The Pryor Times

December 26, 2012

Be thankful at Christmas

Managing Editor
Kathy Parker

PRYOR — “She’s in pretty good shape for the shape she’s in.”

That’s part of a piece by Johnny Cash called “Ragged Old Flag.”

The phrase came to me this morning as I was thinking about this whole fiscal cliff business and what may happen if lawmakers don’t agree to stop our falling from it.

With all its troubles, I still believe there is no greater country than America and no better place to live.

Yes, some tough decisions must be made and our financial house is in sad disarray - but it’s almost Christmas and I am still so happy to be here.

There are some arguments about the use of the phrase “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” and while I think that is a ludicrous idea, we live in a country where those who wish to make the argument are free to do so.

If you want your Christmas lights to say Happy Holidays, they are your lights and you may spell whatever you wish with them on your own property - even if it’s vulgar. Despite the fact our emails can be monitored and cars will soon have spy boxes - we are still free to do as we please on our property.

Many are still out of work and while the unemployment situation is dire, most of those workers have been able to get help in the form of unemployment benefits - because we are in America and we have that safety net.

Despite all that has been lost in these tough economic times, the newspaper has received several stories saying toy drives and monetary giving are at an all-time high this year. Americans still help other Americans. We have several entries on the newspaper calendar

of planned free Christmas meals. Anyone is invited.

We are free to travel anywhere in this country at any time - to see whomever we please. No check points, no curfews, no restrictions. Cross state lines at will. Travel from coast to coast, if you please. Stop and stay in any town which strikes your fancy.

So many countries are embroiled in civil wars; homes torn apart, car bombs outside the window. While we have had a terrible event in Connecticut, there is no carnage right outside the blown up remains of your home.

America is still the best place to live. I was privileged to be born here.

“And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearin' thin,

But she's in good shape, for the shape she's in.

Cause she's been through the fire before

and I believe she can take a whole lot more.”

So look around and be grateful for what we have - a warm place to sleep, a good meal, the companionship of friends and family and the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. That’s the reason for Christmas - Christ’s birthday. That’s why I choose to say “Merry Christmas,” and why I’m proud to live in a land where you are free to say “Happy Holidays.”