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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. Babs

    Tangela – In spite of some of the mean-spirited bloggers who do not have a clue, there are those of us that wish you and your family the best in this holiday season and in the new year. I grew up as one of 8 children, my mom was a widow who worked really hard to put food on the table and a roof over our heads. Don't let the hard times break your spirit!!

    December 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  2. toby

    We must re-tame the nigra beast! Nigras should stop being so angry and put that watermelon grin back on. This is the only way they can cope with complex-industrial society.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  3. alex

    I will pray that both your and your husband are able to find a good job that will provide for your family.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • UncleM

      Don't bother praying. Vote out the GOP in 2012.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  4. Mom of Three

    Christmas gifting has swung way too far on the overindulgent side. The times we're in now is a way of bringing that pendulum back to more sensible levels. When there are many people unable to do the overblown, showy gifts, then the level as a whole comes back to something more sane. Just look at the Black Friday shoppers–they're sickening. Times like this, and yes, my family is a part of them, are a way to really think about the whole holiday and the role of cheap Chinese garbage in it. When my dad was a child in the 30s, they had a huge family dinner, and their excitement involved getting actual oranges on the East Coast on their holiday table! He might get some army men or something, but nothing crazy. And his parents, who had trouble putting food on the table, were sad and dismayed whenever Christmas came around because they, too, had community pressures to meet a certain level of giving. But, it was the Depression and almost everyone was broke, so what did they do? They had a huge, noisy, laughter-filled, multi-generational Christmas dinner. They invited people who were alone or elderly or otherwise couldn't eat. There was no TV. There were no electronics. The coffee brewed and they talked, worked in the kitchen or took a tour through the house or workshop. I envy them.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  5. elwood

    Get a life.
    Our sick consumerism culture is what dictates that everyone needs gifts all the time.
    Most families don't get "show stopper" presents. Its just ridiculous that anyone should think that going without a giant gift is a hardship.

    The best gift is just getting together with family and friends for a nice holiday dinner.
    A suggestion: How about you and your family go out and do volunteer work for the needy this xmas? No need to purchase anything, you can give of your time and enjoy the happiness and holiday cheer you receive in response.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • rwbj

      While I don't fully agree with all your sentiments, the idea of volunteering for those in even worse positions than theirs is a good one. My kids do it from their schools and I have been unemployed for a long time. It teaches them that the spirti of helping others is one of the greatest gifts you can give, as well as helping them appreciate what we do have, as little as it might be.

      Bless you and have a great holday.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:14 pm |
    • LH

      You totally missed the point. This woman is not missing participating in consumerism. Rather she finds herself on the receiving end, and misses the days when she could offer help to others. Volunteer you say? What gas money does she use for that? You are out of touch with reality.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  6. Suzanne

    A couple of years ago, Christmas came and we did not have any money, God in his wisdom gave us what we needed, The miracle of Christmas, just say a prayer and ask him to show you the way, he will listen. This year things are a 100 percent better, I pray that he sends you a glorious holiday season. Amen

    December 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  7. Merry Christmas!

    To Tangela and all others whose spirits are low this Advent season:
    Hope you find Peace and Joy this Christmas season

    2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

    December 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  8. larry5

    "Being poor, but rich in spirit". Is this the new Obama mantra, the prosperity he promised. And what's with not celebrating Christmas in the White House and his repeated statements that America contrary to past beliefs is not a Christian nation. He celebrated a Muslim holiday called Ashura (not sure about the spelling or what it means) in the White House on December 5th this year inviting Muslim holy men over for the observance. References to a Christian God have been removed from the White House, replaced by Muslim prayer guides and other Muslim symbols. After being attacked by Muslims that killed around three thousand innocent people in New York it's tough to take the idea of a Muslim in the White House and a Victory Mosque going up in New York and an economy that is going down the toilet while we are giving our energy independence away to these same enemies.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  9. Ranting Citizen

    As the economy of my country moves toward it's natural balance I know that this message could easily be that of any of us at any time. And if anyone thinks that there is a single "representative" in Washington that gives a damn about this woman, her family, or any of the rest of us they are delusional. These Jackals are jumping over each other to get into any of those positions and line their own and their friends pockets. The driving force is "Me first and let the devil take the hindmost". Democracy my @zz.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  10. required_name_goes_here

    opportunity does not knock on one's door; one must seek it out. for example, while i am not unemployed (and never have been as an information tech worker), if i ever *was* unemployed, i would be moving to whichever Dakota state is currently in an oil boom and paying laywer salaries to truck drivers. i was not privvy to any special information about the Dakota oil boom; i just read about it on cnn.com, but that was enough for me to realize that if my job dried up tommorow, I would be heading to the Dakota territories (a quick google will give you the exact location; at the moment the town name escapes me).

    there are a lot of reasons for why things can go wrong in our lives, and many of them are very real burdens....but not 100% of them. why couldn't the point of this sob-story have been "we were down on our luck, but we picked ourselves up by the bootstraps, moved to where the jobs are, and got our kids the showstopper gift for 2011!"?

    December 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • AJ

      Some people can't just pick up and move. If you really read this article, you would know that the author *did* move in order to find better opportunities. Things just weren't as good as were hoped. Things don't always work out, no matter how hard we try. The point of the story was the truth, not a pretty fantasy that you would rather read.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  11. MountainMomma

    I worked at Apple as an engineer but was laid off when I came back to work after having a kid in 2001. I was later told by an Apple recruiter that I was laid off because I couldn't work weekends (unpaid of course) with a child. I lost my house, my marriage and my entire savings. After the darkest of times I thought there was no hope...

    I met and married amazing man, went back and got my Education Masters degree and teaching credential. My husband went through law school at the same time and graduated in the top of his class in 2009 and passed the state bar that November. Since we finished grad school we have been trying to make things work. I used the last of my retirement account to help my husband open up a law practice since there were no attorney jobs for recent graduates. Since then my husband has worked extrememly hard to start up his own business and after two years he can barely pay for his office rent. He works for many clients to get the experience but we end up having to barter and trade to help others who are just as poor as us and cannot pay for legal services.

    We don't want to be rich, we just want have shelter and food for our kids. This month I looked into our options for homeless shelters. We have no family to rely on and have been taking care of ourselves since we were 18. We put ourselves through college and grad school, worked hard and have been very frugal. We are okay with not having any Christmas or birthday gifts for the last five years for each other. Honestly the commercialism of Christmas makes my stomach stressed out sick and I personally wish I could avoid the economic pressures from this holiday.

    As hard as it is to be so poor I have learned many lessons from our experience. I believe there is potential to learn and grow from any situation. I have learned compassion, understanding, humility, frugality and adaptability. My dream and hope that is some day our hard work will provide us the opportunity to help others. In my "previous life" I took care of my family (parents) financially and was able to help out with our local charities. It hurts my heart that all I can give is labor to help out.

    As I type this we have a tree up with no gifts and the kids feel okay with this. My oldest is very brave and says he wants nothing. Instead we've disconnected from TV and spent our days walking the mountain trails, playing board games and cards. When you are poor you are inventive and you find all the beautiful moments that require no money. We are poor but happy. We are hungry but our spirits are full.

    The other day my husband asked me if life always has to be this hard. I told him that this pain and suffering right now will make us appreciate the better times.

    If there was one wish for this holiday is that I can have the opportunity to work to pay rent and feed my beautiful family.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • AJ

      Your courage makes my heart glad. I am so very sorry that life has been so hard for you and your family, but you have love and you know and cherish that. I remember times when my father came to us with tears in his eyes, telling us that there would be no Christmas presents. I feel ashamed to say that I cried over it, though I was very young and really didn't understand. Your children are incredible. I wish there was something I could do to help.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Mom of Three

      The wisdom you all have gained and the evolution you've all made as human beings is priceless. These lessons will stay with your children and will be passed along to their children. We are struggling too, and sometimes a blessing doesn't look like one, but it is.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • ST

      Inspiring..thank you

      December 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  12. ken

    this lady is a christian? i think she missed it.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • paintpaintpaint

      No, honey, she didn't. She said she understands it's not about commercialism, but it's hard to go from 'having' to 'not having'... did yo miss that?

      December 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  13. scott

    God is God and God is always good to those that love him. Romans 8:28. It is a valley but God will see you through.

    December 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • UncleM

      Got any evidence for that? I don't think so.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  14. Charles

    Dear Tangela,

    I have also been through a very difficult time financially, and I am full of empathy for your situation. In this world, all who are disciples of Jesus Christ are like sheep among wolves (as is all too obvious from some of the heartless comments posted here). In addition to prayer, I feel it is important for us to remember the advice Jesus Himself gave us, that we must be "as innocent as doves, but as cunning as serpents". Without innocence we are no better than the world, but without cunning we are easily devoured by it, at least in a physical sense. While we are in the world we have tribulation, but Christ has overcome the world, and as you know, those who persevere to the end will be saved.

    I wish you and your family a joyous holiday season, and pray that the Lord blesses you and your family.

    Best Wishes,
    Charles

    December 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  15. alex

    folks, I believe that all people should be helped especially if there is a need for food or medical care for a child or family. I do not believe that people should be asking for money for the awesome gift for their child. I grew up but really rich in spirit. You know I really don't recall the gifts that I got at Christmas but I do remember the memories that I shared with my family. I remember the meals and conversations that I had with parents, brothers, sisters and neighbors.

    December 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  16. gramma

    While I feel for this family. my personal feeling while reading of her faith was just bad timing for me, I guess. The
    "showstopper" that I am trying to find is funds for a perscription of Singular so my grandson ( 8th of 23) can breathe normally. He is one of our miracle children, born with a facial deformity and suffers from ashma, lives with us so he can attend community college. But times are hard for us also. The blessing we have is employment although we live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes medicine runs out before the next paycheck comes in. We know our problems are tiny compared to the next family but Tangela needs to realize that her situation is near the bottem of the heap. I hope her family has a wonderful Christmas even without her "showstoppers".

    December 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
    • LH

      You might want to contact the pharmaceutical company about your situation. A lot of these companies have great coupons or actually offer free prescriptions for those who cannot afford them.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • paintpaintpaint

      We're dealing with no health insurance and chronic illness, too, so I feel for you and I pray that your grandson gets the meds he needs. You need to SHOUT everywhere that he needs this – between the pharm., the doctor, the churches, etc. hopefully he an get his meds. But this lady is NOT evil – she's JUST saying she is sad that she can't get fun, exciting treats for her kids this year. I know, I know, everybody on this forum does not buy presents for their children. But that's your choice. And LOOK at the 'showstopper' she named – it's not an Xbox, for pete's sake, and how many kids get those? Leave her alone if you can't be kind.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  17. paintpaintpaint

    Reading these responses, I am SO ashamed to be an American. What has happened to us? I feel like the Teacher has left the classroom and all the bad kids are running amok. Tangela, keep going, keep blogging, speaking, cleaning, hugging your children. These morons will find that Karma is not so pleasant...

    December 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  18. AJ

    Though I know it's so hard to not be able to give your children everything that they want in this world, you are giving them what they NEED: Love. I am sorry to hear of your troubles, Ms. Ekhoff. My family had a hard time while I was growing up, so I know what it's like to be a poor child on Christmas. My mother and father would scrounge, beg, borrow, and do whatever else they had to in order to give my brother and I *something* for Christmas when times were tough. It may not have been a "Showstopper"(though they tried so hard), and yes, quite a few times we were disappointed, but we still had a Christmas. The most IMPORTANT thing is that we had a mother and father who loved us enough to work so hard for us, no matter what we did or did not get for Christmas. The 5 minutes of disappointment at not getting a wished-for toy disappeared while the glow of the love our parents felt for us remained always. We had our family, and that was what really mattered. Now that I am an adult, I can truly appreciate just how hard the holidays must have been for them, and I love them even more for trying to make those holidays wonderful without any money.

    December 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • rwbj

      @toby. While I admire your consistency, I am past the point of being offended by your comments. You are obvioulsy a person with deep emotional and psychological issues. From what does this stem? Where you perhaps abused by a black man when you were young and feel guilty becuase you actually enjoyed it. Just a thought. Who knows how the mind of sick, twisted racist works. You offer a good argument for retroactive abortion.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
  19. sd

    why did you not save all the years you worked? and you want people to donate for your shostopper. there are millions who do not have food to eat and you want luxuries donated to your kids??? why dont you work in walmart or mc donald's and buy what you want for your kids instead of begging ???? shame on you

    December 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      Shame on you a'hole. Read the article again, if you're capable. People did save and lots of people have milked their retirement funds as well now. How about you concentrate on the greedy sods who are responsible for the horrific mess this country is in.

      December 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Kyle

      Read the article again, moron. Read the jobs they do now to make ends meet, which they said did NOT.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
    • AJ

      You, sir/madame, are a nasty person. The holidays are a time of giving. Not just tangible presents, but the gifts of charity, kindness, and compassion. Where is your compassion? Your charity? Your kindness? The author of this article is not "begging". They are working their asses off and still not being able to make ends meet. When things were good for the Ekhoff family, they donated gifts to children in need. Now, times are hard for the Ekhoff family, and they DESERVE kindness, compassion, and the charity of others. One day it might be you, sd, that needs help. I truly hope that when that day comes, those around you don't treat you they way you are treating Ms. Ekhoff.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • toby

      @bluey
      Spare us your subhuman babble, you preening ape!

      December 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Tom Morris

      If I was a heartless person, I would be like you. God help you if you ever fall on hard times. Though you may have in the past, the cost of living was less from the 40's to the 80's. Perhaps your answer should be "let them eat cake."

      December 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • Never amazed at the stupidity of others

      Are you stupid or just can't read. Maybe both. I do believe that the blog stated that they have applied to over a hundred places (each of them) and have not been able to get hired. She has two degrees and couldn't get hired at a chicken kitchen!!!!! Stop trolling and writing stupid responses that show that you haven't even taken the time to read the article. Hopefully one day you will find yourself in the same situation and then you will see how it is to have to go without despite trying your hardest.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • JC

      Shame on you SD!!!!! I too have a college degree and cannot find work. My degree is in healthcare and those are supposed to be "the" jobs that a recession proof....NOT!!!! I have applied for over 100 jobs and most are worthless scams that just get your hopes up. I saved, I am single, and I have gone through all of my savings to eat and pay bills. Have a heart you jerk!!!

      December 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
    • LH

      You obviously have difficulty reading. Re-read the article. These are educated people who are well prepared for the work force and who, when faced with bad economics, moved to find other employment. Shame on you for being so mean – you know nothing of this family. Not all families spend ridiculous money at the holidays or go into debt to give their kids everything they want. A lot of families, mine included, focus on the small things – a book, socks, a board game. You are clearly a selfish person.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • oxford

      Can you read, you idiot?

      December 18, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      @toby...whacker. I'm a preening ape hey. Don't think much of white people either then do you...hmmmm, just where do your preferences lie wetard?

      December 18, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • toby

      @bluey
      Nigra lovers are as good as apes. Your choice, not mine, coward.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      I am a coward? I'd give my right one to get my hands on you mate. UR sc um of the earth and taking up too much oxygen...skirt!

      December 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      @toby, I take very person as I meet them, regardless of skin color. You are white trash. Got a shaved head do you? Can't speak out unless you're surrounding by a bunch of you friends? There's a name for your kind...well, there's lots of names actually, but na zi is the one that comes to mind.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • toby

      @bluey
      Be careful for what you wish, sissy, you might end up one short with a good azz kicking!

      December 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Rainer paints himself into a corner

      10000/1 bluey and toby live in the South. We share 99.5 % DNA. Put that in your pipe and stick it up you racist a$$es.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      @toby...well I'm wishing real hard to meet up with you. It's top of my list, boy. Come and get some! puss y

      December 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • rwbj

      @toby bluey_qld is far from a "preening ape". The man has offered more good arguments by accident than you have on purpose in the last few hours. By the way, calling someone a "preening ape" is a fallacy of logic known as an ad hominum argument. Sorry for the polysyllabic words, but perhaps you should google it. Typical of your sort.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      @rainer...do you want to reread this string, before you continue to make a fool out of yourself? Ah, I'm white and toby seems to have an issue with black people. I have a problem with toby's beliefs...so I am racist?

      December 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • toby

      @bluey
      Can't speak out unless surrounded by my friends? YOU'RE the coward who integrates existentially into the soft ideological prison of political correctness! Your sense of purpose and moral superiority, your very BEING, is defined by that conformist cultural Marxism. You ARE a coward; you ARE defined by the generalized other. Your very sense of moral outrage has been dictated to you. You don't have an opinion, you have an echo!

      December 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • Red Neck City

      Toby and bluey like big black d1cks up the chocolate chute, and they hate themselves for that. Ho ho ho.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • rwbj

      @rainer. You have got be kidding. You're a troll, right? Just because we don't agree with toby draws the conclusion we are black. But wait a moment...we are white, and you don't agree with us, so does that make you black. Chew on that for a bit lad. I think you have painted yourself into a corner.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • paintpaintpaint

      "Why didn't you save... " – how lovely and judgmental. I assure you, you are far, far from perfect. It is not an issue, here. I'm sure they went THROUGH their savings. I wish you had to have a working brain AND heart to comment on these forums.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Anyone who refers to anyone as a nigra or a subhuman is automatically an asshole, not worth talking with.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • captain america

      Sort of like a canadian? There's your sign

      December 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      Well, after @redneck's wonderful comment, I've had enough beating my head up against a wall for a day. Honestly don't know why I waster my time on these things. @toby, you're definitely not as smart as you think you are, or dumber than you think you are??? I hate PCness, with a passion. I am a Christian who does not judge by race...it's that simple. You have massive issues that will probably land you in a hospital bed one day @rwbj, cheers Brother!

      December 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • toby

      @hotair
      Stop trolling.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • toby

      @bluey
      It's called "trolling." Why did you spend so much time and effort going back and forth with me? I'm not even particularly interested in race issues; this was just a good opportunity for me to kill some time and have some fun with you. So, you don't have to beat me up. Now, let's have a beer and be friends. I'll even try your disgusting warm English beer.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      @toby, i am Australian, thanks for the final insult!

      December 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • rwbj

      @bluey same to you. I spent some time in the UK and bitters are best consumed at room temp. Have a good holiday. @toby it was stimulating, regardless of your intent. Enjoy your holidays as well

      December 18, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Calling out ignorant racists is not trolling – it's doing the right thing, something you and captain ass.hole don't have a single clue about.

      December 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • rwbj

      @bluey.. geez now I really feel bad. I know it is the ultimate insult to confuse an Aussie with a limey. Mea Culpa...lol

      December 18, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • toby

      @bluey
      Sorry. Fosters then!

      December 18, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      @toby...Fosters...no one drinks that at home. Exported for a reason I guess! I'm really leaving now...

      December 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  20. Rick

    I can't believe the comments on this board. Do you people have souls? I'm a die hard conservative. I'll admit it. I honestly believe a lot of people make their own beds and are in their positions in life at least somewhat by their own doing.

    However, it doesn't mean that I'm so self riotous that I don' worry about falling on hard times. This woman doesn't give us enough information to judge her the way that most of you are.

    December 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Kyle

      No, most don't have souls. And those who hit the hardest with comments are those most afraid they will be featured in the next article. It can't happen to "me" after all, right?

      December 18, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • toby

      "Do you people have souls?" Of course not, Rick, and neither do you. We are primates not some sort of spirit creatures. Now, let's put the nigras back in the fields where they belong and stop pretending.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • bluey_qld

      Yeah, that's right toby, we all come from apes. that's why there's still apes around. Some diced they didn't want to evolve, right? Makes a whole lot of sense. That's the biggest cop-out known to man.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
    • rwbj

      @toby, where dropped on your head as child? Or is this some sort of learned behavior that has turned you into one of the lowest forms of life, i.e., a racist piece of garbage?

      December 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • rwbj

      @toby, sorry, before you jump on my grammatical error, it should be "were you dropped on your head", not "where you dropped on your head". But then again, something tells me you might never have noticed it.

      December 18, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • toby

      @rwbj
      Snarky little pedant, aren't you?

      December 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
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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.