How can we use the warmth of the Christmas season and, yes, the Christmas experience, to permeate and overshadow the brutally abusive political presentation of daily television news? There is no ‘turning it off.’ It’s everywhere, one side or another, one slant or another, with indications of evil on all sides, wherever you turn. Shopping?

Yes, the hunter/gatherer side of the survival strategy of the human race. Men and women are different. The hunters all gather to watch, well, hunters (football, other sports, shoot ’em up westerns, mysteries, and spies). The gatherers watch home shows and go out looking for stuff to take care of things back at the fire. Men and women. Some crossovers, but not many. I didn’t create this or write down my observations about it as a new discovery.

This form of survival has been studied and written about through the centuries, in both anthropology and sociology. So, lean to the gatherers for comfort and for ‘coming in from the cold,’ so to speak. Come home on your couch, even if you are home on your couch. Let the stuff flow by on the television, never forgetting that when you are watching television you are watching other people make a living…and a really handsome one at that. They are not there to inform you, or bring you the latest news, or even really to entertain you as their primary mission. They are there to make a living, and the rest is done to serve that end.

Make your own living and refocus on those things that promote and support that, and come home to the fire, the gathering and the people who really matter. When you do go out, go out and gather. You can hunt later on, down the road. Use the Christmas season and Merry Christmas. Where you go to begin the celebration of Christmas is right at home. You decorate. Yes, it might seem a bit hokey and useless, since your home or apartment may not be right on the main stretch of some highway, or in the downtown of your city or village. But, you decorate primarily for you and your friends who view the meaning more than the decorations themselves during the holiday period.

My tree goes up every December third and comes down on January second of the following year. I put up advent trees and decorate them. And during the holidays, while those decorations and trees are still effective in my life, I remain effective in my life. Christmas is a time to consider the work of God and your own work in relation to that. Since we can’t truly understand God or what He might have conceived of or is conceiving of right now, that calls for a bit of guessing. Most religious people don’t like to guess when it comes to such things, except privately, that is. Nobody is given the ability to believe in anything at a level of one hundred percent. It is doubt that keeps humans alive. Doubt and deception. We doubt things in order to assure ourselves that we are safe, as are those around us whom we love. We deceive because the planet demands trickery in return for allowing animals to survive.

Predators in the wild, for example, have become quite expert genetically in altering their appearance, so as not to be easily seen for what they are. This practice, although more consciously applied than genetic, is just as generally used and accepted in business all over the world. Men and women do not receive high honors, like Academy Awards, by agreeing that they deserve them. Resumes filled out with data about our pasts is seldom, if ever fully accurate and truthful. Whatever we call our deceptions, from white lies to necessary compliments for advancement, runs hand in hand with doubting everything.   Worry and depression are all about doubt. Christmas is about letting go of the fact that you need to be so serious about those things, at least for a period of time. It is a time when we might believe a poor beggar is really poor and not faking it for a handout. We can contribute and walk away, not because of the orientation of the beggar, but because of our own.

Christmas is when we can walk with God through a stretch of life because God is the one that made us with brains that doubt and deception, so we could survive. It is the method and placement of doubt and deception we must consider, and then reflect on whether it is proper or not for taking us through life in such a way that we don’t live in regret. Christmas is about smiling onward, and also accepting that atonement for past sins or moral weakness is perfectly acceptable in order to balance our own interior universe of sanity. Do good works during this Christmas season, and give some presents out, for the ones you love and care for, but primarily for you. Christmas is about you, although you will go through the holidays bombarded with plenty of advertising making it seem that Christmas is about anything but you. Carry a Christmas Shield in front of you. It’s invisible. Nobody can see it. All they will see is your ridiculous and seemingly out of place smile and grand greeting.

Merry Christmas

First two Advent Trees 2017

My second Advent tree was lit Sunday, December 10, 2017. ~~James Strauss


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