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« "With anything but a servant's heart" | Main | Feline mind games »

December 20, 2008


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And I thought I was bad, have only bought for my grandchild. Food, now there's a thought, parties with lots of food have been my fare. Sounds scrumptious. I'm with the Pope, Christmas has been too commercialized. Might be some good come of this recession after all.

I admire your fortitude in resisting the siren calls to spend, spend, spend. I joked to my kids to lash me to the mast, and plug my ears, but we settled for just continuing to let dust settle on the TV. And never going to the mall.

Lucky you being in the Boston area. My old stomping grounds.

We are a very frugal family all year (were doing thrift shops, growing our own, reusing stuff, etc. long before it was trendy -- skinflint Yankees) -- but I tend to spoil the kids and husband rotten at Christmas, and it's hard to break the habit.

I do enjoy your writing, and the cat portraits are a joy. Such gorgeous cats, and you capture their moods and explorations so well! In my family I am teased as the sniper, because I go out for hikes stalking birds, dogs, interesting characters, and mostly landscapes, flowers, trees, trees, trees with the longest zoom I can afford.

More important, your words on the season. Reminded of that remark attributed to Gamaliel, Saul's rabbi, that "If it is of God it will endure." I hope and pray that during these hard times, people of faith can remember that being lovers of God brings us together across oceans and all divides.

A stable successful society must share moral values. Christmas is a time to reflect on the values which have made the United States the most prosperous nation for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. A success which we maybe losing as these values are attacked by an ignorant intellectual culture.

Amen to Goomp's sentiments entirely. The Babe is looking splendiferous as always. From the size of those paws - he must have a LOT of Maine Coon cat in him! He's definitely prepared for "snowshoecatting"!

God bless Sissy, Tuck, Baby, Tiny, Goomp and his beautiful little darling girl and all who are lucky enough to know or better yet be owned and loved by a feline creature. THAT is always my gift - the love of Sam the Wonder Cat - hard won and deeply valued.

It's interesting to ask what the relationship is between thrift and mental health.

For instance, who was more mentally healthy: Ebenezer Scrooge, or Bob Cratchit? Which one was miserly - that is, greedy?

I think the public would benefit from considering that virtue-based thinking is far more healthy than value-free thinking.

I find no small irony that those preaching newspaper writers and tv talking heads who decry the "materialism" that accompanies Christmas are the same ones who led the charge into secularizing society with a "Happy Holidays", no specific description.

Some may argue that Christmas was a holiday that co-opted a pagan winter solstice celebration to gain wider acceptance. Maybe so, whatever. But the symbolic meaning of Christmas comes from the idea of a God who so loved the world that he gave his only son to it - an unrequited gift if there ever was one. Gift giving is the physical demonstration of that idea of love. Is it really a surprise that once the Christ came out of Christmas, the deeper, more important symbolic meanings of love and giving also disappeared?

(This from a once a year churchgoer, too .... not exactly the proselitizing type.)

Whether one believes in a Judeo-Christian God or not, if you are going to celebrate the holiday I think it is important to acknowledge and honor the underliyng meaning of Christmas. And then the mindless gifts - contrasted with the mindful gifts - pale in comparison. The mindful gifts, like hospitality and food prepared with love, are the ones that are special.

Merry Christmas. Let your heart be light.

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