Holiday stress, a national anthem, and the Christian flag


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“Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping”

Between the Lines

It happens every year. People stress out over shopping, entertaining, decorating, cooking, and, of course, eating. The Mayo Clinic offers pages of suggestions, such as trying to minimize those activities that lead to stress. Instead, try volunteering, providing only healthy snacks, taking a walk and enjoying the fresh air, or reading a book. They even go so far as recommending “professional help” if you feel stressed, depressed, and out of control.

What was not mentioned by the Mayo Clinic, but might have been No. 1 on the list, is remembering the “reason for the season” and the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is not about breaking the bank by spending on expensive gifts and showing off with the most elaborate decorations in order to outdo the Joneses.

For those who are not religious, perhaps try visiting a neighborhood church for some restful peace and solitude. If you want to discover the true meaning, you might read a few Bible verses about that first Christmas when the Three Wise Men followed the star and listened to the message of the Savior.

Some other suggestions the Mayo Clinic offered were that if feelings of being overwhelmed last too long, try talking to your doctor or a mental health professional. Strangely, the idea of talking to a minister did not surface among the pages of advice.

Perhaps that is part of the problem with the way Americans celebrate Christmas.

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“Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat Sunday for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ as he has done all season, but then stood for the Mexican national anthem --”

Between the Lines

’Nuff said.

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America’s Voice Texas

“Cruel and Indiscriminate Deportations of Texan Dads Will Leave Far Too Many American Families With Empty Seats at Thanksgiving”

Between the Lines

As is the case too often, this story is all about feelings rather than making the right choice. The “empty seats” at the Thanksgiving tables are blamed on the Trump administration for enforcing the laws.

As for “empty seats” around dining room tables, there are also empty seats because a family member has been killed or because a family member has been sentenced to jail. Do we quit sentencing people to prison if it means they are leaving behind family members who will be missing them during the holidays?

Is sentencing criminals to prison without considering the family they leave behind “cruel and indiscriminate”? The question is, are we indeed a nation of laws, or just one big indulging sob story?

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“Students to atheists: Don’t mess with Texas Christian flag”

Between the Lines

This could be the “same song -- different verse” as Christians once again are threatened with legal action. The Freedom From Religion organization demanded that a Christian flag be removed from the campus flagpole.

This time, however, students took it into their own hands. They removed the Christian flag from the campus site and hung it proudly on a flagpole directly in front of the school -- along with two other Christian flags. Although it is on private property, the flags are in full view of the school.

It is about time Christians start fighting back, and these youngsters are showing us how it’s done.