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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Thanksgiving, Christmas And New Years

I think I am getting a case of emotionally induced acne. Here it is barely the beginning of November and I am being bombarded with Holiday catalogues and offers of retail store discounts. I am so stressed out with the pressure to give everyone expensive gifts that I am actually in pain. I’m having a stress migraine.

Forget the fact that I haven’t made up my mind yet about what presents to get for who, and whom I plan to spend the holidays with, I am operating on a much more limited budget than usual this year.

I can’t count on a big bonus any more because of the economy. I can’t take out a bigger mortgage on my house to pay for things because of the sub prime mortgage crisis, my credit cards are near their limits, home heating oil is going to cost me a fortune this winter, and I am spending way over my budget on gas just to get to where I don’t really want to go to in the first place.

What’s an average working person to do, I am caught up in a country wide financial crisis that is only partially of my own making – what a pain. This is really beginning to hurt. Tight credit is becoming a nightmare and I have the feeling we are not being told how bad things really are. When will the financial geniuses stop playing musical chairs with our financial well being? When will the music stop? I am worried. I don’t think we are being told the truth.

I am sitting here at my desk trying to get into the spirit of the times, but it isn’t working. I keep thinking about all my problems. How am I going to go out and celebrate the New Year when I’m not really in the mood, and I don’t know how I am going to cope with another year of financial stress?

I am definitely not ready for Thanksgiving, and the endless questions from sometimes well meaning relatives as to how I am doing? The truth is I am not doing too hot. I’m not making enough money, and I am worried about losing my job. I am worried about being downsized or my job function being shipped out of the country.

I really don’t understand how people in other countries can do my job for less money when I am not making enough as it is to cover my expenses. I guess it has something to do with the exchange rate or the falling dollar or my flagging spirits or all of the above and much, much more like hidden inflation. It is depressing. I want to be happy and in the holiday spirit, what about you? I don’t want to be stressed out about financial problems or the threat of terrorism.

I hope you are faring better than me this holiday season. I hope you are looking forward to Thanksgiving or Christmas or Hanukah or whatever holiday you celebrate with great anticipation. I hope you have figured out a way to beat this vicious economic circle of spend and borrow that many of us have gotten ourselves into and of borrowing just to make ends meet. I hope your credit card limits are not at their limits.

I look back on holidays past with envy and a certain sense of melancholy. Do you remember when the holidays truly were about family, friends and faith? Do you remember when the material aspects like big presents weren’t so important? Do you remember when our faith in God made up feel more secure, and spending the holidays with the family was a given? What happened to those days? What happened to us? Have we lost our way in this mad dash to accumulate more wealth? Is the pursuit of money all we have left of our character? What happened to the strength and faith of our forefathers? I have faith that long term we can overcome our weaknesses and greed to return to the reality, strength of character, and sweetness of times past so that we can once again feel more secure.

I truly hope you are looking forward to the holidays and the New Year, and I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you the best of times. Let’s not forget that we really do have something to celebrate. We are still here. That’s something to be thankful for. We still have people that care about us. And we all have the capacity to make things better. Isn’t this freedom to create a better world for ourselves and our loved ones worth a little financial stress? Let’s get happy and celebrate the spirit of the holidays. Let’s do something that will give us a better future. Let’s become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Let’s remind those we trust to govern our great nation that the people have the real power in this country and we are in pain and stressed out and are not willing to take it any more.

Isn’t it time we tell the politicians that we want to be happy too.

Isn’t it time that we reaffirm our faith in God by trying to be better, caring and loving human beings who have the capacity to believe in God and the future?

Isn’t it time that we understand that God is always with us and will protect us from the terrors and stresses of our time? Isn’t it time, at this holiday season, that we renewed our faith in God and stop relying on money to solve all our problems?

Have a very happy holiday.

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