Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011; A Progress Report


Merry Christmas World.  This is the season that normally brings out the best and worst of us.  How are we doing so far?  Well, from what I've seen, we need to applaud those who have chosen to listen to their better angels, and remind those who see Christmas as a time to "get" that "giving" will bring more happiness.

To Wit:

On the day after Thanksgiving we saw a Mexican woman in Riverside, California pepper spray her fellow shoppers because they were crowding her out from an opportunity to get a bargain on a gaming system.

Yesterday, at a mall in Atlanta, we saw a hundred plus urban blacks stomp and maim each other, while tearing off a mall door, in order to be the first to buy some Air Jordan basketball shoes.  A similar riot occurred in Seattle, Washington.  Police had to swing batons and use pepper spray to calm the mobs.

Early in December flash mobs broke out across Maryland as hundreds of urban blacks "mass-robbed" a number of convenience stores to score free Twinkies and Red Bull.

In Phoenix at least a dozen families had all of their Christmas yard displays stolen.  Numerous home invasions occurred and victims were shot and beaten to reveal where their valuables were hidden.

Yesterday afternoon a young man, out on a shopping errand, was shot in the hand as he was caught between two mobile gang wars.

Last week a young hispanic boy in Phoenix was sitting on his couch in his own home, playing an electronic game with his young cousin.  A gang banger drove by and began spraying the neighborhood with automatic gunfire.  One of the rounds came through the window, sped through the Christmas tree and lodged two inches from the young boy's heart.

At least a dozen Phoenix residents were victims of hit and run this month.  Some died and some were only maimed.

....And yet, there were grand displays of human kindness too:

"Lay-Away Payoffs" became the rage as hundreds of thoughtful people went into Walmarts and K-Marts and paid off lay-away balances for hundreds of families.   Some of the recipients were so overwhelmed by this kindness that they "paid it forward" by paying off someone else's lay away balance.

Yesterday morning a disabled Vet was provided with a home, thanks to an organization that is committed to helping the long term homeless.

A group of good samaritans carried on the Secret Santa tradition by handing out hundred dollar bills to the needy throughout Phoenix.

Though not publicized, thousands of people volunteered at hospitals, hospices and food kitchens.

One family here in Phoenix gathered around the kitchen table and discussed how they might better enrich their Christmas experience.  They agreed to forego all presents for each other and pooled their money to buy gifts for the needy.

My own contributions this year were modest.  I dropped by the nearest food bank and left cans of soup and part of my orange crop.  I sent the Humane Society a few dollars and I made my usual small contribution to St. Luke's Children's Cancer hospital.  It felt good.

As Christmas Eve dawns I have now watched what I believe is every Christmas movie ever made.  I eagerly await The Christmas Story 24-hour marathon which begins later today.

Since I'm alone this year my Christmas dinner will be a Marie Callendar Turkey Dinner, less than some will have but more than many others.

Merry Christmas World.

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