Category Archives: Santa

"HEADS UP" America! Drones are the Season's Hottest Gift

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

Yessiree, I always love the Christmas season.  It is my  favorite time of the year for sure. I always, “tongue in cheek”, brag that I still believe in Santa. The truth is, down deep inside of me there is a place that only I can go. I call it Stillness. When I travel to Stillness, Santa is always there. So is the  most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever seen and a lifesize manger with moving people (guess who).  I could go on about my favorite place but I have already revealed too much personal info and, if I am being monitored by the NSA or CIA or Starbucks, I could be profiled. Anyway, I have been momentarily kicked out of Stillness. My reality check started with the Sunday newspaper ads.

Trying to acquire some knowledge about today’s toy market (in case I need something to discuss with my grandkids at Christmas dinner) I flip open the Sunday flyer from Target. Immediately stunned, I know I must be looking at the ad of the year; it reads… “ready for takeoff” —-“Drones are the season’s hottest gift”. I can feel the instant pulsing coming from my temples.

The advertisement is for the Parrot Airborne Nightime mini-drone that flies in the dark with two headlights and an embedded camera. The price is $129.99. Next to the drone ad is a picture of a Darth Vader talking boom box. This page is for kids. Drones for kids??? What??? Oh, before I forget, all that is required to operate the drone is a smart phone or a tablet. Probably every kid in America over five has one of those. And some of those little tykes are pretty tech-savvy (temple pounding begins amping up).

   bestdronesforkids.com

I took a break and tried to get back to  Stillness. It took me until Monday afternoon to get back. Tuesday morning, bright and early and calm and tranquil, I scan the front page of the freshly tossed newspaper. On page one is the picture of a drone. A nice story accompanies the picture. “Santa bringing Drones—You have to register it”.  Yup, it seems that new FAA regulations are in force since Monday because first time flyers must register before flying their drones. You can register online but you have to be 13 or over. That should keep things safe. Headache has begun.

They expect that more than 800,000 drones will be sold this Christmas. Drone owners “are aviators (I had this ridiculous notion that you needed a bit of training to be classified as an aviator) and with that title comes a great deal of responsibility.” U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Fox, said in a statement. “Ya think, Mr. Secretary?” And the FAA estimates that 1.6 million drones will be sold in 2015, more than half in the fourth quarter (in this case ‘fourth quarter’ may be a synonym for Christmas time). In less than two weeks we will have almost 2 million “responsible” drone owners of all ages filling the nation’s skies with their personal flying machines. Ah, progress.

There is a neat little caveat at the end of the advertisement for the Parrot Airborne Nightime mini-drone. It reads, “Prior to piloting your Parrot Drone please make sure you have authorization to pilot in the area you intend to fly. In some areas flying a drone is not permitted ie; such places as military bases, parks, cities and airports. Before starting, check local regulations prior to flying.”
For more information, visit  www.knowbeforeyoufly.org   (I did not make this up).

With less than two weeks to go before Christmas, Barack Obama and his supporters are talking about gun-control and climate change. Islamic terrorists are killing people all over the world including Americans right here at home and all of that has taken a back seat to politics. But now–we have approval for personal drones that kids will be flying near highways, cities, schools and airports, etc. All they need is a five dollar registration fee. I can leave my house right now and go to Walmart or Target and buy a drone for less than a hundred bucks, register online for five dollars more and I am now an ‘aviator’ capable of flying my own drone.. Imagine the possibilities.

I will have to pray and work very hard if I ever want to get back to Stillness. As long as I don’t get hit by a drone coming from the park two blocks away, I know I will make it. I am asking Santa for a football helmet.

                                 ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

Being Anti-Christmas Equals Permanent Denial

 by 

I admit it. I get pretty ticked off at some of the anti-Christmas stuff that is dumped on us Christmas lovers this time of the year.  If you do not like Christmas, if you do not believe in Christmas, if you are anti-Christian, an atheist, agnostic, or even a Vulcan,  why do you give a ‘flying reindeer’  what we Christmas lovers love?  Why can’t you let us enjoy our creches with the innocent baby and Christmas trees and  wide-eyed children filled with the awe of an impending  visit by Santa on Christmas Eve? How in the name of candy canes and snowflakes can these things bother you? Hey man, I don’t care if you don’t roast chestnuts on an open fire or do not drink eggnog. Why do you care if I and the millions like me, do?  But a heavy weight has finally been lifted from my shoulders. I have finally  accepted the fact that you anti-Christmas people have been around for centuries (ever hear of King Herod) and are never going to stop your ranting and raving. Yes, this Christmas I am at peace with you.
Christmas is so much more than a ‘certain day’ each year. It is about faith and love and goodness and giving and sharing and the twinkle in the eyes of children and songs about  peace and joy and angels and poor people (shepherds) and rich people (the wise men) and the star, the brightest and  most wonderful star ever seen.  For over two thousand years this  star has lit the way for all  blood-lines as they traveled across the centuries. It is about  Salvation–the Salvation available to each and every one of us who has ever lived. So, whatever  is the problem with all of you  anti-Christmas, anti-God, anti-Jesus people who are somehow “offended” by KINDNESS and GOODNESS and LOVE? Why do you want to ruin it for the vast majority of people who LOVE Christmas and all it stands for? How can you be so  self-centered and self-absorbed that you are willing to snatch  joy and happiness right from the hearts of millions of children? What is wrong with you supposedly tolerant, caring, people?  I don’t get it. How can you hate Christmas?  Well, I have decided that you cannot hate Christmas. If you say that you do–you are living in a state of permanent denial.
So, for this Catholic man who believes that the reason for Christmas is the Virgin birth of Christ the Savior  this  is the Christmas that I have come to peace with  you  anti-Christmas folks, all of you. Filled with the “Bah-Humbug” spirit you have tried to bludgeon all of us  Christmas lovers  into submission. And you and your kind have been doing it for centuries, even before Dickens had Scrooge mouth “bah-humbug” back in 1843. It is old news folks, very old news.
Please know that this Christmas this believer will  say a prayer for all of you who do not believe. I will pray that  you catch a glimpse of that star that shines so bright.  Maybe a droplet of its light will find its way into  your heart.  If you do happen to catch a glimpse of it don’t turn away. You will have ignored a beautiful Christmas moment. You will have chosen the proverbial “hunk of coal” over a “sweet candy cane”. I swear, it is true. So keep your eyes and hearts open and Merry Christmas to EVERYONE.  For me, this Christmas is truly Peace on Earth no matter what anyone says or does.

Be Thankful for Thanksgiving–It is a Beautiful Thing

by Larry Peterson

Right now, a few days before “Turkey Day”, there are many people with very little money and the anxiety levels within them are rapidly increasing. They see the ads for ‘Black Friday’ all over the TV screen. They know Santa will be firing up the eight reindeer in less than a month. If they have children they desperately want him to visit their homes on Christmas Eve.  Let’s face it, kids are kids and Santa is Santa; to them the world of political correctness sans Christmas has no place in their little, anxious hearts. The kids KNOW it is Christmas time and no anti-Christmas hyperbole can change that fact. The stress this can cause for a mommy and daddy who might be struggling just to make rent can sometimes be overwhelming. And what about the single parents with only one small income? Providing a Christmas for their kids can be one of the most stress filled times of the entire year. But first comes Thanksgiving. This is a GOOD thing. In fact, this may be the BEST Day of the year for everyone, even those with kids and no money in their pockets. 

Why do I LOVE Thanksgiving? Why do I think it is the best day of the year?  Because it is the one day of the year when we pause and simply give thanks for all that we have even if it is just a little. A job, good health, a cancer in remission, connecting with a long lost relative, the birth of a child, surviving a natural disaster, there are so many things that we can be thankful for. People from every economic situation can have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens and prisons serve turkey. Folks who have little money are able to receive turkey baskets from various charitable organizations so they can have a turkey dinner at home with their families. No-one in America needs to go hungry on Thanksgiving Day. You do not need to purchase gifts. All you have to do is show up, hang out, eat and enjoy the uplifted spirit of family and friends that are with you, even if they are strangers in a soup kitchen. This year even the victims of the recent tornadoes in Illinois and Indiana  will have a turkey dinner available to them no matter what their situation. It will be something to be thankful for on that day and will generate a spark of hope in otherwise despondent hearts. We should all be Thankful for Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful thing. And it is an American thing. May God bless America and each and every one of us (legal & illegal alike) on this Thanksgiving day.

“If the only prayer you said in your WHOLE LIFE was,”THANK YOU”, that would suffice.”
Meister Eckhart 1260-1327, Theologian and Philosopher