Eightball and Thundercloud's RANT

Thoughts On Christmas
(Christmas Part One)

Thoughts On Christmas
(by Thundercloud & Eightball)

All the children's eyes are smiling,
Christmas Eve is finally here!
Outside my window snow is falling,
This brightest evening of the year.

Children dream of Christmas morning;
Santa Claus is on the way!
And I, a father, watch it snowing,
And drift back to another day

When I, a child, watched in wonder
As Christmas filled the world with joy.
I see myself, in faded shadows,
Long ago a little boy.

The house is quiet, dark, and still,
And I can't sleep although I'm trying.
The children's dreams are filled with visions
Of Santa Claus and reindeer flying.

In the silence of this evening
I watch the winter snowflakes fall;
Time is such a precious gift...
And love the greatest gift of all.

It is Christmas eve and I can’t sleep. I get up and walk through the house. It is quiet, dark, and still. The children are asleep, no doubt dreaming of Christmas morning. I walk quietly down the hall. The only light is the glow of the Christmas tree in the living room. I walk to the front window. It is Christmas eve and it is snowing. Those big, perfect flakes, wafting silently down upon the quiet street evoke feelings of peace and wonder. I feel like a child inside; full of wonder and innocence. Looking back is like looking at an old painting; painted by some unknown artist, for only my eyes to see.

In the silence of the evening, I drift back to a time when I was a small child. I remember Christmases, now long past. I see myself a little boy getting up on Christmas morning, wide-eyed and innocent and seeing brightly colored packages neatly arranged around the tree. I can't stand the anticipation; wondering what is in those packages. I pick them up, give them a shake, and try to guess. It is 5:00AM and too early to wake mom and dad. But, I am too excited to go back to sleep. A bounty of innocence and childlike wonder am I.

I can remember the stillness, the peace, and the joy of Christmas mornings as I look back in time through the eyes of a child. Pensive now, more cynical in my adulthood, I wonder what has happened to the world in the decades since then. It has changed so much. Now it seems no one says "Merry Christmas", it’s always "Happy Holidays" as if "Merry Christmas" was an offensive term. I hear "retail sales up seventeen percent as Christmas shoppers pack stores" on the news. I see advertisements where it appears that the value of a gift is not in the spirit of giving but in how much one spent on it or how prestigious the store from which the gift was purchased.

Has Christmas become a time when we measure the depth of love by the price of the gifts we receive? Or, has the world not changed at all; only my perception of it? Maybe now that my own children have grown up and gone on to live their own lives, I’ve lost that child inside. If so, it is my own fault. I let my child inside go and didn't even know it.

Why don't we say "Merry Christmas" much anymore? Is it for the same reason that children can’t say the Pledge of Allegiance in schools these days? For the same reason that schools call Christmas vacation, "Winter Break" now? Is it for the same reason that many cities are reluctant to put up Christmas decorations? Christmas is a Christian tradition, to be sure. But, the true Spirit of Christmas should be embraced by all people everywhere, regardless of religious beliefs or lack or lack of them. Peace on Earth, goodwill, joy, charity, forbearance, kindness, generosity and love are all part of the Spirit of Christmas. What kind of person would be offended by these, the best and highest expressions of humanity?

We cannot blame the ones who do not observe Christmas for making it the glittering commercial frenzy it now appears to be. Rather, it is those of us who embrace it who must shoulder the blame. If it has become a commercialized and glitzy holiday, maybe it is time we look inside ourselves. Are we reluctant to say "Merry Christmas" because we let the Spirit of Christmas get lost in the shuffle of the holiday rush? Are we are embarrassed about what we, ourselves, the ones who embrace it, have done to Christmas?

Perhaps many of us have lost the child inside and that magical innocence and wide-eyed wonder that can only be felt when you find that child inside. It's true that only when we find that child can we experience the joy of giving for the sake of giving. The happiness of giving from the heart and giving because we want to give. Giving, not because it is expected of us, but giving because it is the true Spirit of  the Season we call Christmas. Giving without expecting anything in return is truly giving with the heart and spirit of a child.

This year, I am going to try hard to find that child inside. I am going seek the true Spirit of Christmas and let it shine in my life. When I greet people I’m going to smile and say "Merry Christmas" and mean it. It's not just a Christian tradition, but a deep and beautiful Spirit that transcends all of humankind. Christmas is more than a holiday or religious celebration. Indeed Christmas embodies the sprit of love, peace, joy, hope, and compassion; indeed the very best inside each one of us.

I hope that all of you will find your own "child inside". If you do, the Sprit of Christmas will always shine within you. With a child's heart you can be a messenger for the real Christmas.

No matter what you give this Christmas, the one gift that matters most, is the one that you cannot buy. This Christmas, give the greatest gift of all; give the gift of love.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Is For Children
(by Thundercloud & Eightball)

Christmas is for children,
Whose eyes are big and bright;
Who are waiting for the magic
That comes with Christmas Night

Christmas is for children,
Whose gentle spirits guide
The hearts of all who've grown up
And lost the child inside.

Christmas is for children,
Innocent and true,
And wouldn't it be wonderful
If just for one brief moment
We could be like children too?


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