Why Christmas can be such a 'pain'...literally

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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 12/23/2008 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
I am probably the one of the oldest fibromites on this forum...a dinosaur at 62.  I can remember the 'good ole' days when:
You cut down a tree three or four days before Christmas and decorated it with strings of pop corn and cranberries and other hand made ornaments that we made in school.  Can't do that anymore in many schools because it might offend some kid that doesn't celebrate Christmas.
We went caroling on Christmas eve with other neighborhood kids...can't do that now either..you might be looking at a face full of pepper spray.
We would take one whole evening walking through the city streets looking at the store decorations that were elaborate and actually pertained to the season and not half naked women dressed in red underwear wearing a Santa hat.
The Season started in December...not in early October so that you find Christmas items intermingled with the Halloween Candy.
You could buy a box of Christmas cards with a religious theme in ANY store...I was in Kinney Drug last week and there was a women in a wheel chair trying to look through the shelves of cards and was knocking them all down because she couldn't reach them...I picked them up and asked if I could help her find something.  She said "all I want is a box of cards that I can send to my church friends...not with frosty the snowman on them or rudolph..."  I couldn't find any religious theme cards for her.
Gifts were adequate and pragmatic and my relatives didn't have to spend a fortune trying to find something we didn't all ready have in triplicate.
We had a small creche on the front lawn and no one sprayed it with rustoleum, nor did anyone come around with a yard stick to see if it was set up on the ten feet of frontage that the city owned.
My parents went to our Christmas pageants that WAY BACK THEN could actually include a nativity scene and we could sing Oh Holy Night.
And...Every retailer could say Merry Christmas to a customer without the fear of being fired.
No wonder we are all so stressed...and by the way, my husband is Jewish and I have several other religions practiced within my family, including a cousin who is Hindu, so my comments are not coming from my intolerence of any religion but my own.  I have respect for them all and would never dream of depriving them of their rituals and celebrations. (just saw on Fox news that you can't take Christmas cookies into a federal or state building this year as gifts...and that the Capitol Library took down its tree because someone objected to some ornament that was religious in nature. Also that some of the potted Christmas trees around the Lincoln Memorial where stolen and replaced with Fetivus Poles)
I just read some of our posts and I am very sad at what some of us have to do to get through the whole ordeal with even a modicum of pleasure.  We hurt, we ache, we love and look forward to being with family yet so many of us can't wait until it's over because the process has become so intense and overwhelming.  I had a friend call last night that said she spent three hours in a store trying to find a gift for her son's day care provider...something that wouldn't 'offend' the provider or any of the parents that would be there for their little 'gift exchange' as last year some parent got upset at a box of candy that had a Christmas Angel on the box!  Can you belieive it???  WHY BOTHER???
I say get rid of the holiday completely if it is so offensive to such a small handful of people who get to decide what I can display on my front lawn.  Call it "Shopping Frenzy Season"...and may it start in July.  If it is no longer allowed to be a religious holiday then get rid ot it!
The Constitution was founded on Religious freedom...where has it gone?
I know we aren't supposed to get into religion or politics on this forum so if anyone objects, feel free to have this post pulled.  As far as I know, we are still allowed to agree to disagree in the country!
Many blessing for you all and may your fibro become nothing but white noise on the 25th!

fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

Post Edited (vestabula) : 12/23/2008 6:29:57 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 127
   Posted 12/23/2008 7:06 AM (GMT -7)   
hello donna, I dont normally come on this site,[ I am asthmatic] but I was looking on fibro site for my husband who we suspect may have the condition and I saw your topic and wanted to let you know that here in the UK we have so many restrictions at Christmas...just like you have.For instance....if you hang a wreath on your door and it falls off and injures a tradesman you could be prosecuted.Years ago 1960s when we were kids my sisters and I collected wild holly and made wreathes to sell to the local villagers for a few pence...not any more...selling without a license is taboo.We went carol singing with three huge oil lanterns to collect for the old folk in the area...no longer as oil lamps are banned incase someone gets burnt and sues.You can no longer pack up shoe boxes of goodies for the elderly just incase someone gets food poisoning and as once I baked a christmas cake for the local elderly in our cottage hospital that is now banned ....health and safety rules ...I might poison them.But if I give a big fat cheque to the local hospital that is ok!!!!and I will be in the local paper for my wonderful donation...wow it makes me so angry.This year my hubby and I are doing what we want to do and going to a luxury hotel by the sea for christmas and then away to some dear friends for new year.The kids and grandkids will have to cook there own meal this year as I am tired of doing all the work for little thanks.Presents are limited to cash or vouchers[the grandchildren have every gissmo on the planet]and I will not be babysitting this boxing day and new year but kicking up my heels and having a ball..no doubt a bit of a wheezing ball but I will go for it...so Donna its universal...christmas is commercialised and no longer spiritual...so take heart..put your feet up and be happy...luv and a merry christmas from wendy

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Date Joined Nov 2008
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   Posted 12/23/2008 7:27 AM (GMT -7)   

I know what you mean, Wendy...just locally in my small little town a man was rummaging through a trash can behind a restaurant and ate something that gave him food poisoning...he sued the resturant and won because  there was no warning on the trash barrel that it might contain contaminated food.  I feel sorry for the man who had to be searching for something to eat in the trash, but we have SIX charities here that give out free food twice a week..I know because I give to them.  We have thrift store that has a table piled with bread, rolls and other items stores donate everyday. Sooooo...don't feel that bad!  We have a Seven Eleven here that has a sign that reads:  Do not climb in the dumpster!

Oh well





fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
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   Posted 12/23/2008 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I understand completely. I believe people shouldnt get upset, but rather we should respect everyones religion. So, it we have Christmas trees, have menorahs as well...ya know. Its so simple to just be respectful. I was in the Dollar store yesterday to get a Christmas card for a friend, I found it really cool that they had a section of Hanukkah cards as well!

To be honest, Im really not sure what I am. I just like all the holidays, regardless of what religion they belong to! lol My mom is Baptist and my dad Catholic... we dont ever go to church, but I like the idea of being able to believe what I want. The closest thing I found was Reform Judaism. So, I suppose I think of myself as Jewish, but I still celebrate Christmas....I dont understand why it has to matter...

If you dont celebrate Christmas, ignore it. I dont know. I think people enjoy making things complicated. If only everyone could work together! People enjoy argument and fighting. Its human nature. But, I prefer trying to fight for an agreement!

Just my opinion! It gets annoying...... I got to run, Take Care!
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   "Cracks in the concrete are just reminders that you fall apart no matter how strong you are"
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 12/23/2008 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
I remember, years ago, when people in middle America had no tolerance for others of different races, religions and ethnicities. This was during the so called good old old days of Christmas.

My elementary school was over 70% Jewish. Yet, non of the Jewish mom's complained when we sang religious songs and non of the Christian mother's when we sang music of the Jewish tradition. I really appreciated the fact that I had extra days off from school during their holidays since the students and teachers did not attend classes on those days.

Of course growing up in a city of many different ethnic groups, New York, made a major difference.

I still meet people to this very day who have never met a Black person such as myself and are shocked to find out that I am nice and, heaven forbid, intelligent.

I do not think there was such a thing as the better days of Christmas. It was capitalistic when I was a child, and is highly commercial now--the toys are just more expensive. Each of us just had to have a barbie doll. It was a status symbol. Every one of us compared the value of our gifts. I remember feeling bad for poor children, who were not Jewish, who received nothing because their parents could not afford gifts.

As a child, growing up in a family that had a diverse group of friends, I remember how monocultural most of America was at the time. Let's face it, the civil right's movement was in the 50s and 60s. Mixed marriages between Black and white folks was illegal in some states in the 80s. Discrimination still exists today.

We, as folks who are not as healthy and young as some of us used to be, know how people think the ill are invisible. Ageism against the elderly is rampant. Many are placed in nursing homes with sub standard care. My children would dance and perform in senior citizen's homes during the holidays. They were well appreciated by all of the residents and told so regardless of their religion. One resident told my son's violin teacher that she had never met a (another word for African Americans which I refuse to use) child before.

I guess growing up African American has tainted my view of the so called wonderful holiday and other times. Experiencing discrimination has made me sensitive to others Yes, this season is far too commercial for my tastes. However, my children did not receive the latest in video games, ever (They are the gages of 17, 21 and 23). They will tell you that in order to have them, someone else would have to give it. In addition, our friends knew better.

I choose to purchase gifts that would stretch their imaginations or foster creativity. Television was not a part of thier early lives. Yes, they were different from all of the kids on the block but what else is new?

I think it is up to families to set the tone of their own holidays. Fortunately, we lived in a neighborhood where holiday displays were appreciated. It is up to me to keep our Christmas quiet and respectful. As a mother, I can set the tone of our celebration. My ex's family drank lots of alcohol during this season and after noticing that, I kept my children away. I choose, amidst all of the complaints to rear them holiday sobriety.

In areas like New York and Chicago, you can still find beautiful holiday displays in the store windows. I grew up watching the Macy's Day Parade. My grand nieces and nephews still do so even thought eh adults in the family abhor the cold.

We can find hate good in our seasons by keeping true to ourselves. What others do does not define our happiness. I am glad that people who would not have been allowed to shop in stores because of their race, now can. They can eat in restaurants also. I am grateful for the advances that permit the handicapped to live inclusively in our society. I am really thankful for curb cuts on sidewalks and am amazed that they did not exist when I was a child.

I guess that with improvements in equality we have to swallow the bitter pills of change also. The unintended consequence of equal religious expression has lead to bitter battles. Maybe someday we will figure it all out.

Happy Holidays Friends,

Gotta love this Internet

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 12/23/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Vestabula, and the others in this thread....Merry Christmas to you all!

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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 844
   Posted 12/23/2008 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
 Thank you Donnaeil for bringing things to our attention.  As usual you make us open our eyes to a different situation.
I grew up in a big city and had black friends.  My family were born and raised in a small southern town.  When I moved to the little town that I still live in now, they were all the same ethnic background and even the same religion. 
I never saw such prejudice people in my whole life.  This was back in early 60's so you know just how things were back then.  If you weren't an old time Baptist they thought you weren't going to heaven and sorry to say their still a lot of older people that think that way.  How sad!
Needless to say I ended up with one black girl in my graduating class that came when we were Juniors.  She felt so all alone and my heart went out to her.  We became dear friends and after a while most all of my friends learned to love her too.
I'm sorry to say that most of the county that I live in still doesn't except a different race and for sure another religion. 
I'm not tooting my horn, but I have been on a soap box for a long time, trying to change people's outlook on race.  I think I've convinced a lot of ppl. about looking into someone's heart and not what color they are. 
We now have a multi-race little 2 year old child in our church and we all love her dearly.  So they have come a long way since the 60's, but these are ppl that have been around me for 17 years, since my husband has pastored this little country church and they have heard my views many times.
I can see changes in the younger generations though.  I'm hoping and praying that one day the prejudice will be a thing of the past.
In meantime I want to tell you that I have read your post a lot since I started in June and I feel a bond with you because you are a great example of what I try to teach the ignorant ppl that don't know anymore than what has been handed down to them.
Thank you for being a friend. 
I look forward to more of your post. 
God Bless!
Of all the things that I have lost, I miss my mind the most!!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 12/23/2008 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh Southernlady,

Thank you. thank you so much for saying that you notice and read my posts. I appreciate you understanding, openness and kindness.

I would love to visit your church someday.

You stated: ". . . a great example of what I try to teach the ignorant ppl that don't know anymore than what has been handed down to them."

This is a welcome and enlightening statement.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1683
   Posted 12/24/2008 4:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Donnaeil, that was absolutely fascinating to read, coming from another country and another age bracket- you write beautifully. what you said really made me think- thankyou so much for sharing this- well written, well said, and very timely.
God bless,
Maz XX
            'He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.' (Psalm 147:3)                  
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Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1081
   Posted 12/24/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I feel we are about to turn the corner on tolerance and not a minute to soon either. Tolerance and inclusion of others who are somewhat different than mainstream white America I'v waited a long time to experience. My mother married an Afro-american man in the late eighties and although they called ahead and made a reservation at one of the "classy"restaurants in town, when they arrived they were told, there'd been a mistake, there was a booking error and they wouldn't be able to dine there. This in fact happened several times also, while travelling. They made reservations and paid in advance and when they arrived at the hotel, they were told "sorry, there's been some kind of mistake, they were sold out. Now, thank goodness we have (almost) a man and woman in the White House, who I can't wait to see them run those greedy Texans from he far right, back to their ranches. I guess I have biases too, I don't care for greedy liars.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 12/24/2008 7:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear All
Merry Christmas, I have enjoyed reading your post this morning, i so wish that everyone would be so understanding as you all arewhat a world it would be.  The one Thing we are to have in this world is choice and that is being taken away from us, race does not matter that is only a color that does not make you any different from me. What you beleive is a choice you make and you right to do so.
I wish people would look at it the way the rest of you do let us have our Christmas and if you don`t like it stay home  and by the way when we have Christmas week off from work instead of taking that time off and injoying it , you can work,( nono )sorry.
I never use to feel this way but years ago when I first started working i was put with a man and he was gay, my first thought was not nice.  Everyday I came to work i was put with him, I cannot tell you what he taught me and i will never forget him, he left work afew months after i came and yes he died of AIDS. I could cry when I think of him and to this day i call him friend.
I very much belive God uses alot of different ways to show us to love everyone the way he does, He looks at sin not color.
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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2858
   Posted 12/24/2008 8:26 AM (GMT -7)   

My husband is Jewish, and up until a few years ago, was not welcomed in some places in this country...like country clubs or resorts.  He applied for and was accepted to teach at a rather prominent Christain Univesity then the offer was recinded once they found out he was Jewish, as they thought his  religious beliefs would interfer with his teaching ability.  Statistics and Business Management?  I find this amusing as we looked at the student profile and 1/3 of them were not Christian. Another Universtiy in NC hired him over the phone and when we went there for his meeting with the Dean, they dismissed him immediately as our last name sounds Spanish and they thought they were hiring a minority to satisfy their quota.  So there you have it...predjudices lurk in every element of our society.  My husband happily celebrates Christmas with me and my family and as we speak, his Menorah is on the dining room table.  I accept and cherish them both and after 20 years of marriage we have never had a fight over religion.  By the way, my husband had many family members die in the gas chambers of **** Germany.  His grandfathers entire family was wiped out.  Somewhow he is not resentful and just cherishes their pictures that he has in an album.  He will NEVER forget, however.




fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium

Post Edited (vestabula) : 12/24/2008 10:53:19 AM (GMT-7)

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