Christmas 2004

My son expresses Christmas better than anyone I know.

My son dropped out of school and ran away when he was 16 (he's 25 now). I hunted up and down
the streets and found him and dragged him home. Several times. Finally, I decided that I was neglecting
my other kids by chasing after him all over the place and besides it wasn't doing any good.

So, I told him home would be here when he decided to straighten up, but I had 3 children to raise.
This was destroying the whole family.  He came to visit when the mood struck him and called to
let me know he was okay. Eventually, he came home.

When Jeremy was gone, he always knew he had a home to come to.
He always made sure he was home on Christmas. And he always got a good Christmas dinner.
He knew a lot of people who didn't. Now, Jeremy gets up early on Christmas morning, bakes a bunch
of pies and takes them to the homeless shelter where he serve dinner to the people who are there.

I used to take a turkey to the church to give away, but since Jeremy knows everyone in the valley
who is broke, all I do anymore is ask him who I need to get turkey for. He always knows a couple
of families who cannot afford even a meal. So we go buy everything needed for Christmas dinner
(turkey, stuffing, potatoes, etc.). He takes it to their house on Christmas eve, so they can cook
their children a special Christmas dinner.

No, He didn't accomplish all of the things I would have wished for him, YET. But I am proud of him
just the same because he is a good human being. He treats everyone he meets with respect and he
has a giant heart. Everything else I wanted for him pales in comparison.


Mission at the Eastward, about 30 people a year from my church
use their vacation time to bang nails so people donít have
snow in their house in Maine this Winter:

Subject: It's not exactly a Christmas story, but...


I'm in the habit of recording christmas carols for my family, and this year I decided to do an update
of "Santa Claus is coming to town", where Santa, upset with the state of the world today, has re-christened
himself Santor and has become much more agressive in his treatment of those on the naughty list.

Anyway, I decided to have a break in the middle of the song for Santor to explain his transformation
and this is what I came up with... I thought someone might get a kick out of it....

I'm tellin' ya, things were lookin bad this year.  Our whole process, our whole m.o., is designed to get
those "nice" lists growing, and move people from the bad lists to the good list through positive reinforcement
and gentle persuasion and gifting.   But we've been running furiously, making better and better toys, checking
the list three, four, even five times, but no matter what we did, we kept slipping backwards.  You've got your
Enrons, your Halliburtons, your Diebolds, Dick Cheney, Rupert Murdoch, George W. Bush... these spoiled
bastards don't care that they're on the bad list.  they take their lump of coal and sell it to some poor sap on
the nice list at an inflated price and buy their own damn toys.  then they tried to buy their way on to the good list.
imagine that, trying to bribe santa!  when that didn't work, they started making their own list, called it the axis of evil
... then they tried to restrict airspace in the name of friggin' homeland security.  Well, that was the last straw.

We brought some new blood in...had ourselves an image makeover.  You know, it's what you corporate folks
might call a re-branding... I've been hitting the weights, cutting out the milk and cookies.  I'm down to 215, all muscle.
It's no more mister nice guy around here.  You think a lump of coal is bad?    We've devised some new strategies to
get you naughty list folks down off your high horse.  You know who you are.  You're going to be begging for a
friggin' lump of coal.  I'm through f**king around with you a**holes.  You want to get religious, invoke jesus?
Let me tell you, I knew Jesus - Jesus was a friend of mine - and if you try that s**t with me you're going to get
an extra can of whup-ass.  There's a new kind of christmas spirit around here.  I've been listening to those
namby-pamby Bob Shrum/DLC apologist board members for too long.

Now i just want to say, you kids are safe.  I'm still the same old Santa.  I still believe in you as you believe in me.
I'm all about the kids, and always have been, unlike certain religious organizations with the initials Catholic Church.
No, it's your parents that need a little attitude adjustment.  You think an IRS audit is bad?  An IRS audit is a friggin
picnic on a sunny afternoon compared to what I got in store for you.  Yeah, I'm talking to you J. Kenneth Blackwell,
secretary of state of Ohio.

Oh, and for the record, Kerry, nice list.  George W. Bush, aaahh, not so much.  and my lists match with the exit polls.
you better watch out, and I'm serious this time. there's a new sheriff in town, and his name is SANTOR!
HO!  HO!  HO!!

Always in appreciation,


In hoidy-toidy Beacon Hill in Boston, these Episcopals get in trouble
with their rich neighbors by serving a meal to the homeless:

I am a non-christian living in the Bible Belt.
I may not celebrate Christmas, but I realize there are many who do.
For those who do....

The cashier at the gas station who smiles and chats with me every time I'm in there--got homemade fudge.
The name pulled off the 'angel tree' belongs to a 72year old female. She's getting warm pj's, underclothes, and a homemade afghan.
I am currently 'under-employed' but I make sure everytime I go by the bell-ringers, I put in at least $1.

My preference is to give throughout the year but it seems the only time people truly appreciate
(are accepting of) gifts is during the 'holiday season'.

To the person with christian bumper stickers--that flipped me off on the freeway today...(and to all others)
Bless you


Hey Bart,

My story involves the generosity of others. Two years
ago at this time I was 2 months behind on my mortgage,
had huge debt, couldn't pay the booth fees for art fairs
for the following year and had no gas money to get home
for Koreshmas.  My family is not of large means and I
was at wits end.  After much self debate and anguish I
sucked it up and made a humiliating move.

I composed an e-mail to fellow artists and collectors
of my work.  I detailed my plight and said that all
would be repaid in due time in either artwork or cash
depending on their choice.  With a lump in my throat
and a tear in my eye, I hit the send button.

Within 5 days several thousand dollars arrived in my
mailbox.  Walking back up the drive each day From the
mailbox was a touching tearful event.... I was struck by
the number of truly kind and wonderful folks still exist in
this ugly hateful country.  I caught up on the mortgage,
paid the utilities and the minimums on my cards and had
gas money to see my family in WI.

Many of these people have refused repayment, saying to
pass it along when I got better financially.  I have done both.
Last year I was able to help an artist in Brazil raise funds to
attend an opening of his work at a gallery in Sweden.  I also
helped a boy from a poor family in my neighborhood start
a lawn mowing business.

May we all experience generousity on both ends in this
season of giving and compassion.

Get a pack of telephone cards and mail them to this address:

Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW
Building 2, Third Floor, Room 3E01
Washington, DC 20307-5001

Bush cut off free phone calls for wounded soldiers from military hospitals.


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