I never much liked Christmas. I didn't have what you would call an 'idylic' childhood, and though it wasn't all doom and gloom, the holiday season became infused with bad feeling and something I would avoid at all costs. My claim to Christmas fame was that I once worked 8 Christmas' in a row to avoid having to deal with it. Yes, that's 8-years of Humbug-ism. Scrooge would be proud.
My feelings toward the holiday season didn't change until I re-invented myself (ie: got married) and began to change the way I looked at, and particiapted in, Christmas.
I have joked a lot about how I hate people, and it's mostly not a joke. Along the way in this game called 'life' I am forced to play daily, I have become increasingly numb to my fellow man, society, and the suffering contained therein. As I am not a bad person I found that the kind, caring streak that is within me had to be directed somewhere and so I focus on animals. Each year She Who Will Be Named Later and I (twice if we can afford it) give money to one or two animal shelters. Without fail we always send Heathlawn Animal Shelter in Co. Galway, Ireland a Christmas donation.
They are a wonderful charity who do excellent work. I got my Lurcher (Collie/Greyhound cross) from them lo so many years ago, and to sound like a sappy pet owner- he changed my life. I won't bore you with the story but I've hauled that furry bastard across the globe (at great expense) so my committment to him is, to say the least, strong.
I was going to simply use this post to ask that you remember whatever charity/cause you belive in, and give a little. It isnt' hard. Buy your family a few less gifts. Even a small amount can make a big difference to some of these charities but in the process of writing this post, I tabbed over to the Galway SPCA website to get the link.... and this. Just when I thought that my hatred of mankind couldn't get any stronger. Heathlawn Animal Sanctuary was broken into and 5 dogs were stolen. The place was trashed.
Really? For fuck sake- really? Some of the dogs had just had surgery and needed medical care.
These are animals that were thrown away to begin with. Left for dead. Beaten. Abused. Now someone breaks in to steal them? They are up for adoption for fuck sake. You don't actually have to steal them. If I believed in God I'd pray you, and your fucking caravans burn in hell (small bit of guesswork on my part on who might have stole them, and possibly a reference only the Irish will get).
Trying to apply logic to the actions of people who do these (and worse) things is futile. They don't think like us, they don't act like us, and they aren't, essentially, human like us. Most of us will never truly understand them. And that is a good thing, trust me.
So this is Chirstmas, and what have you done? Cheesy Lennon song lyrics, or valid point? Don't forget that there are all sorts of creatures, great and small, human and not, who could use a hand all year long, but if you do forget, then try to remember them at Christmas. Heathlawn Animal Sanctuary takes paypal donations and the transaction is safe and secure (I've done it a few times and have just made my own Christmas donation of 100.00 Euro)....... for anyone who may be interested.
It is important to not focus on the negative- though that can be hard. The news, in general, sells stories that aren't happy but there are kind people, people who care, and people who make a difference every day. Let's think about that and end on a happy note, shall we?
Have a safe, fun holiday, everyone, and for those who are working throughout the season in our hospitals, prisons, police cars, ships, tanks, planes, or on the ground in a foreign land take care, and thank you.