Tag Archives: Christmas

Profundity of Peace on Earth

 
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copyright © 2011 Betsy L. Angert. Empathy And Education; BeThink or BeThink.org

This year, Christmas and New Years Days were days of intense reflection. Perchance, that is true every year and for every individual. I cannot know what is true for others. I am only certain that on each of these dates I was immersed in a rigorous course of study. My gifts or the curriculum came wrapped in a routine event.

The lessons covered were Empathy and Education, although perhaps these were presented in reverse order. Possibly, the truer program was entropy and encouragement. Each edifies. I wonder; on each of the two days these topics were intertwined. In my attempt to analyze and understand what I needed to learn or did, I invite your assessments. Please indulge me as I share the story. Continue reading

You Are the Gift!

copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert. Empathy And Education; BeThink or BeThink.org

Perchance, on this the twenty-second commemoration of a lesson learned, it is time to reflect on our first, foremost, and greatest Teachers. More than a generation has passed. In that time, I have acquired much knowledge. Yet, I am forever reminded that the more I know, the more certain I am. I know nothing with certainty. What I once thought was the greatest treasure, a tradition I could never part with, was other than it appeared. I never imagined what would become my truth. Today, I share the tale with you. Continue reading

The Religion of “Black Friday” – Can it Survive?

By Numerian posted by Michael Collins

If consumerist Christmas is imploding, what replaces it? Does anything need to?

The mighty American marketing machine known as Christmas put on a brave front this weekend. Stores across the country opened up earlier than ever – some as early as 2:00 a.m. on Friday morning – and shoppers responded. Some consumers gave up their Thanksgiving Thursday altogether by using that day to stake their position on a sidewalk outside Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, or Sears. The rewards were high – those who were first in the store on Black Friday had the best shot at buying at deep, deep discounts. Flat screen HDTVs, which were otherwise priced at $1,000 minimum, were on sale for $300, but only on Black Friday and only to the earliest few into the store. (Image)

It’s a sign of the desperation of American retailers that they even have to market something called “Black Friday.” This used to be an obscure term used by retailers to identify the day after Thanksgiving, when shoppers came to the malls in droves to begin their Christmas shopping, thus guaranteeing retailers would be “in the black” (profitable) for the rest of the year. Most Americans don’t even know this, and are right to think there is something sinister about Black Friday, coming so soon as it does after another great American marketing campaign – Halloween. For every person shopping on Black Friday, two or three consumers stayed home, intimidated by the crowds, or disgusted with the commercial boosterism that has now overwhelmed Christmas. How, they wonder, did things get so out of hand?
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You Are the Gift!

copyright © 2009 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org

On this the twenty-first year anniversary of my first holiday season without what are thought to be tangibly traditional gifts, I can truly say that, I, Betsy, remember it well. The occasion changed my life forever.  It was October 12, 1988. Mommy, Berenice Barbara sat across from me at the kitchen table. This was just as it had been all of my days. We chatted cheerfully. Conversation between us was never superficial. Nonetheless, for us, serious contemplations were fun. A pleasure for the profound has not left me. It was and is the reason I revel in the company of my Mom.

On this one extraordinary occasion, Mommy declared my family would no longer celebrate any of the traditional holidays as we had. No gifts would be exchanged in the future. Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, the Winter Solstice, whatever we might wish to call the customary holiday, in our family home presents would not appear. None would be purchased or placed under a tree. Trinkets would not sit on a shelf, nor would these be stashed in a closet for a charitable sharing on a December day. The season of gift giving would not be ours. Continue reading