I got to be honest. I'm a failure today. I've been sitting at my computer on and off for two days trying to write some cheerful and loving Christmas messages for my blog. But I just can't.
Yes, I have loving memories of my Italian parents and our Christmas Eve rituals that started Christmas Eve afternoon. Friends and family dropping over early in the day. Dinner consisted of vegetables, and a dried fish called bac-a-la. Sorry if I'm spelling that wrong. There were no foods from the animal. I remember Mom wouldn't even let my two sisters and I have a glass of milk.
Then off to Midnight Mass. Yeah, even us youngsters could stay up late to attend Midnight Mass.I was usually one of the Mass servers; we were called altar boys. Then back to our house where Dad's brothers and sisters, along with Mom sisters would come over. And the feast began. Everything from the pasta, sausages, even down to the deserts were home made. Hams and turkeys were brought out. It was so festive.
Later the young ones would fall asleep on the floor or couches, while the older family members would commiserate about everything from politics to religion to every imaginable topic. Youngsters played games till they fell asleep.
Yesterday my wife and I went to 4:30 Christmas Eve Mass. It was beautiful; sung by our young parishioners. During Mass I glanced at my wife to see tears streaming down her face. After Mass, walking to the car, the tears started again. She said, "instead of feeling joy, all I could think of was the 20 young children at Newton, CT. They were the same age as the youngsters singing Mass today". I was speechless, and all I could think to say was, "they're with God now wearing their new wings".
It seems the culture of our country has changed. The "shock" treatment almost seems to be the norm today. I have a close friend I've known since I was a teen-ager. We're both 77, and we tease one another calling each other "old and obsolete". The other morning, driving to the gym, I was listening to a favorite Christmas carol. It reminded me so very much of the things I wrote about in the above paragraphs. I walked into the gym, and loudly playing on the XM-Serius radio were songs that I could not understand a single lyric. I could, however, easily understand the loud cursing on the rap songs.
It was early, and no one else was in the gym. I changed the music channel to some pop '70's music, when in walked a young man that looked to be over six feet and 200 pounds. Without asking, he changed the music channel to the loud heavy rap-cursing songs. I changed the music back to my old '70's pop. The young man walked over to me, and towering over me remarked, "hey dude, I can't work out to that stuff", in a terse strong voice. I just turned and walked away, and he changed the music back to his ever-loving rap cursing music.
The thing that stuck out in my mind was he was young enough to be my grandson, and big enough to throw me through the window. He showed no respect for the old man in front of him.
But to me he was a big coward. If I were his age and as big you can bet he wouldn't have been so demanding to me.
So, my wife and family and close friends made my Christmas wonderful. My religion allowed me to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But outside of that it was so difficult to be joyous with all the tragedies going on in the world and most of all the slaying of twenty young angels in Newtown, CT.
The outlook for 2013 does not look promising with increasing entitlements, Obamacare, higher taxes, higher unemployment, and a House & Senate that do not want to work to solve our fiscal cliff fiasco. It seems we need a higher power to intervene.
So, I ask and plead with all of you to bow your heads and ask the guy upstairs to help lead the way to resolve our country's heavy burdens. We're worth it.
And that's Politics with Pete for today....God Bless our country....and our troops