true meaning of christmas

As I write this it is the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  As a kid I loved this day.  Every Christmas Eve Mom, Dad and myself would go to to the Czekalinski home in Parma, Ohio.  It was always a lot of fun filled with Polish and Catholic tradition.  We would eat downstairs.  It was a “poor man’s meal.” Sole was the fish.  We ate on a huge table that was covered by a table cloth and underneath was a complete bale of straw spread out evenly.  At the end of the meal everyone reaches under the table cloth and pulls out a piece of straw.  If you had one with a lot of flowers on it, legend had it that you would enjoy the upcoming New Year.  Grandpa and Uncle Ralph now had a few glasses of wine in them and they started singing Christmas songs in Polish  My Aunt and Grandma just rolled their eyes and my Dad just shook his head and laughed.  Now it was time to go upstairs and open gifts!!!!  Finally….what Christmas is all about.

I was an only child and the first grandchild.  I was showered with gifts and it was never enough.  Surely there has to be MORE????  Well I was right with one exception.  It wouldn’t be found in a box with a bow on it.  Life moves fast my friends.  Life is always changing.  Mom and Dad got divorced when I was thirteen.  People took sides.  There was no more Christmas Eve at the Czekalinski’s.  Grandpa got cancer after that.  He suffered a lot and eventually died.  I grew to HATE Christmas.  It reminded me of how happy I used to be.  In my adult life I continued to look for that feeling I had every Christmas Eve.  I would just throw “money” at a bunch of gifts for people thinking that would at least bring THEM happiness.  I continued to be miserable.

I’m a Christian.  Make fun of me if ya want.  If you knew me, there are MANY things about me that you can ridicule.  I really don’t care.  Christmas is the birthday of a man that died for us so that we may experience eternal life.  I won’t bang the bible.  Anyone can do that.  It’s subjective.  You can pick and choose a quote to support any cause.  Try this.  Look around.  Nature is kind of a cool place.  Where did it all begin?  Some will say “The Big Bang Theory.”  Okay….I’ll give ya that.  Who made the big bang?

I’m just seeing this now.  I’m fifty-five years old and lived my life a hundred miles an hour with my hair on fire.  I have no idea why I am alive.  I was in a coma for five days in September of 2015 because I was doing bad things to numb myself.  This isn’t about me.  I only put myself into this story to show you it is never too late.  Christmas is the birthday of Jesus.  Jesus is not flash.  Jesus is all about faith.  What you do with my story is up to you.  Thanks for reading.  Merry Christmas.

CHRISTMAS

I’m a pretty lucky guy.  I’m fifty-six years old and my mother is still alive and well.  I found out today we will be together for Christmas and that’s the greatest gift I could ever ask for.  Mom lives in West Palm Beach and is in the process of moving back here to Cleveland.  A lot of people do that when they have the gift of time.  They finally figure out what truly matters in life…..and that’s family.

I was like most kids.  Christmas is a day of gifts.  Christmas is fun.  Christmas is a bunch of free stuff that I will probably break in the next two weeks.  As an adult I wasn’t much better.  Christmas was stressful.  Lists to fill.  Gifts to buy.  People to impress.  I threw money at these problems.  They were solved.  I still felt empty and alone.

Let’s fast forward to today as the reality of life has begun to set in.  Christmas is a celebration of life, opportunity and salvation.  Of course my mother drives me crazy and raises my blood pressure.  That’s what mothers do.  They know how to hit your hot spots because THEY installed them.  We both made it another year.  There will be a Christmas one year when we won’t be able to say that.  It is my greatest fear my friends.  As I said at the beginning….I’m a pretty lucky guy.  I don’t need a gift.  I don’t need a fancy meal.  I’m gonna have a Merry Christmas.  I hope you do as well.

 

santa

So I’m sitting here thinking about Christmas and my childhood and I wonder if I’m alone on this.  Let’s examine some of the facts of this wonderful story.  Let’s start with the fat guy and the chimney.  Ya ever been on a roof and taken a look at a chimney?  A super model would get stuck in there.  Let’s say this generous man with his sack of goodies manages to make it down the aforementioned chimney.  I sure hope you’re not burning a yuletide log and ya remembered to shut off the alarm.  This will assure a very slow night for the folks at ADT.

So ya leave some cookies and milk.  That’s the last thing he needs.  Do him a favor and move the exercise bike by the tree and leave a few Lipitor pills and a shot of bourbon—it’s freaking cold outside.   So our friend Santa then rock climbs his way back up the chimney to get inside a sleigh that doesn’t have a heater or a seatbelt.  I’m pretty sure that all the shingles that got ripped off during the landing are not covered by your homeowners insurance.

Most of us have been on an airplane and have seen the size of those massive engines that insure a safe take off and a successful flight so of course the same mechanical wonders must be attached to the sleigh, right?  That’s not the case as we are all aware.  This winter mobile is able to take off a fifty foot runway pulled by a bunch of reindeer.  The one leading this parade has a nose that is red.  Anyone that has been on a road knows that’s the brake light so actually Santa flies backwards without a rear view mirror.  Living here in Florida I know that’s at least believable.  I could go about the elves but I don’t need any more hate mail from the Little People of America.  I’ll end my filibuster with a sincere statement for you and your family.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 

Real meaning of Xmas

Click below and listen.  The first part of every Dannyland is when Danny just rants and raves about things that are on his mind.  Always unpredictable today is no exception.

dANNY BACK FROM DEAD

This is what I look like 21 days after legally being declared dead.  Doctors have no explanation why I made it through but I know there is soooooo much more than this.  My freaking mind is exploding and is non-stop.  I think you will hear the difference in my podcast.  I hope you all are well and know that there isn’t anything put in the path of your life that you cannot overcome.  Cherish your family and your friends.  Now…..just click below for the truth.   If ya don’t agree then let me have it.  Political Correctness is a waste of time for all of us.  Thank you for listening and have a great day.

Crazy Car GuyWe all have been through the car buying experience and the competition to get your business is very high.  This is the reason thousands of dollars are spent in your city by local dealerships to convince you to walk inside their showroom.  I have been involved in the media business for many years and I will never understand the car dealer that insists on doing his own commercial because, quite frankly, you look like a goofball.

You know what I am referring to.  On St. Patrick’s Day he dresses like a Leprechaun.  On Christmas he’s in a Santa suit and his brother is dressed as an elf.  On Valentine’s Day he may even dress as Cupid and shoot an “arrow of savings LIKE NEVER BEFORE!!!!”  That’s another thing they do….they freaking yell at you.  You are not cutting a commercial for Wrestlemania you own a freaking car lot.  Are you gonna scream at me when I walk in the door?  If that’s the case I may as well buy a car from my mother as I walk out of my door with a wet head.

“At (insert car dealership name here)     WE HAVE GONE CRAZY!!”  Really?  Then I would suggest a trip to the psychiatrist to get some proper meds because I don’t want you sitting next to me during a test drive frothing at the mouth with a switchblade in your pants pocket.

And while I’m on a roll let me address the giant inflatable King Kong that some dealerships insist on placing on top of their roof.  First of all King Kong is not real.  Secondly a balloon serves the purpose of putting a smile on the face of a young child so if this is your strategy to attract your target customer I’m quite confident they are not carrying a Mensa card.  That’s my service to the public for today….perhaps tomorrow I’ll address the Chuck Norris Total Gym.

sad americaNorth Korea is responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures and we respond by pulling the movie “The Interview” on Christmas Day.  Really?  When Home Depot let the identities of millions of its customers get hacked did we stop mowing the lawn?  What does this show North Korea?  Simple…..the next time they don’t like something in this country all they have to do is hack TMZ.com and no more updates on why Jennifer Anniston doesn’t wanna have kids.

This country has turned into the marching band geek in high school that takes the long way to their next class because he doesn’t wanna get a wedgie in the bathroom from a classmate that smokes.  Where were these North Korean computer hacks when “Dumb and Dumber Too” came out?  I haven’t been to the movies in about six years but my mother and I were planning on going Christmas Day to see “The Interview” NOT because we wanted to see the movie, we were gonna go just because a bunch or nerds with bad skin and no girlfriends dared us to.

We, as a nation, blew this big time.  We sent a message to potential hackers that if you mess with our X-Box then we are gonna stay home.  For a long time I have said that the next terrorist attack against us will be either poisoning our food supply or taking down power grids.  We have shown that we are not the land of the free and the brave but the home of the wimps and the wussies.  What an insult to any American that has served his or her country.  Terrorists win when you let fear take over.

So what would I have done?   I’d make sure “The Interview” was the ONLY picture playing in theatres on Christmas Day.  I’d wanna see lines outside the movies nationwide.  I’d like to show the world that we ARE leaders and those that lead don’t get into the crawl space in the attic when the bully walks down the neighborhood sidewalk.   We keep saying that we have learned from 9-11 but nothing could be further from the truth.  We are a paranoid nation…..and that paranoia stems from “potential” terrorism.  When do we stop the retreat and return to marching forward?  From what I have been seeing…that opportunity has passed.

A news anchor in Chicago told the “truth” about Santa earlier this week and you can imagine the backlash.  Story HERE:  I think you lose that innocent perspective of life the moment you hear the “Santa story.”  I’ll never forget “Santa-Day.”  It was a Tuesday morning in December at about 7:30AM.  The bus would stop in front of my house in ten minutes and I was just about to walk out the front door.  I was seven years old.  Mom asked me to come into my bedroom for a moment and sit down.  My mother got right to the point and said:  “I don’t want you to hear this on the bus but Santa is not real.  Your father and I buy the gifts and he eats the cookies.  I’ll explain the entire thing after school.”  I’m not kidding you.  I got the “Santa Story” like a news anchor was doing a tease for the six o’clock headlines.

I got on the bus stunned.  I looked around at the other snot-nosed kids and wondered how many of them knew.  Could they tell that I had just been told?  Is there a secret sign I need to share with them to illustrate I knew the big lie was over?  Look.  I was seven years old, my mother gives me a cliff-note version of the “Santa story” and throws me on a bus.  My world was a bit shaken and now I questioned EVERYTHING.  In fifteen seconds I had gone from existing in a constant state of Utopia to a psychologists dream.

When I got home from school that day I sat down with Mom and Dad and they explained everything in great detail.  Santa may not wear a red suit and climb down the chimney but he does exist.  There’s a little bit of Santa Claus in all of us and THAT’S what makes him real and makes him exist.  I felt much better.  I trusted the world and my parents once again.  All I could do is hug my mother and say “Well at least we have the Easter Bunny.”  There was a long pause……I think you know the rest of this story.  🙂