On the radio and TV we're flooded with advertisements using words like: "Nothing says "I love you" like the gift of a diamond from Rip Auf Jewelers!". TWO problems with that statement. Firstly, a gift of Diamonds (from a man to a woman) doesn't say "I love you" it says "Sleep with me, and you'll get pretty things!". Secondly - Commercialism has flushed Xmas down the toilet. Christmas is NO longer about "Giving" it is about "Buying." Subtle difference, but it's spot-on. We are encouraged to BLOW money on gifts for people. Hell, gifts are no longer given out of LOVE, but given out of DUTY. (hehe...I said...dooty..) Kids - being a parent I'm taken aback by how GREEDY we make our kids. Show a kid something cool and what's their reaction "I WANT that!" Well, excuse me, but who the hell CARES what you want kid? Kids sit around and draw up lists of ALL the crap they want - never mind the thousands of dollars worth of FOOD I feed them. This year, I've got my kids working on a list of crap they can GIVE - and NOT a list of crap they WANT. You want new barbies? Then give some of your current barbies to SOMEBODY who doesn't have ANY. You want MORE hotwheels? How about Daddy go up with a shovel and clean out the POUNDS of cars you no longer play with? Folks - Parents especially - it's incumbent upon us to TEACH kids and our peers to STOP being such selfish bastards and be CONTENT for pete's sake. For Darin's sake. For the sake of MY health, ENOUGH with companies trying to EARN money, by taking MY money. I left out 'hard-earned' because the hardest part of my job, on a typical day, is getting out of bed at 5:15am. Anywho - this Christmas, do what it takes to NOT feed a kids ego. Trust me, your kids do NOT need more 'self esteem'. Your kids need three things from parents: Physical and Spiritual and Emotional nourishment. IF you love your kids, you will spank them when it's called for. IF you love your kids, you will instill in them compassion for their fellow man, but enough wits to know when their compassion is being taken for granted. Give your kids a sense of God. Of something BIGGER than themselves...a sense of purpose. One of the greatest failures a parent can have is to NOT teach their kids that some things are worth fighting, and DYING for. There's NO better time than now - as we approach Christmas and Hanukkah. No, Not kwanza because kwanza is NOT a real holiday.