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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

For far too many reasons; some I understand, some I do not…  I am not a Holiday person.

I have great memories of Holidays spent with cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Mother, Dad, a brother, sharing food and laughter and traditions that were so much a part of who we were, who are family was.

But now, Mother and Dad are gone, my brother and I most of the time, do not speak, most of those Aunts and Uncles are long gone, and many of those cousins with whom I would play capture the flag in a pitch-black basement and with whom I would share hugs and laughter, would rather not share any space with me, because I’m gay and they are “Christian” and in their hearts and minds, the two do not mix.

And so, I am left with no family tradition, for basically, there is no “family” with which to share it. There are moments when the loss of these things overwhelms me (watching It’s a Wonderful Life, singing Silent Night, etc.) and I find myself wiping tears away and wondering what we all wonder when things and people are lost from our lives. How did things get so crazy? Why is family not family anymore? How do you spend half of your life with these people, and then not see them or speak to them for the other half of your life?

And then I understand: These feelings? This is just life.  I know I could have never become this grown-up person I am had I not left the confines of that small town and broke the hold my conservative family had on me. We don’t share the same values, we don’t value the same lives, we don’t agree on politics, we don’t really agree on much of anything. I’ve learned to be grateful for the memories, and for those people who helped me grow and loved me as best they could.

For many, myself included, the Holidays are memories of simpler times – not always better times, but certainly simpler times. From what I see, there’s way too much pressure on making the holidays perfect – perfect decorations, perfect food, perfect gifts, perfect, perfect, perfect.

None of us are perfect, no holiday will ever be, or should ever have to be, perfect.  Susan and I love our time with the kids and the grand kids. Our beautiful tree sits in the corner and puts a magical glow over the living room, but perfect would never even enter the conversation. We take the holidays one day at a time and enjoy whatever that day brings us. Just being with her, well that’s all the holiday I need in my life.

Embrace whatever you must to get you through these weeks. If you watch the movies and listen to the music, let yourself go to those places that make you cry. It proves that you’re human, it proves that you’ve grown and become stronger.  It shows that you’ve made a life of your own, but you also remember from where you came.

Say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or just smile and say nothing. There are no rules to follow for getting through the emotions and memories that always find their way to your heart.

And as you go into 2017, remember to sprinkle kindness wherever and whenever you can. The world is going to need kindness.  Bigly…

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Since the Salvation Army is on every street corner and outside every store with their little red kettles trying to reach your heartstrings at this time of the year, I’m thinking perhaps this is the right time to fill you in on the do-gooders who aren’t really such good doers.

Let me state upfront that the Salvation Army has done good works – I don’t deny this – what I’m saying is this…  If you’re gay or you support gay rights – you should not put money in the little red kettles.

The Salvation Army has a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians here in the States and elsewhere in the world.  Yes, they do offer their services to all who are in need, however if you are a practicing homosexual (having sex) then you are ineligible for full membership in the Salvation Army. They also believe if you are a Christian and you are attracted to members of the same sex you should embrace celibacy as a way of life.   In other words – if you’re gay and having sex – you can’t work for them.

There are also documented cases of pure discrimination of gays and lesbians who went to the Salvation Army for help.  The gay couple was told that help would only come if they broke up and the lesbian couple and their children were told that they had two choices: One of the lesbian women could live on the street and the Salvation Army shelter would take the other lesbian and the children or… they could all sleep on the street.

The Salvation Army also gave money here in California to help Prop 8 halt the marriage rights of gays and lesbians.

Yes, I’m aware that The Salvation Army is a Christian organization whose roots are deep in the teachings of the Bible. And yes, I’m also aware that The Salvation Army is considered a “church” and thus entitled to all the tax-exempt and other misguided “gifts” our government deems to bestow upon them.  And yes, I do understand that they have every right to make their own rules and serve whomever they please. It doesn’t mean that I have to agree or that I can’t voice my total disgust with their system.

Maybe it’s just me – But I believe that an organization that labels itself a charity and collects money from anyone and everyone – should in turn give services to anyone and everyone. If I were to place money in one of those little red kettles would that bell-ringer ask me first is I was a member of the LGBTQ Community?  Would the money fly back out of the kettle because it was “unclean?”  Of course not – they take the money from everyone – but if my partner Susan and I needed their help – help would not be forthcoming without some sort of straight hoop for us to jump through.

So, just to be clear… LGBTQ money is perfectly fine to flow through the Salvation Army – but the LGBTQ Community is not worthy to partake in what help flows from our own contributions.  Does this make any sense to you – on any level?

Try and imagine how you would feel if you needed help and were turned away from a shelter simply because of who you are and who it is you fell in love with.  Charity is defined as something given to a person in need, there’s nothing in the definition about exceptions for the LGBTQ Community.  These exceptions belong entirely to The Salvation Army.

If you are considering where to give your money this year, I’m asking you to walk past the little red kettles, and please consider your local food bank, or Habitat for Humanity or any of the many different charities who offer help without any sort of prejudice.

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I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a Holiday person – however – this year for the first time in a very, very long time, I hate to see it all end.  


Yes, you heard me – I hate to see it end…

I suppose the fact that our two youngest Grandchildren had to sit in bed with us Christmas morning  until Mommy and Daddy arranged all the gifts that Santa had managed to bring down the chimney helped add more joy than I could have imagined to the festivities.

There was talk of coal in the stockings because they had been bad on occasion, and talk of how Santa could manage to find every child and the hope in their eyes of getting what they had written in their note to Santa.

I looked at these kids filled with wonder and excitement all cuddled into bed with us and I looked at Susan and I felt a peace that I had never experienced before. My heart was full.  At that moment – I knew this was the Christmas I had always wanted.  A Christmas filled with love and acceptance and happiness. No expectations, no arguments, no complications.  Just love and laughter.

The gifts all wrapped in paper were wonderful – however – it was the gift of those moments, all cuddled in that bed on Christmas morning with Susan and Teagan and Finn that will live in my heart.

This is my wish for everyone – moments of love and joy that fill your heart ♥







































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