This is the time of year when people like to reflect on the past—not just the past year they’ve had (good and bad), but looking back on Christmases of years gone by. It starts when you decorate the tree, pulling out ornaments that are older than you are. Each one has a story of it’s own that may or may not be remembered by an elder member of the family. If you’re old enough to have your own tree, you start your own traditions—each year adding to your story. That’s one of the many things I love about Christmas. The traditions you’ve grown up with, and the ones you make for yourself and for your own family are all a part of who you are.
In my last posting, I wrote that America has gotten off her intended course because she’s forgotten where she came from. By forsaking our own American history, ignoring the important foundations set up by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, and turning away from the Judeo-Christian principles that America was founded upon, our nation has lost its way.
It wasn’t long ago that Michelle Obama told us: “We’re going to have to make sacrifices, we’re going to have to change our conversation, we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history and we’re going to have to move to a different place.”
The ignorance of that statement is amazing. First of all, history, being in the past, cannot be changed. It’s a done deal. You can re-write it to your liking, but that doesn’t make it true. Secondly, our past is what it is, for better or worse. As for our traditions, why would we want to change them, as they have also made us who we are as a people? We can learn so much from the past —the people and the events that came before us—if we only take the time to learn what it wants to teach us.
One way to do that is by re-educating ourselves and our children in our foundations of freedom by going back to the originals: The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (and I personally would throw the Bible in there). Think of the founding documents like an old Christmas tune. Sometimes the original is just the best.
For example, consider “White Christmas”, probably the most-recorded Christmas song of all time. As awesome as today’s popular singers may sing it, however, only the original version by Bing Crosby really makes me wish for a white Christmas. Every time I hear the familiar opening notes, it feels like Christmas to me. Like a warm blanket on a cold night or waking up to the smell of Mom’s turkey cooking on Christmas morning, it gives me a sense of peace that whatever happens, everything will be all right.
When we return to those original principles of our founding (faith, hard work, personal responsibility, charity towards others) America will once again have that peace that our nation still has great days ahead. There are good signs all around that this is happening: the growth of the Tea Party movement, the elections of this past November, and the fact that Americans are taking an interest in the lives of our founders and in the study of the Constitution once again. If you add to that prayer for our nation and it’s leaders, things will turn around, and we will start electing leaders who think more like James Madison than Karl Marx.
“Christmas – that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance – a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved. “- Augusta E. Rundel