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My Take: Being poor on Christmas
December 17th, 2011
11:59 PM ET

My Take: Being poor on Christmas

Editor's Note: Tangela Ekhoff is an inspirational speaker, comedy performer and ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. She blogs about marriage, motherhood and life in Oklahoma at Homegirl on the Range.

By Tangela Ekhoff, Special to CNN

(CNN) - For my husband and me, the crown jewel of success as parents is the shrieks and wanton joy that come when our children open presents on Christmas morning. It’s enough to breach the dams in my eyes. Every year, my husband (the better shopper) picks one big-ticket gift for our boys, the one we call “the Showstopper!”

The Showstopper is the present that is either No. 1 on their wish list or the one they didn’t even know they wanted, until they make confetti of the shiny paper that conceals the happiness wrapped inside. The Showstopper is THE gift. It’s so awe-inspiring that it causes an intermission to present-opening and signals the point when the boys forsake all other gifts to play with the Showstopper. Last year, it was Chuck the Talking Dump Truck.

This year, there will be no Showstopper.

I wish I could say we are avoiding the Showstopper out of solidarity for Americans who are too poor to afford Christmas. I wish we were that socially conscious. This year, the Showstopper will not be part of the Ekhoff family Christmas, because this year, we are the poor.

We moved from Montgomery, Alabama, to my husband’s childhood home of Owasso, Oklahoma, with high hopes and great expectations for opportunity. It is not going as well as we hoped. We have applied for several hundred jobs between us. I was rejected for a job at a chicken restaurant. I am from Alabama. I was born with a frying pan in one hand and a hunk of lard in the other. I’m still mad about not getting that job.

In a former life, my husband was a computer technician. In this life, he slings pizza, rakes leaves, shovels snow, cuts grass and bakes cakes, but it still is not enough money to pay for basics, let alone any utility bills. I use both of my worthless college degrees as microfiber cloths to fight grime as a house cleaner, and out here in Oklahoma, people are not as willing to pay for this service as they are in the South. I speak publicly and perform comedy, but gigs are harder to come by than we originally anticipated.

We thought the move to Oklahoma would turn it all around and send us sashaying back into our middle-class life. Instead, it has given us the final shove into the abyss of poverty. For us, 2011 has been the Worst. Year. Ever.

This is also the first year in the history of our family that we will not buy gifts for some unknown poor child as part of an Angel Tree project. Every year, we would buy hats, socks, mittens, jackets and/or toys for some poor child.

This year, at some church or business in our town, there are two construction paper Christmas stockings hanging on an Angel Tree with our sons’ wish list printed on them. This year, our sons are “those poor kids.” This year, if there is a Showstopper, it will not be purchased by us but by a generous, anonymous individual or family with the means to help us, the underprivileged family.

On the Christian calendar, the season leading up to Christmas is known as Advent. During Advent, Christians pray and light candles to remind us to wait expectantly and prepare for the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ. This year, Advent is more meaningful to me than ever. This year, our family has lost so much, and I continually pray for a miracle. As our family awaits the celebration of the birth of Jesus, we anticipate and long for a better world not just for us but for others who suffer in the “new” economic reality: poverty.

My greatest hope, as we await the birth of Jesus, is that God restores our family financially. Yes, it’s selfish. I am grateful the Angel Tree project is available to provide my children and hundreds of children in my town with presents this Christmas. But, selfishly, I pray that next year there will be no Angel Tree. My husband and I are both intelligent and hard-working. We want nothing more than to provide for our children.

As we struggle with the new normal, we pray (yes, selfishly) that during this Advent, as we wait for Jesus’ light to shine upon the world, that a sliver of that miraculous light will shine on our little family. Like a child anticipating the rapturous joy of opening presents on Christmas morning, I hold on to my faith and anticipate a rebirth, a renewal, a restoration for our family.

I expect a miracle. And in this season of Advent, miracles happen every single day.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tangela Ekhoff.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Christmas

soundoff (1,294 Responses)
  1. Doug

    I see so many missed values here.. A "showstopper" present for their children, sounds weird to me.. Then in the end she even mentions Jesus and praying for more... If there were a Jesus imagine his shock when he hears that greedy prayer and also listens to prays from mothers who lose their child to starvation.. These people need a reality check.. !

    December 18, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Lana

      Shhh! You're supposed to ignore all that and just give presents made in China to children because that is how we celebrate the holiday season! Shhh!

      December 18, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Beadles

      Doug – well said. We have a skewed since of *poor* in this country.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Chris Anderson

      Please don't judge. I don't find that Christ-like, at all.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • Northeast

      Doug – did you look up the "showstopper" she bought last year? It cost $20. A lot of people consider a $20 present a stocking-stuffer. For her family it was a "showstopper". Why are people so judgmental???

      December 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
    • Jesus

      I came from a verty poor family. One Christmas a neighbor dressed as Santa. A big bang was heard and my Dad rushed us out the door to find "Santa" (that neighbor) with ketchup all over his face. My Dad said, "Somebody shot Santa...that's it for Christrmas".. No gifts, just a decent meal of spam.

      December 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • alex

      We need teach our children the real reason for the season. It is all about the birth of Christ. The problem with this country is everything had been commercialized.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  2. Matisseii

    This is exactly what our family is going through so I can completely relate. It's a different lifestyle going from taking vacations and helping to provide for others to needing to buy $25 food boxes each week. We are definitely learning a lot about what is important in life and how to slow down and think about each item. Thank you Tangela for making us feel less alone! For the record, this is effecting more people out there than any statistic could ever shed light on. It goes beyond race for whoever it was that mentioned that! And my husband has a practical, useful degree and still can't find work!! Here's to 2012 being a better year for EVERYONE 🙂

    December 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Lana

      I can toast to that! A better economy with more job prospects would be good, yes indeedy!

      December 18, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • loken

      I'm in this boat with you. No job house about to be repossessed, car will soon be gone because of no money for payment, phone as well, now how does one find a job with all those losses even if there was one to be had?
      I'm 62 years old with no degree living in a town of less than 2000. The light in the tunnel has gone out.
      I understand now why some people just check out. But I'm a survivor but forgetting what exactly that means.
      My prayers to all of you who are in this boat with me, we must keep on paddling.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Dustin

      loken- I'm in a very similar boat. Coming up along side you on fumes and taking on water. Pumps are down as the batteries are dead now. I too understand the checkout concept better these days.

      December 18, 2011 at 8:27 pm |
  3. HisNoodlyAppendage

    I just donated a decent sum of money to 'TOYS FOR TOTS'. Check your area to see where they accept toys and/or donations. Give what you can. How do you explain to a child, when he or she says "Santa does not love me anymore!"

    December 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • binky42

      How about you tell her the truth, that Santa doesn't exist?

      December 18, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • ChesireMeg

      Noodly–Good point. It would be heartbreaking to hear your child say something like that. Binky–don't know what kind of childhood you had but Santa is a big part of Christmas here in America. Wouldn't want to be your kid.......

      December 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Jesus

      Toys for Tots is a part fo the US Maureen recruiting effort. They want to depict themselves as a benevolent organization. Those Tots grow up, enlist in the USMC, and then get scarred for life in the middle east because we had a moron in the White House..

      December 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  4. matt houston

    If Xmas was not so commericalized, people wouldn't feel bad during the season for not having material things. Xmas makes me want to vomit...every stinking year right after Halloween, the decorations go up and jingles start ramming into your ears. Adverts about sales and what to buy for your friends and family this season. It's enough to make Jesus turn in his grave.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • aj

      What grave?

      December 18, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • Lana

      What grave? The one where his bones are to be found, silly! Unless they cremated his body, there is a set of bones somewhere. Call it a grave, although it is more likely to be a hidden one. Jesus' followers did not want his body found for very obvious reasons. Anyone who thinks a Jewish fundie-heretic had anything "holy" about him is just an idiot.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • Robert

      @Lana

      I guess then, that the Jewish are equally idiotic? Or are they the only ones who have the story right? Which is it that you are saying?

      December 18, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Dan Green

      Of course, there's a grave, if Jesus existed at all. I've spent 50 years trying to understand how people can believe in a "savior" that rises from the dead, of burning bushes that aren't consumed, of an ark that held two of every animal on Earth, in the middle of a desert, and of a God that causes little child and adults to die horrible deaths from disease because it is his "will", and if someone unexpectedly servives, a "miracle". The cold, hard facts are that nobody knows a thing about God, if there is one, and people whom are otherwise intelligent can be so brainwashed or weak to believe in fairy tales.

      December 18, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  5. Joe

    Good luck, Tangela to you and your family. Great essay (and I do hope they paid you for it!)

    December 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  6. bchgoer

    We have no gifts under our tree this year. The economy hit us pretty good. My wife and I live in a 1 bedroom apartment, I was recently laid off from my job and my wife works but doesn't bring in a whole lot of money. We have 2 animals, so our money goes to the necessities. We love Christmas, but last year we got a couple of things to put under the tree and nothing this year. Kind of sad, but we will have family in town and that is all that matters to us.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  7. bettena

    Never went for the spectacular christmas but this year is truly worst than most. Dont know how I will provide Christmas Dinner for Children and grand-children. There will be no gifts for anyone not even grandchildren. Lucky just to be still paying my bills.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  8. Anita Bleaujob

    There are no miracles. No one has ever seen anything miraculous. It's all fantasy.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Lana

      I think it depends on how ignorant a person is when they encounter something beyond their expectations due to their lack of awareness and lack of reasoning ability. A "miracle" is just something that is amazing to them since they are limited in their brains more than others. They are wrapped in delusions and view the universe and human actions as mysterious and unpredictable. And ignorance can be bliss. Miracles everywhere! A piece of Jesus toast is a miracle! I got over a cold= it's a miracle! Got a job- it's a miracle!

      December 18, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • binky42

      Agreed. A miracle is something (positive) that seems so out of place that it appears unbelievable. Send an iPod back in time 30 years and it will look miraculous.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:57 am |
    • P Lashley

      My family and I are also having an extremely difficult year, but I must let you know there are Christmas miracles. When my stove died on Thanksgiving Day, the local Winn Dixie cooked the turkey for us. A week later after chatting about it with a friend and trying to laugh, she and her husband decided to send us a beautiful new stove. I had no hope of getting one until next year. It is the most beautiful stove because it truly came with love. Believe.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • binky42

      P – those aren't Godly miracles. They are the results of genuine human kindness. Thank a human for it, don't thank God.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Anita Bleaujob

      P Lashley – you confuse human kindness with miracles. You are either a simple minded fool or delusional.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • momof2

      Anita,

      I see miracles all around me every day. Life itself is a precious gift from God and it's so sad that you don't see that. I will pray for your lost soul.

      As for the author of this post – she just seems like a very ungrateful person in general. So caught up in "the world" and not the word of God and the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about gifts or a "showstopper" – that's so silly. She has her health, her husband is alive and healthy and her children are alive and healthy. Why isn't that enough? Christmas isn't about expensive, store-bought gifts. I feel the author needs to reevaluate what is really important and let go of what the world says is important. I will pray for Anita and this family that they have their eyes/hearts and minds opened to the Lord's love and grace.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • Robert

      I beg to differ with you.

      One night,while driving along a dark highway, I found a white German Shepherd dog that had been hit. He was injured, and lying in the middle of the road a speeding traffic raced back and forth, inches from his head. I thought the dog was dead, but as I was driving by, I saw a flicker of movement, and stopped my car.

      As I stood there, with traffic veering toward me to give berth to my car parked on the right hand shoulder of the road, I felt the door handles of cars brushing my rear-end as they went past. My wife, in her fright, came out in the road to stop the traffic, making it worse.

      In the end, the dog was saved,and no one was injured. I don't care about your narrow-minded pain and ignorance that leads you to rain on other peoples' parade. I call that a miracle. So many things had to happen just right to bring that dog there,and find someone to risk their lives to save it, there is no other word to describe those chains of events. So get a life.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Robert

      Come to think about it-between you, and Lana, and the rest of the crackhead trolls, if that's how you feel, why are you here? You want so desperately to believe in something that you simply find it impossible to leave others to their own beliefs-which they have an equal right to hold as you do yours.

      Really, if it didn't aggravate me so much that you feel the need to share your misery with others who are not miserable, I would simply feel sorry for you.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Brent S

      Poor Robert. He is such a child. I feel sorry for you Robert. Treating other people with kindness doesn't always have to mean humoring their insanity. We don't need a Bible to treat others morally. The Bible is amoral. Religion is evil but we allow it to exist because we don't have any asylums big enough right now to hold all you mental cases.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  9. binky42

    Owasso is mainly an upper-middle class suburb of Tulsa – everyone in Owasso works in the city, so I hope she isn't only applying for jobs in that small town. Tulsa has a relatively low unemployment rate compared to the rest of the nation, and if they can't find a job there they may want to reevaluate their job skills. Of course they aren't going to hire someone with higher income needs as a line cook.

    But really, this all boils down to First World Problems. They won't go hungry on Christmas day, and they'll still have some presents to open. My husband grew up so poor that he felt lucky if he got ANYTHING for Christmas, and food stamps paid for their dinner, which was far from a feast.

    Instead of being down, just be thankful, accept times are tough, and just enjoy your family instead of worrying about the details that aren't important. Your kids aren't going to remember that dump truck in 20 years, but they will remember the love of their parents.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:48 am |
  10. Chad

    So sorry to hear that this has been a difficult year for you.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
  11. tembo

    I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. ~Mahatma Gandhi

    Christmas is not about store bought items made in China. Creating traditions that are fun and meaningful requires something money cant buy. Choose to always underplay the material aspect, and make the season full of food and fun family times, and nobody will miss the mountain of forgettable gifts. I's a choice the adults make, and the easiest thing is to buy a bunch of junk and feel self satisfied.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Jesus

      Celebrate FESTIVUS with its airing of grievances and feats of strength. Now that's an end of year holiday that is relevant and reality based.

      December 18, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  12. Miffy

    "The crown jewel of success as parents is the shrieks and wanton joy that come when our children open presents on Christmas morning."

    I feel for this family and their hardships, but I find this statement very odd. The crown jewel of your parental success is watching the kids tear open presents? Strange values, to me.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • loken

      This woman is being honest. We as Americans, have lived this life style for centuries. I understand what she is saying,
      it is a reflection on how far down things have gone. She is struggling, she expresses what joy that moment gave her, I believe she is just another of the 99% suffering the loss of a life once lived. The adjustment is difficult and demeaning.
      I sympathize with her.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • binky42

      Centuries? Maybe 100 years max.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Chris Anderson

      Well, you know, they could have just ignored the presents and not seemed thankful in the least bit.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:06 am |
  13. tembo

    I've never had money to splurge at Christmas but I've also never made that the focus of our celebration. I buy one gift per person, bake cookies, prepare a wonderful meal, play games, sing songs, watch Christmas movies as a family who values each other greatly, lovingly, and without the need for an abundance of store bought items.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  14. George

    From the article,

    "I use both of my worthless college degrees as microfiber cloths to fight grime as a house cleaner ..."

    This is the problem when people aren't smart enough to choose their majors wisely. I can't tell you how many Engligh majors I've seen working as secretaries. For goodness sakes, people, study engineering, business or something useful. Think beyond today. Just because you like a subject doesn't make it the right choice for your future. Remember, God helps those who help themselves. Think.

    December 18, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • JC

      I have two engineering degrees, and I was out of work this year as well. Anyone can be out of work.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • imhuman

      i ain't live by bread alon. math+science r good –but humanities is good for the soul–u read shakespears, worthworth , dickons n dan brown–these hard trying times is no good for science+math graduates 2..... wat abt. musicins/actors/poets/librains...? wothless...

      December 18, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Mark

      That you misspelled "English" may be the best thing about your reply.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Mike M

      JC's right. There are a lot of out of work engineers and even more business majors. There is no simple formula for unemployment. Until the economy improves as a whole, these problems will continue and grow. As an aside- we really need a "bring the jobs back" movement in this country. Too much productivity has been farmed-out overseas.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • binky42

      JC – move to an aerospace center. They can never fill engineering jobs fast enough.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • binky42

      imhuman – most "librains" in demand these days have a computer science background.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • Robin Littlefield

      ...Because if you majored in something that you were passionate about and in something where you fit in, you weren't doing "something useful." Engineers are great, but not everyone would make a great (or even a competent) engineer. I wonder if those English majors were working as secretaries until they could figure out how to best use their "useless" degrees? Does God only care about those who do the practical "smart" thing always... and never, ever for one second follow their hearts? We're all doing our best out here–even those of us who didn't get business degrees.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • sjh

      You pompous, self-rightous assh___! Whatever your current financial situation, I hope the bottom falls out in 2012 and you experience the humbling and desperation of the writer and hundreds of thousands of people around this country. Whatever your "show-stopper" is this Christmas......I hope you choke on it!

      December 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • Laurel

      I so disagree with your post. People who do not have a love of nor a talent for mathematics or engineering should not study it with the intent of find a job in a field they hate and are not good at. I'm a college professor on a small campus in a very depressed city, and I can't tell you how many people I see who think they'll "study nursing" even though they hate people, blood, bodies and sickness. I tell these people, DON'T do a degree in something you hate, just because you think it will bring money. It often won't, and frankly, I don't WANT to ever be treated by a nurse who hates people, bodies, needles and illness. I don't want my accounting done by an accounting major who only did it to please daddy, as that accountant is probably a lousy accountant. And, for the record, most of the "English degrees" I know are pretty successful educators or technical communicators/writers, making as much if not more money than the engineers they work with.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • frank

      As someone who has an English degree, and has been successful in everything from high powered publishing firms to small non-profits, your comment reeks of ignorance. Thanks to my degree i am well-versed, well-spoken and most importantly I can write. How many engineers have even one of these ? In the world of business they are crucial skills to have and can be implemented in a variety of ways and positions. If you apply yourself and are intelligent, your humanities degree can open doors for you. So, dear sir, you lose.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • Melissa

      I'm sorry, but this is possibly one of the most ignorant things I've heard lately. As a college graduate with a BA in English/Creative Writing and a near graduate with an MA in English Literature, the road to fame and prosperity in that field may not be glorious, but it can be fulfilling. I have worked my fair share of jobs as both front desk coordinators and Executive Administrators ("Secretary" is an ancient, unaccepted term now. Perhaps your useful "Engineering" degree missed telling you that one) and while it isn't glamorous, it pays the bills and it pays well. The last company I was with for three years, I worked as an EA and my English degree was SOUGHT AFTER now that a good majority of people in corporate America, Engineers included, lack basic writing skills even via email. English graduates may not get paid as much, but we're still needed and important to the work force.

      Also, I have absolutely no desire to work in a job that boxes me into a cubicle, merely for a paycheck. Lack of creativity and open-mindedness turns me off.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:53 am |
    • CompSci Major

      I attended an engineering school so most of my friends hold degrees in things like Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, etc. These are highly intelligent people, many who perpform at genius level. I can count at least three who are without work or who went without work for over a year. Some gave up and decided to try another career. The jobs just don't exist to support all of the peole looking for work right now, especially if they are location locked. She didn't say in what fields she holds degrees, just that they are worthless to her now.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • loken

      Sheesh, you people sure stand in judgement. May you not know until you have walked in her shoes.
      She picked the wrong degree?? maybe when she was in school it was the right degree. Times change.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • tasmax

      It's easy to be supercilious and self-righteous about the unemployed if you've never been one. Having an MBA (from one of the top three schools in the country), a CPA and several years of experience at a major CPA/consulting firm didn't preclude me from the miserable experience of extended unemployment during the Boeing downturn in Seattle in the early 70s. Count your blessings, show a little more humility and a little less judgment.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • George

      Whether a career is fulfilling means nothing. It all comes down to the paycheck.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:01 am |
    • scany

      Couldn't have said it better myself! Not the world's problem you probably earned a liberal arts degree!

      December 18, 2011 at 11:02 am |
    • HoAirAce

      Her degrees are a B.S. and a M. Ed. In other words, she is an unemployed teacher. Don't know if she is looking for work as a teacher, but George, do continue to "judge first, gather facts later or never."

      December 18, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • George

      @sjh

      What the hell? What did I say that made you have an angry meltdown. I'm just stating what I believe is best. The fact that you have a different opinion is no reason to attack me personally.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:08 am |
    • Chris Anderson

      Again, someone judging those less fortunate..... Wow.

      December 18, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • marjorie

      The man who owns the company where I work has (drum roll, please) a degree in English! He's smart, driven and must communicate - in writing - with his clients. We, his employees, would be toast without his abilities.

      December 18, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Gia

      "Whether a career is fulfilling or not doesn't matter -it comes down to the paycheck."

      Well, if that doesn't take wh0ring to a whole 'nother level, I don't know what does.

      December 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Ashamed

      Your day may come, dear. I can tell you personally that there are many, many math/science/engineering/finance majors out of work.

      Don't be so quick to think you may not be next.

      December 18, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Jesus

      Meanwhile "W" is living large on his ranch. In Italy they dragged Mussolini out in the street and had their way with him. Here in the good old USA, we allow the felony stupid and crooked to enjoy the fruits of their wrongdoing.Howe many prosecutions for tricking people into impossible mortgassges...perople with no job and no income. How many "for profit" so-called colleges ands universities have sprung up to take advantage of people who want a degree (but have no qualifications) and wind up with student loan indebtedness.....which now is in excess of ONE TRILLION BUCKS! White collar criminality is rampoant in the US. White collar crime doers pay...bigtime!

      December 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • Dustin

      IT – Recently laid off. Please save the koolaid for the younger crowd George. People regardless of background are losing their jobs by the droves here.

      December 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Janan

      So, educators have worthless degrees? Where would you be without your education, George?

      December 20, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  15. Maxi

    Thanks for expressing how a lot of us feel in this economy when we have the hopes of our children having gifts to share under the tree. Change is the only constant. Let's all hope for change for the better for all in the coming year. Keep up the good work and never give up!

    December 18, 2011 at 8:24 am |
    • a grateful woman

      I'll be by your pad for Christmas

      December 18, 2011 at 8:34 am |
  16. Christmans is all about giving!!!

    Give and be blessed!!!

    December 18, 2011 at 8:02 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Yes, please donate to Non-Belivers Giving Aid at richarddawkins.net.

      December 18, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Jesus

      Sure...give to your local con artist...I mean "pastor" who needs the money...always needs the money.

      December 18, 2011 at 8:14 pm |
  17. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT

    TO TELL ME HOW I FEEL

    December 18, 2011 at 6:46 am |
    • HERE IS MY RIGHT

      Quit yelling you might wake Christopher!

      December 18, 2011 at 7:22 am |
  18. athanasius96

    Excellent post, Tangela! I'm going to go check out your blog now too.

    December 18, 2011 at 6:19 am |
  19. pc hall monitor

    Hi, I'm black and writing a CNN article. Isn't that unusual? I mean it's really "inclusive" and all, but it's so unusual. What? It's not unusual? CNN is constantly foisting pc "human interest" stories on us, practically daring us to complain so that we can be called "racist"? Oh.

    December 18, 2011 at 1:56 am |
    • A friend

      Not that it matters any, but her husband is white. This isn't about race.

      December 18, 2011 at 7:15 am |
    • Audrey

      Why do you care what color she is?

      December 18, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Dolores

      Is someone from CNN there holding a gun to your head and forcing you to click the link and read the story?

      December 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • independent

      Get over yourself, and your issues. Read the article or not, empathize or not, discuss the reasons and implications or not. Try not to make it about you.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • greg

      Stop looking at pictures. I did not notice photogragh. I ready the article and got a human being, articulate, loving, struggling, someone with a sense of humor despite very hard times.

      December 18, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  20. *frank*

    fist!

    December 18, 2011 at 12:22 am |
    • Olga's House of Shame

      Frank, you freak.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:32 am |
    • Mirosal

      I think he meant to say "first" lol ... I don't want to know what he has in mind with a "fist" lol

      December 18, 2011 at 1:37 am |
    • tallulah13

      Kinda creepy, really.

      December 18, 2011 at 1:47 am |
    • frankfan

      Hey frank where've you been, man? This place has been boring as hell without you!

      December 18, 2011 at 10:19 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.