I bought my Christmas cards weeks ago, and I usually do them the weekend after Thanksgiving when half of America is battling for sale priced merchandise at the malls. Not this year. I haven’t felt the Christmas spirit yet. I’m trying to give myself permission to not do them if I don’t feel like it. That’s the constant struggle of a people pleaser – always worrying about what other people will think or feel if I don’t do what is expected. I even worried about taking a week off from this blog. But I see that it is still being accessed daily and my short break created no dire circumstance.
I hope I get my Christmas spirit back, but my whole affect caved after the election. I’ve lost confidence in many of my fellow human beings. Even though President Obama won the election, and the majority of Americans have expressed confidence in his leadership, the unbridled hatred and nastiness unleashed this election cycle has left me wanting for consensus and true American fellowship, the kind grown from having a common cause of caring for the common good. I feel sorry that I’ve let such nastiness crimp my usual perseverance, and I hope I find my Christmas spirit before the day is upon us.
I have a Christmas wish list, though, and it might not be what anyone expects, so maybe I’m learning that I don’t have to please others. Here is it:
1. We will address the race issue in America in as honest and painful a way as it takes to get over the deep wound our history has caused us. We will not stop until we understand that skin color is just a physical attribute and that the social construct of race was created to keep a group of people powerless and enslaved. The legacy of that still impacts people’s lives daily, and will continue to, until we decide together that it won’t.
2. The media will stop covering Sarah Palin. Her stupidity, hypocrisy, and lies are exhausting. Communism? Is that really where we are headed with President Obama’s reelection? We are headed toward untold depths of stupidity if we ingest another single word mouthed by Palin, the Tea Party puppet.
3. The people who are crying for secession will move to Texas and they will secede, leaving the rest of us to enjoy our lives free of racism, sexism, homophobia, and religious zealotry. No, you may not use the name America, especially as associated with the words “United States of”. Nor can you abscond the Constitution. It’s already taken “by the people”, and we are the patriotic ones, not you, who are traitors.
4. John McCain will retire at the end of his term. He is going dotty. Apparently he doesn’t remember that Condi helped precipitate a war with her message to the media that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. He also is under the impression that the other Rice, Susan Rice, is part of a cover up. His vicious personal attack, in conjunction with attacks from several conservative pundits who claimed Rice’s intelligence and trustworthiness are questionable, caused her to withdraw from consideration for Secretary of State. John, get over yourself. In case you forgot, you definitely lost the presidential election in 2008.
5. Florida Board of Elections will be investigated for continued voting issues including but not limited to excessively long lines in areas of dense minority populations. No one should have to wait six hours in line to vote. Voting is an inalienable right, not a Wal-Mart Black Friday sale.
6. Congress will reenact the Assault Weapons Ban, and the states that currently have Stand Your Ground laws will rescind them, making every one of us safer from gun violence. Gun control and background checks will become more stringent, and safety training prior to receiving a permit will be required.
7. Grover Norquist will opt to relocate to seceded Texas with all the other harebrained conservatives and the greedy rich people who believe their wealth boosts self-importance. They won’t have to pay any taxes at all. Just make sure you don’t come crying to the United States of America when your roads fall apart, there is no one to protect life and property, and climate change causes another storm of the century – oh, wait, just privatize everything. Who needs taxes?
8. Republican members of Congress will lose federal government health care coverage and pensions. They will live by the very laws they hope to enforce on others while we enjoy the true distribution of wealth where everyone who is able to work will make a living wage while those who can’t will receive assistance that ensures they will live above the poverty level.
9. Every person serving in an elected office will spend two weeks a year, one week in a rural trailer park and one week in an urban housing project, living amongst and serving our underserved communities. Maybe then they’ll summon their humanity and remember that they are obligated to serve all their constituents.
10. Religious conservatives will stop boasting that they are the only ones practicing the one true religion that will deliver them salvation while the rest of us go to hell in a hand basket. There may be one true religion, and if there were, and we were perfect, non-sinners, we’d all be practicing it. The world religions have more in common than differences. In lieu of not knowing or understanding the one true religion, let people worship or not in the way they choose, not the one way you want to force on them. And stop using your religion to hate others. No religion supports that.
11. Women will feel empowered and celebrate their roles and contributions to society. We will learn to love our whole beings and demand equality in every aspect of our lives. Not only are there men out there who are trying to control our bodies, they are making many young women think the sex industry is the only way to earn a living and feel self-worth. Our worth is much more than being a plaything. We are not dolls; we are people. We deserve respect and respectful men who treat us as partners and equals, not as sex objects.
12. Donald Trump will step out of the limelight and stop making delusional accusations about President Obama. We don’t care about his wealth, nor are we envious. His money doesn’t make him wise or important, and his opinion does not hold any more weight than any other delusional rich guy who thinks that money can buy anything and his shit doesn’t stink.
13. Rush Limbaugh will lose his radio and television shows. He is a toxic liar who feeds on people’s fears and prejudices to promote his extravagant lifestyle. A country of children? Rush, you underestimate us and inflate your own importance.
14. We will oppose right-to-work legislation that allows employers to decrease wages and benefits while preventing workers from organizing and negotiating for better pay and work conditions. Right-to-work legislation is designed to put more money into the pockets of the wealthy, not to create jobs.
15. The Christmas /Hanukkah/Holiday season will not begin one minute before 12:01 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving. There will be no early retail enticements, making us too numb to choose how we wish to celebrate the holidays (as holy days, secular family holidays, a combination of the two, or days we choose not to participate in celebrating) There will be no dangerous and irresponsible encouragement on the part of retailers for people to wait in long lines out in the cold for hours, only to trample other shoppers in order to get an item, of which there are only a few and certainly not enough to appease the horde, being offered at a major discount. Once every able person has a job that pays a living wage (see number 8), we’ll all have expendable income to buy presents at fair prices for all parties involved, IF that’s what we choose to do.
16. My final wish is that every single person will experience a moment, no matter how fleeting, of joy and wonder in the last days of 2012 (no I don’t believe the world will end on 12/21/12). Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year! Happy Holidays! Happy Being!
Me at age four in front of the Christmas tree. Joy and wonder abound.