Rudolph and Me ( A KJ OP Ed)

rudolphLast night, my bride and I were watching the 50th Anniversary showing of the Classic Christmas Cartoon, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”.

And, I found myself bawling like a baby.

I didn’t see it coming.

In fact, I had looked forward, after a surprise, stress-filled inspection by the Corporate Office at work, to sit back with a bowl of homemade chili and a glass of cold milk, and relive one of the fondest memories of childhood, once again.

The tears, which I found myself crying, took me completely by surprise.

I mean, I had made it through the sad parts of Hermey the Elf and Rudolph running away.

Heck, I had even made it through the part where Rudolph leaves his friends Yukon Cornelius and Hermey, because he felt that his glowing nose was putting them in danger.

I actually started crying when Santa and Rudolph took off for the Island of Misfit Toys.

Now, why would I, a 56-year-old professional, with a 7-year-old grandson of my own, start turning on the waterworks over a silly cartoon?

I believe that it was a mixture of things.

First off, when Rudolph made its debut on television, I was 6 years old, and I was watching it with Mother and Daddy, who have both been gone from my life since 1995 and 1997, respectively.

My mother passed away on Christmas Eve Morning and my Daddy passed away the Saturday after Christmas.

So, I’m certain that their absence has something to do with my unforeseen tears.

But, there was more to it than that.

Somewhere in the cobwebs of my cranium, I believe that Rudolph reminded me of a more innocent time, when I was free of adult responsibility and the stress which it brings..

The innocence of that old cartoon reminded me of my own childhood innocence and naivete, growing up as a child of the 1960s and 1970s, under the watchful eye of my parents.

Rudolph also reminded me of my own children: my special daughter, my three stepsons, and now my grandson, and the joy I found and am finding , while looking at this special time of year through their eyes.

It is an innocence that I wish that I could capture once again, to make myself forget the scary situation our country finds itself in.

We are living in an age of selfishness and irresponsibility, when leaders are chosen for their photogenic smiles and ability to promise the moon and stars, instead of their ability to lead and protect our nation.

We have become such a selfish nation, driven by political expediencies, that there are no cartoons on any of the National Broadcast Channels on Saturday Morning, anymore. Instead, there are nature shows, pet shows, and shows that are political in nature, designed to program children , in order to make sure that they vote in “a correct manner” in the future.

Gone are Beany and Cecil, Scooby-Doo, and the Super Friends. Gone also is America’s innocence and naivete.

Instead, our children are watching stuff on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, designed to program them and raise them in a “multicultural” world, where”everybody’s the same” and marriage is for two people who “love” each other, not just for man and woman.

Kids today are much more aware of the world around them, than we were.

I believe that awareness is a result of the New Technology around them, including endless television channels available on cable and satellite, and the playing of endless video games, which isolate them in their rooms, instead of encouraging them to go outside and play.

Now, Mooch…err….Michelle Obama started a campaign called “Let’s Move”, designed to get kids to go outside and play, but, since she has a rear the size of Rhode Island, and the personality of a snotty teacher, nobody pays any attention to the First Lady, to begin with.

So, we have a generation of kids that will never go outside and play Nerf Football in their own and their neighbors’ front yards, hang basketball goals above their carports, or have rubber dart gun wars across their neighborhood.

More’s the pity.

Without learning the socialization skills, which we learned back in the day, from playing with our friends, today’s children have the potential to become self-indulgent 30 year olds, watching television and eating Cheetos on a beanbag chair in their Mom’s Basement, coming outside only to line up outside the local Apple Store, in preparation for the launch of the next Apple iPhone.

And, they will vote Liberal.

So, why DID I cry last night?

I actually believe that, through all of the memories, which that old Rankin-Bass Cartoon brought up, the flood of wonderful, joyous memories of Christmas Past overwhelmed me.

And, I thank God for them….for the Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots that Santa gave me one year, and for my Daddy, who got down on the floor to play them with me.

…For the look on my daughter’s face, when her step-mother and I got her a Winnie the Pooh over-sized blanket/bedspread.

…For the times spent with my step-sons, watching their eyes light up on Christmas Morning.

…For all the Christmases spent with family and friends, celebrating with food and fellowship.

Finally, I think that I cried because I was reminded of the magnitude of God’s love for us, through that 50-year old cartoon, that he sent his only begotten son, the Greatest Gift of All, that we might not perish, but have eternal life.

And that, my friends, is worth getting emotional about.

Until He Comes,






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