’s needy. I’ll get together with my younger girl and the grandsons for a meal the weekend before the holidays, and we’ll exchange gifts. Last year one of the boys gave me an old-fashioned hot water bottle. I loved it. On Christmas day I’ll just be grateful for a four day weekend, and my son and I will have a nice dinner. Probably ham. Sarah Palin sort of ruined the turkey for me this year, I don’t think I want another one.

    But as Christmas comes to be less and less of a celebration in my home, the love and family feeling is still there. And the general well being of everyone, people in elevators smile and wish you happy holidays, total strangers greet each other, it’s a happy warm time of year. Probably Jesus would appreciate that.

  458. Happy holidays everyone…
    And happy birthday to Helen…

  459. Happy Birthday, Helen!

    PEACE ON EARTH AND
    ALWAYS BELIEVE IN GOOD WILL

  460. “Boy, you are two sour old biddies! Dry up, already!

    By: Nan on December 10,2008″
    ——————–
    Hey hon-
    If you are on one of those lil missions to spit on the floor here in Helen and Margaret’s parlour… try reading the post first. There ought to be SOME relation to the post, at least…
    Clean up your mess on your way out the door dear.

  461. P.S. Happy Birthday, Helen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  462. Amen, Helen!!!!! The government represents all of us, so cannot play religious favorites with any of us, not even at Christmas.. You said it so well!!!!!!!!!

    Margaret, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship with Helen and for the good sense and good citizenship you and she instill in the rest of us in blogland.

    Blogs: little first Amendment machines!!

    Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!

  463. Boy, you are two sour old biddies! Dry up, already!

  464. While we’re at it…..

    Perhaps, we should stop saying “Have a nice day.”
    Maybe I don’t want a nice day. Maybe my cat just died and I want to wallow in misery.
    Who are you to tell me what to do anyway? I will have a crappy day if I want to.

    But, seriously, how great is this country? This is our crisis du jour? Thank God, (or Allah) (or Fred) because in other countries they’re killing each other for a loaf of bread. If we have time to debate this ridiculous issue, we must be doing pretty well.

  465. whoops–I meant not EVEN heard of yet (stupid school keyboard)

  466. Happy Birthday Helen!!

    I seem to remember back a number of years where Christians were not wanting Christmas to stand for commercialism and wanted the use of Happy Holidays to be the secular greeting for Christmas. It seems to have come full circle now. /sigh

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  467. Mirrorman, you took the words right out of my mouth.

    To Carl, Faith (does anyone else see the irony here?) and Stuart:

    Just a little history lesson. Carl, you said something along the lines of “Jesus is the only reason for the season.” Actually, Chanukah was around LONG before Christmas was. So if anything, the oil is the only reason for the season. You took OUR holiday.

    Now that I’ve said that, I don’t want anyone to be mistaken–I’m Jewish and I celebrate Chanukah, but I appreciate and respect people’s ability to celebrate whatever holiday they celebrate during this time of year, be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or anything else that I might have forgotten or perhaps not eve heard of yet. That’s the beauty of this country–FREEDOM OF RELIGION. Ideally, people can be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, even Atheist and not be persecuted. That’s not to say there are the select few out there who feel it is their duty to directly represent God. Seriously, get over yourselves!

    I was actually being more sarcastic than anything up there with the history lesson–I just wanted to prove a point to the trolls on this blog who claim to be Christian. Faith (again, irony anyone??), Carl, and Stuart–don’t claim to be Christian and a follower of Christ unless you are willing to follow his lead and be the good, kind person he was.

    Happy holidays everyone, and thanks for another awesome post Margaret and Helen!!

  468. I hate the Christmas Shoes song too :)

    Merry Christmas!

  469. Hear! Hear!
    Spread Christmas Cheer.

    Christmas is about FAMILY.
    Either one ‘gets that’ or one doesn’t.
    If you don’t. Pity. Sad. And lonely.
    If you do. yes, FAMILY.
    All those incredible ‘highs’ and ‘lows’. All that complicated HUMAN stuff that makes us as DIVINE as any OTHER living organism that graces this amazing planet.

    Celebrate it.
    Be MERRY.

  470. Updated lyrics to Christmas carol: O little town of Bethlehem

    OLD LYRICS:
    O little town of Bethlehem
    How still we see thee lie
    Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
    The silent stars go by
    Yet in thy dark streets shineth
    The everlasting Light
    The hopes and fears of all the years
    Are met in thee tonight.

    For Christ is born of Mary
    And gathered all above
    While mortals sleep, the angels keep
    Their watch of wondering love
    O morning stars together
    Proclaim the holy birth
    And praises sing to God the King
    And Peace to all on earth!

    How silently, how silently
    The wondrous gift is given!
    So God imparts to human hearts
    The blessings of His heaven.
    No ear may hear his His coming,
    But in this world of sin,
    Where meek souls will receive him still,
    The dear Christ enters in.

    O holy Child of Bethlehem
    Descend to us, we pray
    Cast out our sin and enter in
    Be born to us today
    We hear the Christmas angels
    The great glad tidings tell
    O come to us, abide with us
    Our Lord Emmanuel!

    NEW LYRICS:
    They’ve cancelled Christmas in Bethlehem
    They’ve cancelled peace in Bethlehem
    In a land once known as holy the gun is in control
    They’ve cancelled Christmas in Bethlehem
    They’ve cancelled freedom in Bethlehem
    They’ve cancelled hope in Bethlehem
    They’ve locked the little town behind a ghetto wall
    They’ve cancelled Christmas in Bethlehem

    Though angels are singing – they’re trapped behind the wall
    Yet angels keep singing down in Beit Sahour
    And if our Christmas songs and prayers are not to be in vain
    We must pull down that prison wall that’s strangling Bethlehem
    The wall must fall – the wall must fall
    If peace on earth is to come
    The wall must fall.

    They’ve cancelled wise men in Bethlehem
    They’ve cancelled shepherds in Bethlehem
    They’ve stopped the wise men at the checkpoint
    and the shepherds can’t leave home
    They’re under curfew in Bethlehem.

    Though angels are singing – they’re trapped behind the wall
    Yet angels keep singing down in Beit Sahour
    And if our Christmas songs and prayers are not to be in vain
    We must pull down that prison wall that’s strangling Bethlehem
    The wall must fall – the wall must fall
    If peace on earth is to come
    The wall must fall.

    The wall must fall – the wall must fall
    If peace on earth is to come
    The wall must fall.

    Words & Music by Garth Hewitt

    Come and see the video:

    http://fourthreichisrael.wordpress.com/2008/12/04/updated-lyrics-to-christmas-carol-o-little-town-of-bethlehem/

  471. First may I say my smile was wide as I read today. As an avid sender and advocate of the written thank you, I appreciate someone speaking up for the lost art. And you can belong, like me, to the under 35 crowd and think they are as important as our fine leaders of the over 35 variety. I wish you both the best of holidays and a happy new year.

    Second I’d like to respond to a comment left for you..

    carl commented:
    you ladies suck. Jesus is the only reason and you will burn one day for ignoring that.

    As someone who doesn’t necessarily subscribe to the thought, I find interesting that someone committed to Jesus as the “reason for the season” would completely ignore his teachings. Don’t point out the speck Carl.

  472. MirrorMan,

    ROFL!!

  473. For the few dissenters to this Holiday blog, and for others just potentially curious in a good book, I would suggest “What Jesus Meant” by Gary Wills.

    It was written by a historian who happens to be a practicing Catholic (I suppose he just hasn’t gotten it right yet…) and actually takes Jesus away from the extremists and places him back in context.

  474. Stuart,

    When I was growing up my family worshipped Jesus daily…..and believed all Catholics would burn in hell for worshipping the Virgin Mary and other saints who weren’t part of the Holy Trinity.

    Yes, the folks were intolerant and we grew up thinking Catholics were “lesser people,” at best to be pitied for their ignorance of the “real”truth.

    When I was older decided that YOUR version of a deity should be respected just as much as theirs and just as much as a Jew’s, Muslim’s or an athiest’s.

    Did it ever occur to you that your example of intolerance is driving people AWAY from God instead of toward heaven?

    Think about it.

  475. Stuart, pray away. I have been remiss in the praying department lately, so your words to God’s ears on my behalf are appreciated.

    Δ Maven

    p.s. Happy birthday, Helen, and nice to hear from you Margaret.

  476. I don’t know this to be true, but I’m a firm believer Jesus wore every kind of shoe. He didn’t judge shoes. Somewhere that message got lost. There’s an awful lot of shoe-judgers out there…I’m just sayin’…

  477. Happy Birthday

    Joyful Solstice

    Happy Holidays

    Happy New Year

    1.20.09 Shrub’s last day, just one of the many things to be grateful for this Christmas.

  478. Best Yet!!! If Bill (War on Christmas) O’Reilly hasn’t found you yet, he will!

    Easy-to-mail fruitcakes: Archie McPhee offers blow-up plastic fruit cakes for around five bucks which can be mailed regular post. (be sure not to blow it up before mailing ‘cuz it won’t fit in its envelope!) Very classy and in keeping with holiday traditions!

  479. To Carl, Stuart and Faith:

    Remember the old song?

    Jesus was a Capricorn, he ate organic foods.

    He believed in love and peace and never wore no shoes.

    Long hair, beard and sandals and a funky bunch of friends.

    Reckon they’d just nail him up if He come down again.

    ‘Cos everybody’s got to have somebody to look down on.

    Who they can feel better than at anytime they please.

    Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty, decent folks can frown on.

    If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me.

    -Kris Kristofferson

    Happy Birthday Helen!!!

    I’ve been reading since the day WordPress featured your “Sarah Palin in a Bitch” post. You’re the best!

    Hope to read your take on Chicago — if they could indict a person for stupidity…

    Merry Christmas to you both!!

    Peace, love and choice to all!

    Jane

  480. I, too, have a Thing about ‘thank you notes”. I have gotton more flexible over the years; it really doesn’t have to be a hand-written note, it can be a phone call. It still seems to me that if I spend time or money on someone, I need to know it was received and someone appreciates my thoughtfulness. This is so very strongly felt, that even if the gift is the wrong color, the wrong size, the 3rd one received or just plain stupid and worthless from the receiver’s perspective, I STILL think they should kindly thank me for thinking about them!
    You can maybe tell, as a child, I was brought up to thank all my relatives who mailed me presents. My mother instilled this as mandatory.

  481. Merry Christmas ladies!!
    Thanks to you both for a
    super blog!!

  482. Sue-

    LOL!

  483. I’m an athiest and I feel sad that Christians now have to mold their religious holiday to fit other beliefs.

    goldnsilver:

    We don’t-

    The whole “War on Christmas” started several years ago with religious conservatives complaining that Target clerks and Walmart greeters couldn’t say “Merry Christmas”. As Margaret said, stores want to sell stuff, so they will be generic to not “offend” any shopper.

    The celebration of Christmas does not depend on the decoration of stores and commercial buildings…

  484. I don’t think Stuart was breast fed long enough. I’m just saying.

  485. Stuart-

    God, Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and all of the other saints of your faith are crying for you; they are sad that you are not compassionate, not accepting, not open to others, not willing to listen and talk to people…all of the things that Jesus was when He was on earth.

    You don’t force your religion or set of beliefs on others; you live them, and model for others.

    My family celebrates by volunteering to deliver food baskets this weekend, donating in the name of friends to Heifer International…and we all write thank you notes to anyone thoughtful enough to give us gifts.

    Happy birthday, Helen- from another Sagittarius:)

  486. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HELEN!!!! :-)

  487. I do agree with your sentiment that people have to stop worrying about what other people are doing and enjoy the holiday in their own way.

    However,

    I think people are missing the point here. For true, peaceful diversity in a nation everyone must be able to practice their religious celebrations without fear of offending other cultures.

    In other words, there should be uber levels of Jesus on Christmas and Easter. Whenever the Muslim/Jew/Buddist celebrations take place they should be shown publicly with as much pride and lack of fear as well.

    I’m an athiest and I feel sad that Christians now have to mold their religious holiday to fit other beliefs.

    Why must culture have to be watered down? Instead, we should mature as people, except everyone is different, learn about each other and appreciate it for what it is.

    Screw ‘happy holidays’. Say what you mean, which is ‘merry christmas’. I don’t expect a Jew to say ‘Happy Holidays’ instead of ‘Happy Hanukkah’

  488. Carl (8:11 AM)
    you ladies suck. Jesus is the only reason and you will burn one day for ignoring that.

    Learn to read, Carl- that is not what they are saying. They are saying to celebrate your own faith in your own way, and commercial decorations are nothing about faith.

    Besides…what about the Golden Rule, Carl? What about Jesus (in Matthew) who said if you don’t feed the poor, welcome the stranger, you are out of heaven, because He (I) is in the the least of these, Carl?

    It won’t be these fine ladies burning in hell-

  489. Helen – I got a kick out of the whole wiccan, pagan, whatever beliefs that are some of the roots of our Christmas traditions. It brought to mind an email exchange my wiccan sister passed on to me. It seems the coven she invited me to celebrate Winter Solstice with were adopting a needy family to help over the holidays. There were Santa letters and a description of all family members and their needs and wants. The coven were having a grand time fulfilling wishes and needs to the best of their ability. One coven member asked in passing, where did we get the family to help? There was a bit of hemming and hawing, and then the answer finally came back – Catholic Charities. They didn’t know of an organization that did that for Wiccan or Pagan families. The lady in charge of finding a family just fell back on what she grew up with. But they all decided that this was a particularly Wiccan way to do it – with no mention of themselves or their beliefs, only what this family needed.

  490. No, Stuart, I am not mocking “Our Lord”. I am mocking “your” Lord. See the difference? Your faith and religion is not necessarily mine, and as such, I don’t have to honor it, although I do respect it. You, however, don’t seem to respect the viewpoint of others, or their choices in faith. I guess you missed that “turning the other cheek” or “walking in other’s shoes” section of bible studies, huh? Not surprising, considering the way you and your ilk condemn others to hell for their “evil ways” while skipping the “judge not, lest ye be judged” portion of the program. I swear, if Jesus and/or Mary came back right now, they would get bursitis in their shoulders for all the bitch-slapping they would have to do among their so-called “followers”.

  491. Happy Birthday, Helen! And many. many more. I. too, am a December baby – 30th for me.

    Happy Holidays to everyone!

    Peace
    Judy Δ

  492. Someone needs to hump the Jesus out of Stuart.

  493. Stuart:
    “I am praying for your souls…all of you. You are mocking our Lord. You are laughing in the face of the Virgin Mary. Instead of laughing you all should be praying for forgiveness. I pray for you and your evil ways.”

    ——-

    Someone pass the Maalox, please.

  494. You ladies are the light of my days, I can’t help but laugh at your insights and nod my head in agreement with much of what you have to say. Have a great holiday with your families and please do stay healthy and writing for all of us in the next year!

  495. I’m an atheist, therefore I don’t pray. And I’m not laughing. Religion is way too serious to laugh at. Too many people kill other people in its name. I’m not sure how loving my family and friends and giving to charities makes me evil. I’m sure you will explain it to me.

  496. I am praying for your souls…all of you. You are mocking our Lord. You are laughing in the face of the Virgin Mary. Instead of laughing you all should be praying for forgiveness. I pray for you and your evil ways.

  497. “Our gift to you was not talking about a certain beauty queen from up north.”

    In observance of your tradition, this comment is my thank you note for your gift. Although I do love a good Palin bashing. I suppose it’s important to send the thank you note in all cases, especially when you aren’t really that jazzed by the gift.

  498. “…I think the war on Christmas is a myth. I think it has more to do with people who don’t want to acknowledge that there are millions of other people in this country who aren’t Christians….”

    ——–

    Yes, it’s a myth. This is the same type of scare/anger-propaganda tactic used by religious right and other rightwing groups in building a following and in fundraising.

    Another example of this type of myth would be that lesbians should not teach elementary school because they will molest children.

    Hello. Let’s do the math here. By far, the vast majority of pedophiles are heterosexual. By far, the vast majority of victims are female. Therefore, both gays, lesbians and heterosexual females would be far less likely to commit pedophilia than would a heterosexual man.

    It’s like all of the fundraising letters taking about the gay agenda, that gays want to take over our schools, etc. Total fabrication.

    The “war on Christmas” absurdity, to my knowledge, originated from Bill O’Reilly. He is using it to gain loyal followers who will watch his show, buy his T-shirts and Christmas ornaments (which, ironically, at one point didn’t say “Merry Christmas”–they said “Happy Holidays”).

    The right has found that the best way to build a following or gain contributions is to make people angry and scared, especially about their children. To do this they target gullible people. And it works.

    Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell repeatedly used the tactics, as did Donald Wildmon (American Family Association) and Gary Bauer. Others as well, of course.

  499. Christmas became more complicated for me this year since I finally decided to admit to myself that I’m an athiest. I’ve reconciled myself this way: Christmas to me was never about religion anyway, since I grew up in a house where we never discussed it and I only went to church because my grandmother insisted. Now that I’m married with an almost 4 year old son, Christmas is about spending time with family, being thankful for what I have, and giving gifts to family and friends because I love them. I’m trying to teach my son that Christmas is about giving, not receiving, and am planning on starting a tradition of buying a gift to give to a needy child every year. Last year and this year we will be traveling 5 hours to spend the week with my parents so the holidays are more about family for that reason as well.

    I think the war on Christmas is a myth. I think it has more to do with people who don’t want to acknowledge that there are millions of other people in this country who aren’t Christians. I guess technically I’m one of them. I believe (and I’m sure lots of people will be offended by this) that the story of Jesus’ birth is a myth and that Jesus might not have existed at all. I would have to write a book to explain all of the reasons why, but basically the stories in the bible conflict, and there is speculation that they were written to fulfill a prophecy. (Interestingly, none of the books of the bible that talk about Jesus’ life were written by people who actually lived when he did. How accurate would a book about George Washington be if biographers didn’t have first-hand accounts of Washington to study, not to mention Washington’s own writings, and that was 200 years ago, not 2000). I think the idea of Christmas and what it stands for is more important than whether you believe a 2000-year-old story is a fact. If Jesus did exist, that ideals he preached are important whether he was devine or not. We could all benefit from following his inclusive teachings.

  500. I’m so glad someone else is offended by the Christmas Shoes song. My comment was “nothing says Christmas like a dying mother”…who thinks of these things???

    Our radio station followed that song up with the song about Santa visiting soldiers in Iraq…what ever happened to the generic holiday happy songs – do these folks think that we can’t really enjoy the holidays unless the depress everyone?

  501. Haha – I can never get enough of the irony of people who tell other people they’re gonna burn since they are the ones who are completely missing the point. Sometimes I wonder if they could possibly be for real or if they’re just ‘professional’ agitators figuring out which turd to stir on blogs they don’t like.

    Anyway, about that dreadful song. We had the misfortune to hear it for the first time last weekend while TRIMMING THE DAMN TREE! (right side up, thank you) At the end of it, my true love turned to me, a cat ornament hanging from her finger, and said, “wow, that sure was a downer.” If it comes on again we’ll be switching the station, you betcha.

    And thank you notes. I was taught to do them under the pain of death and taught my daughters the same. My oldest daughter never ever forgets and my youngest daughter never ever remembers. What are you going to do. They’re both in their 30’s now so I can hardly turn that little one over my knee any more.

    Here is my first thank you note of the season:

    Dear Margaret and Helen,

    Thank you for the kick-ass blog. I have enjoyed more hours hanging out here than my employer needs to know about. I love you guys, you’re treasures.

    Merry Christmas, and Happy Birthday!

    Kisses and Hugs,
    AG Δ

    PS – virtual homemade granola for everyone!

  502. First: I think all of you are missing the point of the song. It is not “for” the Mother to look good, it is to comfort the boy who is losing his Mom. I don’t see this as superficial.

    However, I hate the song too. Mostly because it makes me want to cry in public. Oh well, I can live with that.

    What also makes me well up with tears of joy is that this group of people who read and comment are, for the most part, very caring and sharing people. The kinds of people that want good will passed along to all our planet, not just those that actually agree, but to all. Amen to that.

    I use to have the same hang-ups about Santa that many have voiced. But I realized a few years ago that Santa is sort of a watered down version of God – a “childrens” image of what God could be like. He brings gifts to those that are good (believers, etc.), he sees you when you are sleeping, and knows when you are awake (all seeing); knows if you’ve baeen bad or good, so please be good for goodness sake!!!!

    No, Santa is not God, but he values the same sorts of behavior and views of those around us.

    Peace to all, good will toward men (and especially wise old woman!!!)..

    Happy Birthday!

    ~D in D

    PS Jesus was a liberal (think about that next time your relatives tune in to the Faux network)

  503. sorry about the typo
    whating = wanting

    darn fingers

  504. Happy Birthday, Helen! And many more.

    Happy Holidays to you, Margaret, your families and to all at this blog (even Carl).

    I too say Happy Holidays because I have many friends that aren’t Christian. I personally haven’t had anyone be offended by my saying it to them.

    I do think it’s hard for some of the older generation (Helen – not you and Margaret) to accept changes such as not having signs in stores or people say “Merry Christmas” at this of the year. I know I’ve heard my Dad complain about it over the last few years. I don’t even try to explain to him about the different religions that exsist in this day and age. He doesn’t care. He wants what he grew up with.

    I haven’t heard the Shoe song and hearing you folks describe it, don’t want to. What a silly thing to sing about especially at Christmas.

    My complaint is having Christmas show up in stores before Halloween. I understand whating to sell more, but having Christmas go on forever just makes me want to get over it. And I have don’t like feeling that way.

    Blessings on all,
    Δ Susan in CA
    (I got the wedgie to work – Thanks Whirled Peas)

  505. BTW, Happy Birthday Helen, you ol’ Sagittarius, you!

    I should have known. Love of life, wicked sense of dry humor, love to travel, tolerance, natural leadership abilities….yep, that’s you!

  506. Merry Christmas to all!

    And thank you to both of you for a wonderful blog that lifts my spirits!

    moonfire

  507. I’m one of the ones who have never heard “Christmas Shoes.” So I looked for the lyrics, which I found on a website of cowboy songs. Maybe that’s the deal…I don’t listen to C&W music.

    Anyway, for the rest of my uninitated Christmas Shoes peeps, here are the lyrics.

    This is the URL: http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/carlisle-bob/christmas-shoes-10186.html

    If you like the song, you can get a Christmas Shoes RING TONE at that web page.

    ======

    It was almost Christmas time
    There I stood in another line
    Trying to buy that last gift or two
    Not really in the Christmas mood
    Standing right in front of me
    Was a little boy waiting anxiously
    Pacing around like little boys do
    And in his hands he held
    A pair of shoes

    And his clothes were worn and old
    He was dirty from head to toe
    And when it came his time to pay
    I couldn’t believe what I heard him say

    Sir I wanna buy these shoes for my Momma please
    It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
    Could you hurry Sir?
    Daddy says there’s not much time
    You see, she’s been sick for quite a while
    And I know these shoes will make her smile
    And I want her to look beautiful
    If Momma meets Jesus, tonight.

    He counted pennies for what seem like years
    And cashier says son there’s not enough here
    He searched his pockets franticly
    And he turned and he looked at me
    He said Momma made Christmas good at our house
    Though most years she just did without
    Tell me Sir
    What am I gonna do?
    Some how I’ve got to buy her these Christmas shoes

    So I layed the money down
    I just had to help him out
    And I’ll never forget
    The look on his face
    When he said Momma’s gonna look so great.

    Sir I wanna buy these shoes, for my Momma please
    It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
    Could you hurry Sir?
    Daddy says there’s not much time
    You see, she’s been sick for quite a while
    And I know these shoes will make her smile
    And I want her to look beautiful,
    If Momma meets Jesus tonight.

    I knew I caught a glimpse of heavens love as he thanked me and ran out.
    I know that God had sent that little boy to remind me
    What Christmas is all about

    Sir I wanna buy these shoes for my Momma please
    It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
    Could you hurry Sir?
    Daddy says there’s not much time
    You see she’s been sick for quite a while
    And I know these shoes will make her smile
    And I want her to look beautiful
    If Momma meets Jesus tonight

    I want her to look beautiful
    If Momma meets Jesus tonight

    ===========

    http://peachpatch.com/shoes.html

    Check out the shoes pictured on this page. A poor waif of a boy would have to count out a lot of pennies to get these shoes. She’s not Cinderella going to the ball.

  508. Merry Christmas!

    Thanks for the blog – it makes me think, and laugh. Both very good things.

    Margaret – my sister still sends out ‘thank you’ cards, and has her children (5 & 3) sign/scribble on the ‘thank you’ notes for their respective gifts on birthdays and at Christmas, or any other time we give them gifts. So, for some, ‘thank you’ notes still exist.

    Keep writing ladies. You bring joy into my life with each blog! Thanks again.

  509. We send a holiday letter out saying Merry Christmas, happy Hannukah, festive solstice, joyous Kwanzaa, and Benevolent Eid Ul-Adha because we know our country and world is different than it was in 1950. We know more about other people, we have greater respect for differences and frankly, given the serious problems facing our world (economic collapse, global warming, hunger, and all,) there seems to be bigger things to worry about than Jesus having to share his birthday with others.

    And YES on the Thank you notes!!! I’m not that old–41–but what has happened to manners. I send a thank you note for everything, handwritten and mailed, or even an email note when I appreicated something nice done for me. I make my husband put a note on our thank you notes, and our daughter has been writing them since she could scribble. I have family members who I’ve not seen a note from in over 10 years. No, I’m not buying, wrapping and mailing a gift just to get a thank you note, but I’m more motivated to spend extra money and time on a gift if I knew it was appreciated.

    It makes me wonder if the thank you note is going the way of the dinosaur. Those who do it seem a dying breed, but getting a job interview, getting a job, appreciating a gift, or something that has been done for you, seem worthy of a thank you note. It’s a way to reinforce social niceties and to work on writing skills. I do not understand why more parents do not insist on them being written, or why they do not write them themselves.

    So, Margaret, thank you for bringing that up! Have a wonderful holiday and may you and Helen keep writing through 2009.

  510. Just found your blog from “Musings of a dinosaur”. I love it! You go girls!

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  511. About the Holidays… I agree with you 100%. I sort of want to kick Billo & those who get all holier than though where the sun doesn’t shine… because bottom line – Christmas was hijacked by the retail industry a LONG time ago.

    Harping on people and acting like you MUST say Merry Christmas is just stupid. By saying Happy Holidays you are acknowledging EVERYONE – isn’t that supposed to be what the holidays are about? Peace on earth and goodwill towards men?

    Or is it only goodwill towards christians? Couldn’t that be a reason why we don’t have peace? Because everyone thinks they are right & everyone else is wrong? Perhaps we should all wear buttons proclaiming our religion (or lack there of) so that we are properly addressed at the holidays?!

    It’s all just stupid.

    Ok, with that said… I want to wish you the Happiest of Happy Birthday’s Helen! Make sure that your birthday presents are NOT in Christmas paper & vice versa.

    Yes… as you can tell I’m also a close to Christmas baby. Dec 29th to be exact. I was doubly blessed because my sister was born on Demeber 26th the next year.

    I got the “Here’s your birthday/Christmas present – share it with your sister.”

    Thanks for letting me vent. =) I love you guys!

    Mine is on the 29th of December.

  512. Well…AC/DC sang years ago that hell ain’t such a bad place to be and if Helen is going there to burn, I’ll bring the brandy for Christmas, at least it will be warm!

    Love your blog, enjoy the spirit here for the majority of the people that stop by in Helen’s kitchen for tea and pie and hope everyone has a wonderful season.

    Raising a glass, to next year!!!

  513. Happy Birthday to you!!! I love your site and now I know why. We Sagitarrius’s are the “FunShine Girls of the Zodic :) !
    You both are the best read on the net!! I can’t wait for lunch when you have posted.
    If I lived by you I would make you a fab Birthday Cake.
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to both of you and your families!!
    Eat Cake and Cookies too!!!

  514. Re: That awful song – to make matters worse – one of the cable channels had a movie that was based on that “shoes” song.

    Re: Thank you notes. My daughter-in-law has insisted that her sons send thank you notes for both birthdays and christmas. When they were too little to write, she would write the note and they would scribble at the bottom of the page. Now they write their own notes. Every year they get a little better than the previous year. It is fun for me to read and I really appreciate them.

    Happy birthday!

  515. Dear Helen,
    Happy Birthday!
    Dear Margaret and Helen,
    Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Season’s Greetings!
    Although I was raised a Christian, I could never get my head around a Virgin birth, although that could be now possible with Medical Intervention!
    So although I am now a non-believer, I still like Christmas, having a tree, and the whole present thing. The food and alcohol is a nice touch too.
    So however you all celebrate the holidays, I hope it is great for you and that people will write Thank You notes. Do e-mails count?
    A

  516. From Carl – “you ladies suck. Jesus is the only reason and you will burn one day for ignoring that.”

    Response to Carl – How nice that you are obviously showing the compassion that your god wants you to express around what is supposed to be one the holiest days of the year.

    I’ve got 2 words for you Carl… Suck it!

    Helen & Margaret are the best!

  517. Regarding traditions – has anyone else heard that Laura Bush is “cutting back” this year by re-using last year’s ornaments? Hunhh?

    The whole point was always to get out the old ornaments, reminisce about their history, etc. When the grandparents die, their best ornaments get divided between the younger families and sometimes are squabbled over.

    My family had a couple tiny fake birds (one finch and one cardinal) made from real feathers that were wired onto the branches. Our parakeet was flying around one time, saw them and went into killer attack mode. One ornament actually did not survive, the cardinal was only wounded. We never put up that cardinal again without remembering Pedro defending his budgie turf. I have the cardinal bravely sitting on my desk with his missing wing side turned to the wall.

    I guess some families have fewer traditions than others.

  518. Happy Birthday, Helen. Lots of birthdays in my family, too, this month.

    Thanks for your suggestion, but I don’t think I will be sticking the tree up my ass this year or any other.

    And you know…there is a reason why every major tradition has a celebration this time of year. Usually something to do with lights. Perhaps we could find some reason to celebrate together. ALL of us. I’m just sayin’.

    http://whatwouldwandado.blogspot.com

  519. Happy Birthday Helen and many Happy Returns.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season to you and your loved ones.

    (btw, I must be lucky, since I have never heard of that dreadful sounding christmas song).

    Again Happy Birthday and have a merry Christmas.

  520. Helen and Margaret, Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka! You two are my favorites. I love to read your posts and laugh. So, if you will indulge me and let me share a story of the Christmas tree and how it can be displayed, thank you.

    Santa and the spirit of Christmas

    Not long ago and far away, Santa was getting ready for his annual trip…but there were problems everywhere. Four of his elves got sick, and the trainee elves did not produce the toys as fast as the regular ones so Santa was beginning to feel the pressure of being behind schedule.

    Then Mrs. Claus told Santa that her Mom was coming to visit. This stressed Santa even more.

    When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two had jumped the fence and were out, heaven knows where to. More Stress!

    Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the boards cracked and the toy bag fell to the ground and scattered the toys.

    Totally frustrated, Santa went into the house for a cup of coffee and a shot of whiskey. When he went to the cupboard, he found the elves had hit the liquor and there was nothing to drink. In his
    frustration, he dropped the coffee pot and it broke into hundreds of little pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found that mice had eaten the straw it was made from.

    Just then the doorbell rang and Santa cussed on his way to the door. He opened the door and there was a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

    The angel said: “Where would you like to put this tree fat man?”

    And that my friend is how the little angel came to be on top of the Christmas tree.

  521. Merry Christmas to everyone. And Helen and Margaret, thanks for sharing your wisdom and your unique perspective on this time of year.

    I especially like the idea of starting our own tradition (I’m 59, but better late than never). However, my problem is convincing my hubby that we could find something better to do on Christmas Day than drive to a relative’s home, spend the day with people we just saw at Thanksgiving, and then drive home very late at night – sometimes in nasty weather. Twenty-eight years of doing that and knowing it will happen again, is leaving me a bit grumpy this year. Add to that that our daughters are not joining in this forced festivity, but will spend the day together, and I’m having a hard time getting motivated.

    OK, sorry for the rant, but I do feel better – sort of.

  522. Happy Birthday Helen! And Happy Holidays to you, Margaret and all of the posters — even Carl and Faith (Hopefully you’ll remember the reason for the season and stop saying that people suck and will burn in hell because they view the world in a manner different from your own). And please except this e-thank you note:

    Dear Helen and Margaret,

    I’m writing to thank you so much for sharing your insight and laughter with us this year. Having your blog to turn to made some of the more stressful elements of the election season palatable. You’re the best!

    Happy Holidays!
    LP

    On to other business: I tend to say Happy Holidays for the same reason as so many others: many of my friends celebrate the holidays of their own faiths.

    That Christmas Shoes song is the worst — pure schmaltz about the wrong things! I guess there’s an audience for it, but for me, I’d rather sing along to White Christmas, Santa Baby (Eartha Kitt version) and so many others.

  523. Happy Birthday, Helen. May you have many more.
    Thank you for your words, I so look forward to your posts. May you and yours have the most Blessed Holiday Season one is allowed.

  524. We are approaching the winter solstice here in the Far North and looking forward to increasing daylight on the land and in our government!! Celebrate the season all.

  525. Here I am, laughing at the tree idea of Helen’s, the look of Duke’s tree, and the fact that I never write Merry Christmas or Happy New Year in my cards. I have too many friends of other religions. I just put
    “Merry Merry and Happy Happy”!

    Best wishes to Helen!

  526. Ladies,
    I lost my grandmother this year, and I’ve been missing her no-nonsense, cut-through-the-bullshit wisdom quite a bit. Thank you for bringing me that voice through your blog.

  527. Merry Christmas, Ladies! My partner and I wish you and your families all the best for a wonderful, blessed holiday season!

    And thank you for the reminder, Helen – I have contacted my local Christmas music radio station to ask them to please stop playing that horrid song.

  528. I think the “let there be peace on earth…” comes from a song. When I was in my Religious Science phase, this was a song we sang. It’s now listed under Christmas carols on some websites.

    ———-

    SONG
    Let There Be Peace On Earth

    LYRICS
    Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
    Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be!
    With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
    Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

    Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
    With ev’ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow;
    To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!
    Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

    Written by Sy Miller and Bill Jackson

  529. Happy Birthday, Helen!

    (By the way – to the person who mentioned Ramadan as a holiday we don’t get off because it’s not Christian and we only get Christian holidays off – good point, but Ramadan lasts something like 25 days! As much as I would like 25 days off, it’s just not realistic. My school district in CT when I was a kid did have some Jewish holidays off, however.)

    I say “Happy Holidays” due to habit – at work, we have to be careful to be politically correct when dealing with customers because it would be bad for business if we offend anyone. I went to Catholic uni, however, and we all said “Merry Christmas” with abandon, but now my environment is much more diverse. I’m not Christian but my family and I celebrate Christmas as a cultural holiday, not a religious one.

    Those who have posted mean comments about how Christmas is religious, etc, are complete hypocrites. Christmas is the season of peace, love, and forgiveness. I personally love this time of year because people make more of an effort to be decent human beings – something that really should be a year-round thing, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.

    As for that “Christmas Shoes” song… I completely agree with you, Helen! It’s ridiculous. Are we supposed to be moved by the child who has been convinced that something as insignificant as shoes matter when someone is dead? I wish the people who convinced the child of the importance of those shoes instead talked to the child about the friggin fact that his MOTHER is about to die.

  530. Margaret:

    About the thank-you note tradition. I totally agree.

    I was raised old-school, too, and it’s just one of the things one does. It’s like using pillow-case liners and wearing a half-slip so one’s skirt hangs nicely…it’s the little things that separate us from the animals.

  531. Happy Birthday & Merry Christmas!

  532. When my children were growing up we had a Christmas tradition that now is being followed in their homes. My birthday is in Decenber so the check I recieved each year as a present was the nest egg for our gifts to an unknown family that we requested each year from the Post Office (they don’t do it anymore you have to go to an agency). We got the Dear Santa letters & a short description of the family. The children made gifts, we shopped so carefully for them and of course made a big to do over wrapping and fixing a large box of my children’s favorite foods (which they often gave up during the weeks before Christmas). On Christmas eve after the candle service at the church across the street we drove to the address, watched for the right moment and if you were “big” enough you got to get out of the car run the packages to the door and all but the fastest ran back to the car which began slowly down the street as the last one knocked hard and ran like the wind. We would wait at the end of the block to see the parents come to the door and then go home having had the best part of Christmas together. Now they are grown and have families of their own but if asked of their memories of Christmas that part always comes up first — and by the way we were never rich and quite often living in poverty, but we were a family and had that love and wanted to share our joy with others.
    Now instead of giving gifts (except to the grandchildren) our plan is to do a volunteer deed and document it (pictures or whatever) and include that with the Christmas card to the person you drew.
    Happy Holidays to you all — I am so glad to have found this wonderful blog. Keep up the good work!

    Peace to all and please take care of Mother Earth, she has given us a wonderful home we must show our respect and appreciation now before we loose her forever.

  533. Happy Holidays, ladies! May you and your family have a safe and joyous holiday season. (and many more birthdays!)

    Oh, and ‘Carl’ … get a little action under the mistletoe and lighten up. Schmuck.

  534. An early Christmas present! A double-feature from H&M!

    About this:
    “Seriously. Have any of you seen this? Christmas trees hanging upside down everywhere….”

    ——-

    I’ve seen them and the most they evoke from me is “whatever.” I think things like what one believes a Christmas tree should look like are formed at a very early age. For me, a live (and I mean “live” as growing in a pot) green tree, POINTY END FACING UP, decorated with treasured ornaments handed down and/or collected through the years, is what is normal for a Christmas tree.

    But, as they say in the car ads, “your mileage may vary.”

    The nouveau approach to Christmas trees that raises the hair on the back of my neck is the black Christmas tree. I’m sorry, that’s just WRONG.

    I saw it on one of the home-decorating programs. A husband and wife wanted to redecorate a guest room because for Christmas the wife’s grandfather–who had made decorating for Christmas practically a career move–would be staying. The grandfather embraced traditional, midwestern decorations, and did a spectacular job, according to wife & husband.

    I thought that was the sweetest thing I’d heard in a long time, until they let the decorator get to work.

    (And what is it with these “decorators,” anyway? IMO, they are decorating for themselves and to impress other decorators…the client (at least on the TV shows) seem to have forgotte that the client is going to have to live with the mess until they can afford to undo the damage done.)

    The decorator chose an ice-blue and white theme. Yes, there are Christmas decoratng palletes that are basically ice-blue and white with sparklies, but I can tell you, they are not warm and comforting. Pretty, yes. Suitable for a bedroom where grandpa is going to stay? Don’t think so.

    But then she got around to the tree they were going to put in the room, and she chose a BLACK tree. SHINY BLACK. She swore that it was VERY popular this year, and black trees are being seen in the “finest homes.”

    It looked more hideous than I had expected. And it got me to thinking, is this couple trying to give grandpa a coronary so they can collect on the insurance?

    Why would they allow the decorator to decorate in such a cold, repugnant manner for a grandfather who loved Christmas and loved traditional Christmas decorating?

    I think some people, sometimes, get so wound up in what THEY want, they lose sight of what is tradition for other people. I was raised that, when you invite someone to your house, especially for the holidays, the way you hosted them said a lot about the kind of person you are.

    About the upside-down and black Christmas trees…I think it bodes ill for our country if children are now being imprinted with a holiday tradition that includes a black Christmas tree.

  535. I cannot believe there are so many people who have not heard that dreadful song. There is also a movie about it & it was on this past weekend (no, I did not watch it). Actually I think Rob Lowe was in it.

    Does anyone here seriously think O’Reilly is offended by “the war on Christmas”? I don’t think he gives a rats a** about it.

    I think that all the people who are so worried about this need to realize that we live in a country that is not made up of 100% christians. I really believe that schools/work will not even have Christmas off pretty soon. I don’t care personally. They don’t give the Jewish & Muslims their holidays off.

    Perhaps everyone who is so offended need to start their own country & only allow “real” Christians to live there. Many of us wouldn’t have been allowed here due to religion, color, culture, etc. Think about that please.

    Happy Birthday & Happy Holidays!!!

  536. I have been reading your blog for quite some time now. I was baptized Catholic (my dad was a Roman Catholic). My mom was a Methodist. We went to CCD classes and made our Confirmation and attended our Catholic Church. We were also fortunate enough to be able to attend a few Sunday School classes at my mom’s family church. We were blessed to be able to experience different religions and to have the choice to believe as we felt best in our hearts. To Carl – we believe what we believe for many reasons – I happen to believe God is compassionate and that in the end, each of us will be judged by our actions on this earth. You may not agree with Margaret and Helen, both of whom I have grown to adore, and I may not agree with you – but I wish you the best of everything good.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and blessings to all!

  537. Well said. You guys are a hoot, I love it and I couldn’t agree more.

    Happy Birthday Helen…..

    And Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Peace to all.

  538. Wonderful post (as always), and yes I had to stop writing because I was going to remark on the “history” of Christmas. With that said, I have long had my own holiday traditions that have included on occasion hanging lights on a metal saguaro cactus for a tree.

    I don’t much care for cleaning up the pine needles and really hate to see the dead tree carcasses on the side of the road the two-three weeks after Christmas.

    Like you berating of the “Shoe” song (which I haven’t heard), I too despise the waste that accompanies this holiday (all the wrapping paper, ribbons, food, Styrofoam for fake snow and packaging, etc). Give me a recycled box with newsprint for wrapping paper and I’m happy!

    Happy Holidays ladies, and I wish you and your spouses many more to come.

  539. Every time I think, “This is their best post ever!” you come along and top it. It makes my day when I see a new post here.

    God Bless you, ladies. Merry Christmas to You and Yours and Much Happiness in the Coming New Year!

    Helen, this is one of the best essays on “Christmas, The War Against” I have ever read. I’d like to tattoo it on Bill ORLY’s forehead so anyone who is still dumb enough to watch him will be forced to read it.

    I do have to argue worst Christmas song though–although I agree 100% with the crass message of “Shoes”, really the worst, and I mean all-time- champ-never-to-be-beaten-most-annoying Christmas song EVER EVER is that monstrosity by Paul McCartney.

  540. Duke, I love that you have a Charlie Brown tree! I watched that last night with my kids and it really is timeless.

    My husband was raised Buddhist, and when I met him I was surprised to see that they celebrated Christmas. He said “we celebrate the commercial aspect of Christmas”, which always cracked me up, but how can you really fault anyone who just wants to join in the celebration and the fun?

    To those who posted about “burning for eternity” and all that sort of stuff – you and your kind really scare me. Jesus Christ himself is wondering how you’ve completely missed the point.

  541. I have not heard the “Christmas Shoes” song…I shall count my blessings. The Christmas trend around here is the blow up santas, snowmen, reindeer, Nativity scenes, etc etc that decorate the lawns. Now, at night they are quite festive looking, but come morning it looks like a Holiday slaughter! Flattened snowmen, wise men, reindeer everywhere. I’ve since found out that the decorations are inflated when you turn the lights in them on, and deflated when the lights are turned off. Even knowing this now, I find it quite disconcerting.
    Happy Birthday Helen!!
    May everyone’s Holidays be filled with warmth and love.

  542. “There is a war I do want to start. I want to start a war on that horrible Christmas song called Christmas Shoes.”

    YES! Oh my god I laughed out loud when I read that. Helen I adore you and I freaking LOATHE that song. Thank you for finally giving my distaste a voice!

    Wishing you every happiness this holiday season. <3

  543. YOU GO, HELEN!!! I love the holidays, and it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with religion or Jesus or that other fantasy stuff. I’m an ex-Catholic and much happier for it. Christmas to me is all about thinking and doing for others in the best possible way, without regard.

    My wife is a crazy artist and crafter, and for the last 20 years we have fabricated ‘alternative’ Xmas trees to celebrate in our own way. Go to her website at http://www.misguideddesigns.com and click the MD Xmas Trees link, then revel in our weirdness. Our family and friends now look forward to seeing what The Artist has come up with each year.

    Hope to hear what you and others think about our ‘trees’. FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!!

  544. Helen – it’s my birthday, too!! Happy birthday to us!!

  545. Gosh! I haven’t even heard that song about the shoes, Helen.

    Thank you for mentioning the rest of the population (myself included) who do not necessarily celebrate the religious Christmas. We do celebrate the secular Christmas. It’s a bit of a discomfort when people expect us to be Christian at different gatherings. I wonder how they would feel if we made them do some of our religious traditions.
    And the thank you cards, Margaret. YES! I agree 100%. I even did a blog post about it a while ago.

  546. Happy Birthday Helen!
    and Thank you, Margaret!
    you two make me smile
    I hope you boh have a lovely holiday season and i am looking forward to the new year with much more from you two wonderful women.

  547. Also, I am personally offended by Dominick the Donkey HEEHAW HEEHAW SHUT UP!!!

  548. Merry Christmas, Helen & Margaret! This blog is always educational for me – I had never heard about UPSIDE DOWN TREES. My mother would have a fit if she had to do this.

    Margaret – I suggest making the punch. Those in AA will know to avoid.

    5%

  549. May you both have very warm and joyous holidays … you have certainly helped to warm the hearts of so many others! And Happy Birthday to Helen … from another Sagitarrius here!

    “Happy Holidays” is my greeting around this time of year because I have so many friends and colleagues from different religions or none at all that it serves multiple non-denominational and variously benign purposes. Those who find it offensive are the same people who find anything offensive when it is not within their knowledge, experience of belief system. Frankly, I see that as their problem, not mine.

    The holiday that ALL celebrate where I am now is the New Year because the calendar changes for us all at that time, even though it is true that some cultures also celebrate their own New Year at other times: China, for example. The fact is that, even in Christian cultures, Christmas (and Easter) are celebrated at different times by those who follow an Orthodox faith.

    The world is such a large and beautiful place and there are so many things that we can all learn from each other that I have never understood why some feel so threatened that they have to demean, even demonize, what they don’t know and insist that everyone act and believe exactly as they do.

    As far as gifts go, last year we gave each of our grandchildren $25 to choose their own project through KIVA and lend that project the money. They have all learned what a difference even such a comparatively small amount can make in peoples’ lives, have been repaid all or part of their initial loans and have relent repaid monies to other projects. At the same time, they are learning the geography, cultures and lifestyles of the persons they are contributing to. If any here, who are not already participating in such, are interested in learning more, please check out the following url:

    http://www.kiva.org/

    There are so many ways to keep old traditions, create new ones or celebrate the real spirit of the season (love and peace) and there are so many worthy organizations and causes to which one can contribute time and/or money for those who most need assistance that there is no reason for any thinking person to believe that there is a “war” against Christmas. That is is one of the most preposterous things that I ever heard! But then, with some of the kooks running rampant, “preposterous” actually takes on new dimensions when one sees what gets their knickers in a twist. Un-be-liev-able sometimes!

    Happy Holidays to all here and I hope that you are all able to enjoy this season with those whom you love most!

  550. You two are lovely! Every day there is a new post, my day is brightened! Thank you for the gift of your words!

    Phyllis

  551. Happy Birthday and many returns! I, too, am a december baby– I might have guessed you were a sagittarius by the fiestiness of your posts! I’m hoping your christmas will be as warm, festive and fun as my solstice celebration!
    Peace,
    Dona

  552. Happy happy Birthday Helen!

    And Happy Holidays to you and Margaret! And I have to give thanks for your blog. When I am missing my grandmother, it is a nice salve to my soul. And a reminder to call my remaining grandparents–Now!

    This year I am enforcing the “Thank You” notes rule. Last year I sent gifts to my nieces and nephews and heard nothing from their parents (the kids are very little). Not even if they received them. So…me and the kids will be sending them out.

  553. I couldn’t agree with you more Helen. I just don’t see how some people can’t understnad that there are so many different beliefs out there and instead of celebrating just one all are included in one saying. This doesn’t change how you live your life, raise your children and affect your own personal beliefs. When I hear idiots like O’Reilly and the other war on Christmas crowd I just want to scream THE WORLD DOESN”T REVOLVE AROUND YOU!

    Happy Holidays!

  554. Happy Birthday Helen!
    my brothers birthday is today, my son’s was on the 5th he turned 31. I sure wish I could have spent it with him, but he is in Kuwait.

    Should have known you were a Sag, what a great sense of humor you have.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

  555. Happy Birthday Helen! You brightened my day as always. Happy Holidays to you and Margaret.

  556. I loved your comments ladies, and whole heartedly agree. The nasty comments by the trolls just reminds me why I gave up organized religion a long time ago. They call themselves Christians or followers of Christ, yet show the hypocrisy and judgemental attitude that Christ would never have shown. I believe that according to scripture he was tolerant and loving, and forgiving. I believe there is also a quote somewhere in the Bible that says “Judge not lest you be judged in a likewise manner.”

    Happy Birthday Helen, and both of you keep up the good work in this blog, it always makes my day.

    Happy Holidays to all regardless of how you celebrate, and above all I wish for peace on earth, goodwill to men. Everyone included.

  557. Happy Birthday, Helen!! Many, many more!

    If people just realized the similarities in the different religions, instead of the differences, on would see we are closer than we think. And for the differences? Wouldn’t it be rather boring if we all held the same beliefs? After all, it is our beliefs which shape us, and I would certainly be bored with a whole lot of “mes” running around this world!

  558. I agree ladies. That stupid “Christmas Shoes” song drives me nuts. How do we think Jesus feels when you die in a car crash and your head is caved in like melon? Does he wince? Does he say, “Hot damn!”? No. I think we would all say, “No way. Jesus is NOT superficial like that”. Therefore, based on his not caring about the state of your face when you die, he is not going to care about your shoes.

    Also, I agree with the idea of celebrating this time of year any way you want. As long as you keep your light up crap on YOUR yard, I don’t care what it is.

  559. Never but never understood this war on Christmas thing. It seems as if some portion of the population always has to have something to fear, almost as if they are addicted to the fear thing and just can’t shake that monkey off their collective backs.

    I’ve seen holidays in two countries, this one and another one. You will just have to guess which one but I will give you a hint – it is an English speaking nation (generally) but their outlook on so many things is definitely different from ours. Frankly, I call that kind of background lucky. Throw in some poverty (like I had as a kid) and you get even luckier cuz you’ve got to use your brain and creativity to get through any day, not just a holiday or holiday season.

    I am very used to a ton of snow during the Yuletide. Cold. Icicles. The whole nine yards. This really cuts down on all the lawn decorations and even the wreath on the front door has to be nailed in place. This means the holiday is interior, not just inside the house but inside the person.

    We’ve had trees that scratch the ceiling and trees that sit nicely on top of the table in the window. The ornaments were OLD. Not just antique, but genuinely OLD and they looked it, but they got put out every year. Other than the tree, there was a minimum of greenery inside cuz our quarters were usually so dang small.

    Most recently we have had larger trees, some needing to be nailed to the wall or tied to someting with a good strong leather belt cuz running children create energy wakes. There have even been holidays with more than one tree in the house, one ceiling-scratcher and others of decreasing size.

    No greenery wrapped around stuff like stair railings or mistletoe (we don’t need an extra jolt to kiss anybody; we’ve already got the mojo), but maybe some pointsettias (usually fake).

    It is definitely a family/religious thing where we come from, but inasmuch as Santa Claus is actually St. Nicholas, he is included between the Feast Day of ST. Nicholas and Christmas Eve, then the jolly old elf just disappears and we wait for the magi to make their appearance with all their expensive gifts. Sometimes there is even a 12th Night/Epiphany party, but that has pretty much dwindled as people have spread themselves all over the planet.

    Yer darned right, both of you! Its all what you make it. Hopefully it will be peaceful and inclusive, as inclusive as the stable in Bethlehem.

    Have a great holiday!

  560. Wow. I’m sure Jesus would love people telling other people they suck.

    Ladies, you’re both lovely and I aspire to your greatness! Happy holidays to both of you – may your holidays (celebrated however you want) be filled with warmth, family, love, and sugar cookies.

  561. I like to write “Happy Holidays” on my x-mas cards because they’re usually too late for Christmas, and sometimes even a bit too late for the new year. It’s a cover-your-ass method. And if it gets too late, I just save them for a little while and send out Valentine’s day cards. Who doesn’t like to get a little love on Valentine’s day?

  562. Great post, as usual. Happy Birthday Helen–I’m glad you’re here and of a mind to keep enlightening us with your wisdom.

    If you ask me, there are far too many people out there all up in the business of everyone else. Who I love, whether or not I have or adopt a child, and how I celebrate (or don’t) the holidays is really nobody’s business.

    From what I see, loving Jesus requires some people to hate a whole lot of people with different views. If hellfire and brimstone turns you on, have at it. I prefer to believe in a God of love.

  563. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HELEN!

    And I agree with what you’ve said.

    Next, Margaret, I always write thank you notes, and two of my children do I have four) And two of my three grand children do. I guess that’s a fairly good average in today’s world. Thank you’s are really important, I agree. I wrote one to a doctor once, and he made such a fuss about it because he said it was the first he’d ever received. It really meant a lot to him.

  564. Merry Christmas ladies. My tradition that I’m starting this year is to turn that blasted song off when it comes on the holiday station my husband listens to. Christmas songs should NOT be depressing! I thought I was the only hater of that song out here. I should’ve known better. Thanks again for things well said!

  565. Clearly I need to get out more, as i haven’t seen any of these upside down christmas trees. Sounds interesting but I usually try to stay away from malls and stores after Thanksgiving. Look what happened to that poor guy at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. People are crazy, I tell you. Crazy.

  566. Thank you, Helen and Margaret, for your wonderful blog. It knocks me out. It’s way cool.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. (I’m not religious but I say it to you with respect) May the God of your choice bless you.

    To Carl and Faith, “You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image, when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” By: Lusmu on March 13, 2007 at 07:46pm

  567. Happy Holidays everyone! Happy Birthday Helen!

    Love both of your posts and agree whole heartedly. It drives me nuts when people think their way of doing something is the only way. To geek out for a moment, we should remember the Vulcan philosophy of “Infinite diversity. infinite combinations”. America is a melting pot and we are better for it!

  568. Happy Birthday!

    Great Post!

    This will probably bring out the, ” I love Jesus but I hate your guts’ folks.

    Thank You notes – People have been mad at me my whole life because I never get around to it. It is my tradition.

    Happy Holidays, Thanks for the gift. (My attempt to make up for not sending one before.)

  569. Happy Birthday!!

    Thanks to both of you and your nephew for taking the time and energy to create and sustain this blog.

    It gives so many of us great pleasure to read it and then share our opinions. And I also enjoy the heartburn it gives to those who are not so open minded!

    Enjoy your day, have extra cake for me.

    And to the rest of you, try and relax and have a wonderful Holiday!

  570. “Many people are upset because the baby Jesus seems to be overshadowed by Santa Claus, Rudolf, Frosty and other American’s personal traditions. Well, it’s that last part that really seems to be the issue because the rest of those guys aren’t real.”

    This was actually an issue with me in the ’70s when my kids were little. I decided that believing in Santa Claus and belief in God confused some kids as they got older. I didn’t encourage belief in Santa after they got about 6 or 7. But I always cautioned my kids not to go blabbing to other kids.

    The point is that I made that choice in my home. I determined the tenor of our family celebration. If you are appalled at the shallowness or cupidity of retail Christmas, then it is up to you to set the tone in your own home.

    I completely agree with Helen on the issue of public religious symbols funded with tax money. The constitution separated church and state. This is fundamental to our system of government, local or federal.

    I enjoyed Margaret’s comments today as well. We need sometimes need reminders of how to be kind to those we love.

    Thanks for consistently good posts. Season’s Greetings. I agree with DonnaZ: “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me!”

  571. Quoted from Carl at 8:11 AM

    “you ladies suck. Jesus is the only reason and you will burn one day for ignoring that.”

    You are an idiot, i mean honestly why would you even take the time to leave such a hateful comment. Is that you sharing jesus’ love with the world?

    You do realize by saying that that Jesus will be mad at you for judging others. No one is going to “burn” and if they suck then why are you reading this blog at all. Have fun being a ignornat moron.

    Personally i love you guys and while I ta first period at my school i read your blog posts. They always make me feel better. You guys are amazing and when i get older i hope that I am just like you :]

    p.s. i always write thank you notes, it’s just rude not too.

  572. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HELEN!!!!
    Have a cup of cheer and keep on blogging! You are wonderful and so is Margaret!
    Merry Christmas!

  573. Happy ChannakmasKwanzadon

    I work for a company where most of our clients are municipal, county and state governments. I have clients ask me if it is ok to say Merry Christmas to me. Of course it is and that is not because of my religious beliefs. One of our employees that used to work here is Jewish. He knew that if I wished him Merry Christmas, I was wishing him seasonal greetings from my faith. If he wished me Happy Chanukah, he was doing the same. At least we were speaking to each other in a friendly way and extending good wishes.

    I think by ignoring the differences between people, we actually become more divisive. My son is in 6th grade. One of his best friends is Muslim (and no that does not mean he is a terrorist). They agreed to learn about each other’s holidays. His friend will give him a gift for Eid and my son will give him a gift for Christmas. Only in being knowledgeable about others and their traditions can we truly have freedom of religion (and that means for everyone, not just the Christians). My family is Lutheran, some faiths would say that we are not truly Christian because we don’t believe exactly as they do. So what, I have my beliefs and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.

    For those on here who judge and damn someone to hell for Helen and Margaret being inclusive and wanting everyone to feel the joy around the holidays and spend it with family, what place is it of theirs to judge? What a “Christian” attitude. There are many Christians who give others a very bad name and a very bad taste.

    I am tired of trying to come up with gifts for extended family where they are not appreciated, no thank you note or anything. You never even see it again, so you don’t know if they have ever used it or sold it on ebay. Several years ago after Hurricane Katrina, my boys wanted to keep Christmas small and donate more money to charity. We have done this with family now. Thanks but no thanks, we have everything we need, let’s just donate to charity in each other’s names. Works great and gives you a very good feeling.

    Can’t say I have ever heard the Christmas Shoes song, but it doesn’t sound like I want to either.

    Merry Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, Eid, Ramadon and whatever else fits in there for anyone. People should embrace differences, educate others, learn from others, keep thier beliefs, but keep their judgments to themselves.

  574. You can read about the “war” here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_controversy

    We have a state senator (chris buttars) here in Utah who is introducing legislation about this issue, if you can believe it. With all the real problems right now… Anyway, on Dec. 2nd, 2008, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC made Chris Buttars his “Worst Person in the World”.

    Happy Holidays, everyone!

  575. To Helen – Happy Birthday from another December birthday girl!

    To everyone else – Happy Holidays however you chose to celebrate! There is no war on Christmas. It’s just a story cooked up by the religious right for slow news days so they will stay in the news. I’m a proud member of the religious left and Christmas is my holiday – but I recognize we live in a pluralistic society – so Happy Chanukah and Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays to all!

    To Carl and Faith – get a life, cuz life’s too short to be this bitter.

  576. I have stumbled across your website and I LOVE IT !!! I must agree with the whole war on Christmas, in the end it does come down to family . And Thank you notes are VERY IMPORTANT !! I like to send and recieve them and I’m 32

  577. Quoted from DonnaZ at 9:41 AM
    “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me!”

    I’m stealing that one…or maybe I should ask permission…in the spirit of the season. *wink

    Δ

  578. Happy Holidays to all! There are so many good reasons to celebrate and congregate at this time of year.

    May Carl and Faith actually LISTEN to Jesus’ message someday and ACT on it instead of just yammering his name meaninglessly.

    And happy birthday, Helen! May you celebrate many more!

    Peace,
    Δ Tine

  579. Thank you for the gifts you bring us every time there is a new post. I just love you. Happy Birthday.

    My mother passed the day after Christmas and I dressed her in favorite sweatsuit, her most comfy socks with no bra and no shoes as per her request. She was comfortable and isn’t that what you want to be when it comes to eternity. I’m sure no one in Heaven minded what she was wearing when she got there, as long as she lived her life so she could actually get there.

    “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me!”

  580. My tree is an exact replica of the one used in the Charlie Brown Christmas special. Sort of a one stick job, slightly bent with one dull bulb at the top. Like me, I guess.

    Duke

    http://thedailyduke.com

  581. Merry Christmas to all. No matter what you celebrate (even your own birthday) have a good one.

    “Hang your tree right side up, upside down or stick it up your ass for all I care.”

    Picture billo with an upside down tree stuck up his ass. That will make you feel warm all over. He’s as stale as that fruitcake you’ve been passing around for years. And by the way, I don’t want it back this year. :)

  582. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HELEN… AND MANY MORE! THANKS FOR WRITING. THIS BLOG HAS BECOME PART OF MY DAILY DOSE OF SANITY.
    AS FOR X-MAS TREES UPSIDE DOWN…I ONCE WORKED IN A BAR A VERY LONG TIME AGO WHERE ALL THE DECORATIONS FOR EVERY HOLIDAY HUNG FROM THE CEILING UPSIDE DOWN. THE OWNER SAID THAT ONCE THE PATRONS GOT DRUNK EVERYTHING SEEMED RIGHT SIDE UP!
    I TOTALLY AGREE THAT FOLKS SHOULD CELEBRATE HOW EVER THEY WISH AND CREATE TRADITIONS AS THEY SEE FIT. WHEN YOU REALLY GET DOWN TO IT, IT REALLY IS ABOUT THE TIME AND WHO YOU SPEND IT WITH. AND IF BABY JESUS IS PART OF THAT FOR YOU….GOOD FOR YOU. FOR ME AND MINE IT’S ABOUT FAMILY. AND I DON’T THINK GOD WOULD ARGUE THAT.
    HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!

  583. What has happened to traditions and to thank you notes and to all the years.

    I am sending out cards this year – I ahve never done it before – its time!

    Happy holidays ladies and happy Birthday!!

  584. Somewhere around 1955 I discovered that if you write “Happy Holidays” on cards it is shorter than writing “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” And it means the same thing, to me, anyway. So I’ve always said it that way too. Lately, of course, there are those among us who will shoot back with a pointed “Merry Christmas!!” when I say “Happy Holidays.” Do I need to go back to saying “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year?” And add an “and whatever else” for good measure? I’m sticking to my guns on this one. Happy Holidays, everyone!!
    And Happy Birthday, Helen!
    And, speaking of thank you notes, THANK YOU ALL for this wonderful blog!!!

  585. Happy Birthday, Happy Holidays, and Stellar New Year to you and yours! Your blog always puts a smile on my face. I am not a Christian, but I love this season and in general believe that your good Christians really make the whole thing ticj, with all the food drives and charity Christmas tree sales and toys for needy kids. And let’s face it, churches and church goers do the vast majority of that work. I don’t care if they’re doing it for Jesus or whatever, they’re doing it and making our world just a little better. If I had one wish it would be that we ALL got in on it, ALL year round.

    Also, my mother would die on the spot if I didn’t send thank-you notes. I was raised right, as they like to say ;) I wonder if people my age (late 20’s) are teaching their kids to write thank you’s…

  586. Awesome again. Happy birthday. Happy winter break, I say!

    (and she wanders away smiling again, images of trees for tails and Big Stompy Boots dancing in her head.)

  587. Happy Birthday Helen, Merry Christmas and best wishes for the new year! thanks for the post

  588. Happy birthday, Helen!! And may both of you have a lovely Yuletide season.

  589. Ah, ladies. Very refreshing!! have a wonderful holiday…er…Christmas…er…Season

  590. Helen, I am ready to suit up in that war on the cursed Christmas Shoes song. Just say the word, and point me towards whoever’s shins need kicking for inflicting that one on us. I’ll be there with my Big Stompy Boots. *shudder*

  591. “Please don’t leave any Christmas cookies out for the trolls….”

    By: Gran Nan on December 10, 2008
    —————————————–
    A lil reminder ,too, about the agreement that anyone who still smoked would do so outside away from the door…
    There is already a distinct odor of brimstone and self-righteous indignation in here this AM-
    ———————–

    “You will burn for eternity for writing this. How sad for you.

    By: Faith on December 10, 2008 ”

    ——————–
    Somebody open a window , quick. Before Margaret and Helen notice we are already crapping up their parlour again…

  592. Happy Birthday, Helen, and thank you both for a wonderful, witty post. Margaret – this year I will make sure I write thank you notes. :)

  593. I guess I have not heard that song. But then I don’t turn on the radio, and the TV just long enough to hear nightly news. I don’t go to shopping malls. I guess you’re wondering if I live on Mars. No, I simply have decided that my traditions are to have peace and quiet and spend time in my gardens when weather permits. Not “trade money” by buying presents. Simply to enjoy time without hurrying and standing in line and having to worry over whether the dressing is too dry. I don’t celebrate “holidays” in a “traditional” way. What better gift, you’re so right, to give yourself, than time itself? Everyday is a holiday that way!
    Brenda in Tyler

  594. I’m still trying to imagine people walking around with Christmas trees up their a**es. That’s quite a picture, ladies.

  595. My sister-in-law once remarked that Christmas was a secular holiday (she’s Jewish, which I think is what occasioned her remark). It took me aback at the time, but I’ve gotten over it. It is secular to her, but it is not to me. That is your point, Helen, and stated very well.

    As for Jesus and footwear, he didn’t have today’s options, but I’m guessing he would want us to be comfortable in whatever we put on our feet. Me? I love my slippers…

  596. Happy Birthday, Helen.
    I wish I could send you a present (made a nice batch of pecan crescent cookies a few days ago); but I guess a virtual *hug* will have to do.

    It’s nice to start traditions, Margaret. I agree. This is the first year I celebrate X-Mas with my husband (not living in “sin” anymore since we got hitched in May). I made him a stocking and told him; “This will be part of our holidays for the rest of our lives.” (I know some of you reading this are gagging, but, hey, we’re still newlyweds :). Whomever said the first year of marriage is the hardest had to be joking–it’s been the best year on tap so far, and there have been some pretty good ones already.

    However you choose to observe the holidays (or even if you don’t), may you all be safe, have fun, and share lots of laughter with friends and family.

    And egg nog, don’t forget the egg nog.

    Cheers and hugs and merry, merry, happy, happy!
    Δ skyewriter

  597. You will burn for eternity for writing this. How sad for you.

  598. Happy Birthday Helen!!!!!!

  599. Bless you ladies, that was wonderful. When people complain about this “war on Christmas,” I want to say, “Shut up and worship.”

    Instead I will wish you both Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Good Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, and peace! They all have meaning to me.

    And, in the words of the man who should have been your Governor, Helen, “May the God of your choice bless you.”

  600. Quoted from Carl at 8:11 AM

    “you ladies suck. Jesus is the only reason and you will burn one day for ignoring that.”

    Are you a God fearing ‘man’? From your comment I’m guessing you are. I think God is very disappointed in you right now, disrespecting your elders and such. Just wait until He gets you in the after-life. Oooooo…you’re in trouble…..I’ll pray for you. /s

    http://tinyurl.com/evolve-or-die

  601. I used to harbor a grudge against Christmas. I grew up with a lot of unpleasantries occurring during the winter holidays, and i let that affect how i felt about the entire month of December. A few years ago, i was grumbling about it to someone and they looked at me and told me it was high time i made some new memories to celebrate. That one statement did wonders for me, and i’ve been working on those new memories ever since.

    That being said… i have yet to hear the “Christmas Shoes” song, but i stopped watching telly about 7 years ago, and radio went byebye about 2 years ago. If “Christmas Shoes” is the sort of thing i’m missing? I’m not missing much. Yikes. I can’t say i’m fond of the holiday effluvia that starts showing up on the shelves earlier and earlier every year. I just wish people a “Happy Winterholiday!” and be done with it.

  602. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
    I couldn’t agree more with this post, too! Freaking fantastic.
    Keep it up ladies- keep it up!
    And be prepared to get plenty of back lash from the uber conservatives. I’ve found they can’t really handle being told the world revolves around anything less then themselves and what they believe. ;-)
    CHEERS!

  603. To me it’s hard to keep the holidays in perspective. I find it harder and harder each year to capture the Christmas spirit.

    For me …..it’s 12 days to Christmas and I haven’t dragged the Christmas decoration out. Today it’s too cold. But soon I hope.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone.

    carleigh in TX

  604. Dear Margaret and Helen,
    Thank you for the lovely gift. The invitation and ability to visit in your parlour has made many of us rich beyond belief.
    Thanks for having all of us in.

  605. Chalk,

    just copy it from here

    Δ

    and paste it next to your name so it will always be there.

    ~ PEACE ~

  606. And about thank you, those are the words I want to hear when I go to a store at any time of year. I don’t care if the salesperson says “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” but it sure ticks me off when they don’t have enough common courtesy to say “Thank You”.

    And thank you to both of you for making people laugh, something we need in these difficult times.

  607. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I’ve been trying to spread the spirit of the season everyday by ending every conversation with one simple word:

    ~ PEACE ~

    I’ve noticed it catching on amongst my friends and family. One can always hope.

    Δ

    PS: Thank You Margret & Helen and all the ‘Wedgies’ who make this blog a wonderful meeting place to share ideas and a ‘slice’ of sanity.

  608. You said it Margaret. I always send thank you notes.

  609. Happy Birthday Helen!

    Did I tell you my grandmother’s name is (was) Helen? Helen Victoria. I miss her.

  610. Please don’t leave any Christmas cookies out for the trolls….

  611. Delightful post as always. I’m thrilled for everyone to celebrate however they want. Government buildings should stay out of it – generic ornamentation it should be. We’re a country founded on Religious freedom. There are many holidays to be celebrated in December/January.

    Thanks ladies!

  612. You both make me smile. And feel uplifted. Merry
    Christmas to all

  613. Happy Birthday Helen! It’s my birthday, too.

    Again, lovely posts from both of you. Thanks!

  614. you ladies suck. Jesus is the only reason and you will burn one day for ignoring that.

  615. Thanks Grand Nan and…I forgot………….. HAPPPY BIRTHDAY to our beloved bloggers!
    and to Jesus!

    And Happy Holidays to all!

  616. Happy Birthday Helen. Happy Holidays everyone out there, especially the wedgies!!! (How does Whirled Peas make that triangle?)

  617. Happy Birthday Grandma Helen. Here is hoping for 83 more. We should be so lucky!!!!

    When I die I want a pair of sneakers on my feet.

  618. Merry Christmas to you both! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insight with us all! :)

  619. llano, you are the best!

  620. Yay! I too am wondering how it is an affront to anyone’s faith to celebrate in my own way. Even my wonderful Mom said the other day that “They’re trying to take away our holidays”. I said “Who is? When did we ever get out of school except on a Christian Holiday?” We never got out for Yom Kippur, Winter Solstice, or, heaven forbid, Ramadan. I don’t want any kids being asked to celebrate anyone’s God, rather taught to respect the beliefs of everyone. If that means coloring a picture of some dude in a funky robe, so be it. Go diverse. Go green. Write a Thank you.

  621. M&H, I bought T-shirts from your store for Stocking Stuffers!!!! What a hoot!!!

    Happy Holidays Ladies!!!! :-)

  622. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    btw – the only thing that bothers me about stores decorating is when they are too lazy to write Merry Christmas and write Merry X-Mas. I’m assuming Happy Holiday’s is too difficult to abbrieviate. LOL

  623. You old girls make me smile. Thanks!

  624. Joyous Solstice, ladies!

    And “Christmas Shoes” is, in my estimation, the single worst song ever inflicted upon the public and it makes me fight the urge to destroy things.

    Cheers! And “Ho, ho, ho!”

  625. Happy Holidays, everyone.


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