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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     It is Christmas week around the farm and since the holiday comes in the middle of the week, it will really become a little more of a crazy scramble than normal. When you take the regular day to day things that need to be done and add in them making sure that all the presents end up in the right spot and that a meal gets made after work in time to take the kids home, it becomes just about as fun filled and insane as can be. But in a way it will all be worth it in those quiet moments just after sunrise on Christmas morning when I’m standing in the kitchen, cup of coffee in hand watching the horses out in the snow.

     Like many people I suffer through not only seasonal depression brought on from lack of sunlight, but as I get older I find it harder every year to get into the Christmas spirit. I’ve tried really hard this year to face both of these head on, and although standing outside half naked on a sunny day when it was two degrees out was a brilliant but flawed idea, I did take the time to figure out why my spirit doesn’t wind itself up with cheer. For me, it is the entire rat race and commercialization of everything. There are days when I don’t seem to have enough time to do the things I want to do, and when you throw in holiday parties and Christmas shopping it’s enough to send me under the covers to hide until spring comes.

     So this year I set out to change things. I had the opportunity to play Santa a few weeks back and I really did enjoy that time. Unfortunately another opportunity fell through, which probably kept me from doing something really weird like walking into one of the area restaurants for a takeout dressed as a jolly fat guy. Another thing I found that helped, was taking a drive out to see the lights and although I didn’t make it as far as I usually do, I would certainly recommend you take a trip to Panora to see how lights are done. And finally I watched a few weeks’ worth of young people getting ready for an annual Christmas program at one of the area churches. For those directors out there, go with the flow, and know that although Mary doesn’t feel the need to be pregnant because she’s an independent woman now, and there is always a wild card anytime you use animals live or stuffed, in the end the pageants will come off brilliantly and no one will really notice the little things you do.

     Even though it will be a tight Christmas around here, I do have to remind myself that there are those who are even less fortunate than I am. For while you and I gather with family and friends over the holiday, there are those who won’t have that opportunity. Somewhere there is a family who is homeless, struggling every day just to stay together. Somewhere there will be a solider, who miles and lifetimes away from their family will spend the day not surrounded by loved ones, but fighting for their lives. Somewhere a family will spend the holiday at the bedside of one who holds the family together, but is slipping from this life. Somewhere there is a soul locked inside of itself, unable to understand the world around them. For every life filled with joy this holiday season there is another life who misses out on that joy, but there is hope for all.

     And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the light shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

     That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown. See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.