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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Gift of Coffee and The Season

First off, let me apologize. I have had a very hectic few weeks and there has been a lot going on during my Sundays. The Sunday Sip will be back this week. Sorry about the informal hiatus!

But, anyway, today I will be talking about something that I read this week. In fact, it was a comment on last week's blog post (entitled "Five Dollars Well Spent") that read:
I like that entry quite a bit because I know how you feel about Christmas.
Quite well, actually. So I want you to view it from an outsiders perspective. I
know how you sometimes feel about the human race and would like you to take a
moment and think about what you did for her. Is that why we have the pc holiday
month? So that there are more opportunities for things like this? That's human
spirit. Now I have shared my thoughtfulness with you.

This comment was written by my near and dear friend Kat. And it stopped me for a second. If any of you know me well, you know that (though I do occasionally fail in this regard) being politically correct is on the top of my Must Do List. I see no reason for political incorrectness as it is, quite often, the word we attach to a blatantly rude or improperly slanted comments. Nevertheless, I seemed to take a negative tone about the PC Holiday Month last week. And now I find myself corrected.

Kathryn, I have to agree with you. That is why we have the PC Holiday Month. Under the guise of simple, festive generosity, we open up our hearts for one month of the year. And we touch all of these people, regardless of religion or holiday.

I got in an argument with someone a few weeks ago about whether or not it is acceptable for President Obama to throw a Hanukkah party. This person was of the mind that it was an egregious waste of money. I thought (especially since the party is part of the president's budget) that it was a wonderful gesture. All we hear around December is Christmas, Christmas, Christmas! I celebrate Christmas, but why can't I extend myself? Why can't I wish someone a Happy Hanukkah or a Happy Diwali or a Happy Yule?

It is in these simple words and small gifts that we build bridges. Every since man woke up and became aware of himself, human beings have tried to separate themselves from other human beings. They make excuses like nationality, religion, race, ethics, and so on to justify this rejection of our common human experience.

And yet we find ourselves with the Politically Correct Holiday Month which is nothing more than an excuse to make someone feel loved and appreciated regardless of whether they fast for Ramadan, light candles of Hanukkah, burn wishes for Yule, decorate their homes for Kwanzaa, light lamps for Diwali or sing hymns for Christmas.

They call it the Christmas spirit, but really it's just the human spirit. My mom was in Starbucks last week, and a man held the door for her. So she bought his coffee for him. And he bought coffee for the next person. And they bought coffee for the next person and it continued until my mom had witnessed fourteen coffees bought for fourteen different people. Maybe it was their good deed for the year or maybe they thought Santa was watching.

But I think its safe to say that they just wanted to give the gift of coffee and The Season to someone.

Happy Holidays, Coffee Lovers. May your peppermint mochas be strong, your families joyful, and your homes bright and warm.
-Michael

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