Sunday, 3 December 2006

ONE CHEER FOR CHRISTMAS

I’m not a great fan of Christmas. I don’t believe in the “event” it’s supposed to celebrate, and I heartily dislike the way in which many people do celebrate it – the greedy over-eating and excessive drinking [all those alcohol-sodden stinking bodies on public transport] and the false-jovial bonhomie of neighbours, colleagues, and total strangers who are either indifferent to one’s existence, or positively surly, during the rest of the year. And the chore of writing and receiving all those cards and usually unwanted gifts.

When I was little I enjoyed some wonderful, even magical, Christmases. Being the only child in a family of grown-ups I suppose I was rather spoiled. My parents usually used to take me to my grandmother’s, and I still remember the thrill of pleasure on getting out of the train at Harrogate, where she lived, and seeing the beautifully decorated large Christmas tree in the forecourt of the station. For much of my adult life Christmas was a difficult time of “forced cheerfulness”, because my father had died ten days before Christmas and we had to spend the next twenty years or so of my mother’s widowhood jollying her through the anniversary season.

Now we let Christmas go by in as low-key way as we can, both being in poor health with not a great deal to celebrate. But there is one aspect of Christmas that I do welcome – the opportunity to top up on charitable donations. So I’d like to suggest to my site visitors a more worthwhile quiz than ‘Ten Things I Would Never Do’: namely, ‘which charities am I giving to this Christmas?’

My own list for donations this year is: The Royal Brompton and the Royal Marsden Hospitals, for the superb medical treatment they have given me for the past two years during my ongoing illness; Marie Curie Cancer Care, for the friendship, encouragement and support I get from my weekly visits to their local hospice; the Tom ap Rhys Price Memorial Trust [see my previous blog]; The Royal National Lifeboat Institution; and the Blue Cross [for animal welfare].

So now it’s your turn!

16 comments:

zola said...

Well Anticant : I think i will donate in another way if I can. Against charity itself. I prefer cooperative efforts that are organised within a system. That is a kindly system that has no need for charity. So i will donate that.

billstickers said...

Sad, those parts about the date of Anticant's dad's death and a
Anticant's own health situation, and the way the people affected by such things are made (more?) depressed or saddened by the arrival of Christmas.

I wouldn't celebrate Christmas as the religious do. Jesus' birth and (someone please tell Mel Gibson) death are not very important, when placed beside His resurrection (except as a means for arriving at that resurrection). If they were, we would have to celebrate EVERY day of the year in commemoration of His existence on those dates.

Birth (of the deceased) and death are commemorated by sentimental humans who want to attempt to immortalise human beings by so doing.

I would celebrate Jesus' resurrection every day if I didn't have a clay brain. As it is, there is absolutely nothing in the Bible that says we should commemorate Jesus' birth. I have an inkling that the whole affair is devil-inspired. Observe this Christmas in a whiole new light and see if I'm not wrong.

anticant said...

The entire fictional Jesus story is credulously believed and commemorated by sentimental humans who want to attempt to immortalise human beings by so doing.

billstickers said...

If the entire story is fictional, there is no human being to immortalise. Besides, you don't know if it's fictional, as nor do I. I believe it's not, you believe it is. You have no higher claim to the facts than I have. Why is it that you attempt to word your responses as if you did.

In a previous sticky existence I wrote that we are all believers and all maintain a "spiritual" faith (or words to that effect). Your spiritual faith and beliefs, as far as God is concerned, is that He doesn't exist. You believe that. It's not a proven fact.

Is it the not knowing that gets your goat?

bilstickers said...

I'm donating a heartfelt and sincere prayer to my God that Anticant and his partner are completely cured of whatever physically ails them.

Here it is:

Please Lord, let Anticant and his partner witness Your Glory, by the complete cure of whatever is physically ailing them. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

anticant said...

What gets my goat is someone who 'argues' with such weaselish words. Like so many believers, you completely misunderstand the sceptic's standpoint. I do NOT 'believe' that God does not exist. I simply say that there is no convincing evidence that He does. One cannot prove a negative, but it is pssible to prove a positive. So why don't you lot do so without recourse to silly fibs like 'miracles' etc?

I'm very touched by your prayer, but fear it would require a miracle as I have leukaemia and have no idea how long I shall keep going. But then, who does? What's so special about living for ever and ever anyway? I'm 79 and have had a good innings. And it always strikes me as very odd that you lot are so concerned about prolonging this life when you believe there is a far better one awaiting us.

Thanks for the kindly thought, anyway.

billstickers said...

No. Since you probably haven't exhausted all possible avenues of investigation (have you looked down the couch cushions?), we have to assume that you have DECIDED that God doesn't exist based on a belief.

For example:

A blind man has a choice on the subject of whether rainbows exist. To believe they do (having been told by another at some point), or to believe they don't (having rejected another's testimony). Absence of evidence (for him) doesn't allow him to state that they don't exist. (Neither can he ever be sure of the testifier's qualifications for testifying - that person might be blind also.) He can only state that he doesn't believe they do.

If all were blind, would rainbows exist? Yes.

Would there be any evidence of them for humans? No.

Would that lack of evidence make the skeptics right? Wouldn't they just be non-believers?

As for the prayer, I want you to have less pain, discomfort, expense or inconvenience, etc., and more life, fun, happiness and dignified existence, etc., WHILE you're still with us. It's not all about living or dying. I just happen to believe you'd be better off without the leukaemia.

Besides, I want you to witness the Glory before you go and, perhaps, by so doing, come to believe.

billstickers said...

"One cannot prove a negative, but it is pssible to prove a positive. So why don't you lot do so without recourse to silly fibs like 'miracles' etc?"

And you appear to totally misunderstand the believer's standpoint. If we could prove it, there'd be no need for faith. Then there'd be no point in the whole exercise.

Nobody can make another believe. An individual comes to believe by Grace (we are now entering God's thoughts/ways territory, so don't ask me). I can see how you might get confused, though, given all the religious nonsense that's floating around.

You see, it doesn't matter whether Creationisn is taught in schools or not. That's puny human stuff and deals with human thoughts and ways.

A person has to get past that.

Also, I believe (since Christ told us) that miracles are in the human mind. WE create the miracles. Any Christian who disputes that has failed to understand Jesus' teachings on the subject.

anticant said...

Stop putting words into my mouth. Did you write this?:

"I should think that if someone wrote somrthing that could only be mocked, the correct course of action would be to mock WHAT WAS WRITTEN. And not to make up something and proceed to mock that."

GOTCHA.

Merkin said...

StickyBoy, no-one is bothered by your belief in imaginery friends.
My daughter sometimes thinks that she sees 'Chucky' when she has nightmares.
Far better, you think of the Glory of the Merkin when you are posting.
I will certainly think of you, in future.
Anti-Whoever has had nineteen canteens worth of shit from the likes of you.

Mary'sBoyChild said...

Will be interesting.

billstickers said...

Anticant: Not everything I write is in response to something you wrote. Did the part in question appear as if it was a response?

Merkin: "StickyBoy, no-one is bothered by your belief in imaginery friends... Far better, you think of the Glory of the Merkin when you are posting."

No-one? Well, at least you score highly on the part of the exam dealing with omniscience. Now, can you give me the names of three referees who will vouch for your benevolence quotient?

anticant said...

Merkin said:

"I will certainly think of you, in future."

Not sure I will! When I do, it will probably be as Gollum.

anticant said...

What's happened to those lists I asked for of the charities you lot are giving to this Christmas? All we've had so far is Zola saying he's against charity. H'm.

zola said...

Just to clarify if I can :-
My being against charity is based upon a socio-historical experience whereby charity is an excuse for not getting a few basic social structures in place. ( the UK springs to mind here rather than Nordic countries).

Perhaps this should not always be conflated with a more religious version that links faith and hope with charity.

I say this so as my compassion with and for you all is not lost in words without real deeds.

anticant said...

Zola, I agree with you in principle, but sadly we live in an age when charity is still needed. I ran a charity for several years, and have been a trustee of others. Like every other sphere, the charity world is a bit of a rat's nest, with some pretty dodgy characters exploiting the legal loopholes and so forth. But the majority of charities are, I think, honestly run and it's a matter of knowing enough about them to feel comfortable about supporting them.

A few years ago, when there was an earthquake in, I think, Armenia, I sent some money to a Russian bank which had opened an appeal fund. I subsequently read that a lot of it had been syphoned off in a scam. I hope that what I gave to the tsunami appeal was better managed.