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December 1 (24 days to go): Chuck Kraemer ~ A Christmas Ode

This might seem an odd piece with which to start my Advent Calendar, until you know that for over 30 years Chuck Kraemer’s poem ha been an annual staple of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition holiday broadcasts and my own personal holiday tradition.

I’m not a fan of the over-commercialization of Christmas. Neither am I fixated on the “Reason for the Season” movement that seeks to put Christianity back into a holiday that started out as a Pagan seasonal festival.

For all that Christmas and the associated holidays bring with them, spending time in stores spending our money on things we generally can live without the rest of the year seems especially excessive given our current financial climate and another impending government shutdown. So while I will celebrate the old standards in this blog, I also want to recall that we often invest in the unnecessary.

Three years ago today I lost someone, who I could arguably call a brother, to a long-term misdiagnosed illness. Since then, I’ve lost other family and friends, many of whom were as under-insured as he was, and with whom I’d generally lost touch.

I suggest that while we’re out there indulging in consumerism, we also remember why we want to give things to our loved ones, and that perhaps it’s not the things that matter even remotely as much as the people who will receive them.

Enough soapboxing for now. And away we go…

Published in12-December