A Christmas Note: 2014

Christmas-Candles-christmas-16092105-1600-1200

by Chris Meinecke

For a few years running now I have found it to be my fortune to write all of you on Christmas Eve. Some notes have had a theme, others some random thoughts I had while in the midst of watching another holiday movie. I ponder over some things in the weeks leading up to it, but I never truly know what I’ll write until I power up my laptop. In a few ways this is good for everyone. I get to be spur-of the-moment creative in my writing, and you get the thoughts and ideas as the bolts of electricity that rattle around in my grey matter with an amplitude of notions and approximations that are there on any given day throughout the year, fire down to my fingers. No matter what I write, know that this note is wide-reaching. Know that no matter who you are, what your views are, or where your religious belief’s happened to fall, I hope that this is something that will help to make your weeknight in December or whenever you read this a little better.

As the people who know me can attest, I am not one to be caught up in religion. That fact does not mean however that the whole reason for Christmas being driven by religion is lost on me. You’ll notice that I say “reason” for a reason. Many people will tell you that the “meaning” of Christmas is seeded in religion, and they’re in no way incorrect. I just see it a little differently. Many of those same people probably question why I love the Christmas season so much if my feet aren’t planted steadfast in a Christian religion. It’s simple and it brings me to my first of two points.

The “meaning ” of Christmas to me is to make things a little brighter while several things in the world are cruel and stressful during the rest of the year. The meaning is not just that ice skating with friends and having hot coco after is fun, or that decorating the outside of the house like Clark Griswold will get you on the evening news. The meaning isn’t to make sure the lights on the tree are in perfect symmetry, or to out-spend cousin Donna so you can wow your family. Some or all of those things are great, but the meaning is being with the people you enjoy. Hearing that song you heard as a kid while lying on the couch listening to the old hi-fi, gazing into the glow of the lights on the evergreen. Giving someone a gift because you can, or you want to, not because you have to. It’s about appreciation.

Which brings me to point number two. I posted out to my friends on social media a couple of months ago that in so many words it was time to appreciate the people who surround you. That word gets thrown around a lot. “If you could you hand me a towel I’d appreciate it, I spilled reindeer gravy all over my velour leggings”. In this country we don’t take the time or effort to understand what some of the words we use every day even mean. Your definition may differ slightly from mine, or even Webster, but the concept remains. You don’t even have to like the people that surround you, just appreciate that they serve some purpose. Even if that purpose is to make you crazy so you work harder, sing better, or flatten pizza dough faster. It’s time to appreciate the people that surround you because it’s all you have. If you’re about to embark on a journey that will completely flip the script on your life and you plan to have a whole new gaggle of folks in your life, I APPRECIATE your effort. Me, personally, I’d APPRECIATE the Swedish Bikini Team holding tryouts in my living room every April, but those aren’t the people that will realistically surround me. Not soon anyway.

Find your meaning for Christmas. Seek out the appreciation for others that is buried deep within. Don’t get consumed by things that take away from your joy of the season. It’s time to find some meaning, appreciation, and maybe even a couch next to a tree with some lights on it and a hi-fi.

Merry Christmas everyone.

A Christmas Note: 2014

Christmas-Candles-christmas-16092105-1600-1200

by Chris Meinecke

For a few years running now I have found it to be my fortune to write all of you on Christmas Eve. Some notes have had a theme, others some random thoughts I had while in the midst of watching another holiday movie. I ponder over some things in the weeks leading up to it, but I never truly know what I’ll write until I power up my laptop. In a few ways this is good for everyone. I get to be spur-of the-moment creative in my writing, and you get the thoughts and ideas as the bolts of electricity that rattle around in my grey matter with an amplitude of notions and approximations that are there on any given day throughout the year, fire down to my fingers. No matter what I write, know that this note is wide-reaching. Know that no matter who you are, what your views are, or where your religious belief’s happened to fall, I hope that this is something that will help to make your weeknight in December or whenever you read this a little better.

As the people who know me can attest, I am not one to be caught up in religion. That fact does not mean however that the whole reason for Christmas being driven by religion is lost on me. You’ll notice that I say “reason” for a reason. Many people will tell you that the “meaning” of Christmas is seeded in religion, and they’re in no way incorrect. I just see it a little differently. Many of those same people probably question why I love the Christmas season so much if my feet aren’t planted steadfast in a Christian religion. It’s simple and it brings me to my first of two points.

The “meaning ” of Christmas to me is to make things a little brighter while several things in the world are cruel and stressful during the rest of the year. The meaning is not just that ice skating with friends and having hot coco after is fun, or that decorating the outside of the house like Clark Griswold will get you on the evening news. The meaning isn’t to make sure the lights on the tree are in perfect symmetry, or to out-spend cousin Donna so you can wow your family. Some or all of those things are great, but the meaning is being with the people you enjoy. Hearing that song you heard as a kid while lying on the couch listening to the old hi-fi, gazing into the glow of the lights on the evergreen. Giving someone a gift because you can, or you want to, not because you have to. It’s about appreciation.

Which brings me to point number two. I posted out to my friends on social media a couple of months ago that in so many words it was time to appreciate the people who surround you. That word gets thrown around a lot. “If you could you hand me a towel I’d appreciate it, I spilled reindeer gravy all over my velour leggings”. In this country we don’t take the time or effort to understand what some of the words we use every day even mean. Your definition may differ slightly from mine, or even Webster, but the concept remains. You don’t even have to like the people that surround you, just appreciate that they serve some purpose. Even if that purpose is to make you crazy so you work harder, sing better, or flatten pizza dough faster. It’s time to appreciate the people that surround you because it’s all you have. If you’re about to embark on a journey that will completely flip the script on your life and you plan to have a whole new gaggle of folks in your life, I APPRECIATE your effort. Me, personally, I’d APPRECIATE the Swedish Bikini Team holding tryouts in my living room every April, but those aren’t the people that will realistically surround me. Not soon anyway.

Find your meaning for Christmas. Seek out the appreciation for others that is buried deep within. Don’t get consumed by things that take away from your joy of the season. It’s time to find some meaning, appreciation, and maybe even a couch next to a tree with some lights on it and a hi-fi.

Merry Christmas everyone.

From Pink to Purple

by Chris Meinecke

Chris Meinecke

Chris Meinecke

Every October the NFL goes balls to wall to support breast cancer awareness. Pink clad players, coaches and fans alike are shown in commercials and during games. No detail is missed, from sweat bands to shoes, gloves to knit hats, nearly everything licensed by the NFL has a splash of pink on it in October. The awareness of a devastating disease that is consumed by more and more women each day is second to none. Pink bats and arm bands on Mother’s Day in Major League Baseball is nice, but professional football has everyone beat.

Now, I’m not saying that it isn’t important. I like the fact that a $7 billion industry backhandedly “gives back” to its fans whom have been directly impacted by breast cancer’s savage results. You don’t have to be a marketing genius to understand what I’m getting at here (you know, but the $45 dollar hat so $13 of it can go to research and the rest to the league). It’s a little shady, but in reality it makes good business sense. I could on and on about my belief for years that there should be some tribute to prostate cancer in the NFL, but alas, that’s a whole different article and I’m positive someone has already written it. Even the awesome “Ice Bucket Challenge” went Charlie Manson insane, was a bit overwhelming on social media, was misconstrued that if you dumped an icy pail over your head you were absolved of all fiscal responsibility, yada yada yada. Ultimately it raised an ass load of money for a great cause.

Listen to me National Football League – We adore you, ridiculous and constant penalty flags and all.

 

Of course some of us wondered why something like that hadn’t happened before. Why just ALS? Why not “Pins under your finger nails for Cystic Fibrosis” or “The milk gallon challenge for syphilis awareness”? In the end there are far too many causes for any one person to possibly be expected to donate cash to all of them. What led me to think of all of this is the Ray/Janay Rice situation. Yeah, I know, everyone is talking about it. Commish Goodell will likely be out on his all-powerful ass before all is said and done. But what the hell does the Ice Bucket Challenge, pink ribbons in October, and Ray Rice have to do with one another? Well, nothing really. However that’s how my mind works, and when it’s this jacked up, its column writing time. And face it, you all love it. You do, don’t you?Pink Douches

Let me circle back to my point of all of this talk about causes, awareness, and ribbons. It’s simple. Why not have the NFL players wear purple during the month of October during the 2014 season? Stick with me because I can hear some of you now shouting at your phones, tablets, and computer screens “October is breast cancer awareness month you jack wagon!” I know, I know, but don’t you think the breast cancer survivors and their families could find it in their hearts to give up the NFL for one month? I’m the son of a breast cancer survivor and this is my idea! Think back to the ice bucket. Wouldn’t it have been refreshing to see someone do the challenge and say to the camera “I’ll be donating $100, half to support ALS research and half to benefit the ASPCA.” Perfect. One video + two causes = that much more help and awareness.

IBD_Ribbon

Listen to me National Football League – We adore you, ridiculous and constant penalty flags and all. We don’t care if the Ginger Hammer is ousted from his commissioner’s throne. We don’t care that Donte Stallworth and Michael Vick committed unspeakable crimes and both played healthy and happy in league again. We don’t even care about Ray Rice as an individual. We care about our sport, the most popular sport in our country. We care about breast cancer, and wearing pink. But hey, think about this for a second: Purple ribbons represent awareness for a multitude of diseases and cause. Some of those are gynecological and testicular cancers, drug overdoses, inflammatory bowel disease (which Rog likely has a touch of right now), and… DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. What better way could there be to attempt to redeem themselves in the NFL than that?! The Ravens are already built into the plan by wearing purple as a default. It doesn’t even have to be October, keep your pink in October. Do it in November. Do it in December when the frozen faces of fans in Buffalo, Green Bay, and Minnesota would match the newly minted purple gear they’re wearing. I realize it will be complicated. Packers fans sure as hell won’t want to wear purple on November 23rd when they match up with the Vikings, but even those beer guzzling party-hounds would probably give in for a couple of weeks for one season. Plus the added bonus is some many things are covered. A laundry list of women’s cancer’s, testicular cancer for the boys (pun intended), and domestic violence to help pick up the pieces from the Ray Rice saga. Purple even represents awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, which some of the players will ultimately end up with after getting hit in the melon repeatedly for 14 years.

Roger-Goodell

Roger Roger Elevator Tape Dodger


If Roger Roger elevator tape and truth dodger doesn’t do something like this, I will make it my initial act of goodwill when I take over his employment at 345 Park Ave. in New York. An idea like this has to get me voted in by the court of public opinion, if not the NFL owners themselves.