The holidays have always been a special time. Homes adorned with flickering lights, some with a simple strand of white across the front eaves and an elegant wreath depicting the modern “Hallmark Home,” while others offer an extravagance that would make Clark Griswold look on with envy!
Speaking of envy, personal shoutout to the Wakefield Winter Wonderland in Saugus for another incredible display of Christmas cheer!
Lines of cars that rivaled the Chick-Fil-A and In-N-Out Burger drive-throughs poured into the neighborhood to revel in the holiday spirit, with each house adding their own unique and personal yuletide flair to their homes, creating an atmosphere that is both seasonal and beautiful.
No symbol of the season appeared absent, either. Christmas trees, the Star of David, Santa Claus, Jesus in the manger, and even the Grinch, all have a story to tell.
Make no mistake, Christmas time is meant to be a moment in our lives where we give thanks. Cards and gifts expressing how much the people in our lives mean to us, the lighting of the menorah to celebrate Hanukkah and its message of light triumphing over darkness, or attending a Christmas service to give thanks to God, all are meant to portray an action of giving and goodness.
But, without darkness, we cannot see light.
While the holiday season is a time the world is called to goodness, there are many whose struggles and losses overcome their ability to offer cheer and servitude toward others.
Some religious institutions practice “A Blue Christmas,” for those who are struggling with loss, or pain, or whose hearts are simply hurting, provides an environment where we can grieve and share sadness, and find help in a time where they need it most.
The world is not short on lightness or darkness, and depending on the day, one of those seems more prominent. In Washington, D.C., darkness is either more prominent, or lightness just doesn’t get you enough votes.
It seems every year the government is about to run out of money (of course being $30 trillion in debt, one could argue they were out of money years ago!) and the need for a new spending bill is upon us.
The latest omnibus spending bill, a mere 4,100 pages, went through no committees, and showed up on lawmakers’ desks 48 hours before the deadline.
Less than half of the members could be bothered to show up for work and had others vote for them, and realistically, few if none actually read the whole document they would be voting on, but at least members got to be home in time for the holidays.
As local governments and school districts are always watching their books, attempting to meet the needs of their communities, their workers, and keeping long-term costs funded and under control, it seems there may be some expenses in 2022 that, perhaps, could have been tabled while Americans across the country struggle obtaining simple necessities.
I encourage everyone to peruse these spending bills and see if you can find anything that is not a priority.
Here were some of my “favorites” from 2022 that Sen. Rand Paul published in his annual Festivus report:
• $140 million to help construct a luxury hotel and spa in Broward County, Florida.
• $2.3 million for injecting 6-month-old beagle puppies with cocaine.
• $1.1 million for training mice to binge drink alcohol.
• $187,500 to verify that kids love their pets.
• $118,971 to research if Thanos could actually snap his fingers while wearing the infinity gauntlet.
Finally, the annual interest payments to the treasury for our debt was listed at $475 BILLION! This is money that produces no tangible product of any kind. The national debt is a horrendous legacy that we are leaving our future generations, yet that is exactly what Washington has decided to do repeatedly for years!
While we prepare to move into the New Year with a new majority, a new speaker, and a new opportunity to try and serve the citizens of this great country, I am holding out hope that Republicans and Democrats alike can start getting their spending under control and stop playing the “blame game” every chance they can for not doing what’s right.
But, if they can’t do that, maybe they could divert some research funds that instead of finding out if Thanos could really snap his fingers while wearing the gauntlet, if he could snap his fingers and make Congress actually balance the budget!
Jason Gibbs is a Santa Clarita resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.