Many of us start looking for the perfect gift around this time. (If you're one of those people who's had your shopping done since July 12th, I still love you.) There are lots of ways to go about finding things to make those around us happy, but I've been thinking of something you might not have considered.
Why not give people the right to be different from you?
Consider if you will how much stress--family, community, national, and international--would disappear if we didn't insist on being right.
Football fans call rival teams terrible names, and their fans must be stupid if they cheer for them.
Men and women make nasty jokes about the other gender's supposed weaknesses.
Kids take note of the differences between them and conclude Not Like Me means bad. I don't think they come to that belief on their own.
Internet philosophers speculate on the oddness--and therefore the wrongness--of this person or that group.
People of different cultures are lumped into one category and labeled as wrong without the slightest attempt to understand that their system works for them, and besides, individuals within the culture aren't exactly alike any more than we are. (I never go commando when I go clubbing--oh, wait--I never go clubbing. Still, that's the view some around the world have of Americans.)
And politicians? Their view has to be correct because, well, it's us against them. So vote for me and I'll put all those wrong people in their place.
What if for Christmas we gave everyone the right to think and act differently from what we as individuals call normal, as long as they aren't harming others?
What if for Christmas we didn't judge? I think I read somewhere God's supposed to take care of that.
BONUS: Because you made it this far into my philosophical rant, I'm posting a recipe to try:
1 cup unsalted butter (I used salted and it worked fine)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
24 graham cracker squares
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line a 10x15 inch cookie sheet with foil and lightly grease the foil.
Place crackers on the sheet in one layer. Sprinkle pecans evenly over the top and set aside.
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and stir until mixture boils. Boil for one minute.
Pour mixture evenly over crackers & pecans. Bake for ten minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place hot cookie sheet in the freezer. After 1 hour, remove and break back into pieces. Needs no refrigeration.
*In case you're wondering, I'm taking Sundays off, so there's no Day 5