Saturday, December 23, 2017


photo by Kristin
   Children are at the center of this season, the holy infant at its nexus and millions of dear ones in families. But there are places where the festive lights are dim or gone.
Photo by Meredith Kohut for the New York Times
      Children in Venezuela are dying because they can not get infant formula or food. In the scene above a mother mourns her three month old, who died for lack of food in a modern nation.
       Many of us will spend these days feasting, celebrating, enjoying home and family. Not everyone is so fortunate. I hope you will take a couple of minutes during the holidays to watch these very short videos. They will move and they will inspire you.
       This first short is heart warming. I call it Newborns in a Basket
       There is a beauty in the faces of children, a true gift this season. Listen to Liam Neesom as you watch. 

        Storms and fire have devastated the lives of US children this year. War and displacement is at historic levels and the greatest victims are the children. The baby who's birth Christians celebrate would later as a rabbi say one of the greatest offenses possible is to harm a child. Ignoring children in need does great harm.  The singer Pink takes up their case-What about Us?

       Children are indeed the center of this time, but that rabbi also reminded us about the downtrodden and heavy burdened.
Photo by Jae C. Hong, AP

          Share your joy. Even a word or a smile can be a gift.

          What about them? What about them all? Charles Dickens said it well when he had Tiny Tim close the Christmas Carol, "God bless us, everyone!"

          See you down the trail.


  1. Wonderful, this and Father Martin's essay "A Tough Life in Nazareth" should required reading and viewing this Christmas.

    Thanks Tom and Merry Christmas to you and yours

  2. I wish this works, Tom. I've seen UNESCO and the like promote similar things over the last half century. We, the children of the world, are worse off in terms of poverty, war, disease they they were in 1960.
    I wish I knew what the solution was. I wish it was enough that we could each say with our donation that we helped one child. There are millions of children starving, many in Syria, in a war of our support, if not making.
    I feel like scrooge here, but tomorrow, when we are at are ease with a glass of good zinfindel or cabernet, there are kids who have empty stomachs of milk, or rice.
    Wish it were different.

    1. it is by no mean scrooge-ish to harangue with the truth. i do not consider children to be at the center of importance since all people were formerly children, which is to say that yes children are at the center, but i take exception that perhaps it would mean that adults are given lesser consideration. maybe it is because children are beautiful and cute. maybe it is because they give one the intoxicated hope that things could be different or better. One look at the adults that we failed years ago tells us that our work in the past has been gravely insufficient. we would rather scrap all of those failed experiments, adults, and start over with something cute, new, and guiltless.

      we are all, every one of us, complicit with a litany of national crimes. all comfort and value that we derive from an infrastructure composed of hegemonic destruction further indoctrinates us into this cult.

      i do not at all consider it scrooge-like to harangue the moment with the truth. any chance you get, rub it into your own face, that we are complicit with everything we superficially disdain even as our cores purr on a diet of that very thing we contrive to disdain.

  3. Thanks for this Christmas reality check. Not everyone is as privileged as we are and it's good to be reminded of just how fortunate we are. Merry Christmas to you and your family.