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« B16 On Christmas Presents | Main | Timing Rumors »

December 18, 2006

Comments

John E

I too give gift certificates and also enjoy getting them, and I think most of my family does as well, but a couple things make me shy away from them.

For one, some people just don't use them. My Dad can hang onto them for months and months, which basically renders my gift into a worthless piece of paper or junk email. It's people like him that retailers had in mind when they started putting expiration dates on gift certificates or slowly reducing their value over time.

Secondly, for the easily offended, it may seem less personal and thoughtful, like they were just an obligation that you needed to get out of the way. "Here, go buy yourself a present." Personally I am unoffended when I get gift certificates, or even the most flexible gift certificate - money. But I know of some who do not think highly of gift certificates.

Jeff Miller

Excellent book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The biography in the first part of the book is fairly thorough from childhood to his time as the Prefect for the CDF. The second part with the thoughts of B16 put into topics though is a great reference. Highly recommended.

Peony Moss

If anyone wants to give me a present, this book would be received with great joy. Just a hint.

(I loved "The Incredibles" as well, btw. So I'm more trusting of Jimmy's taste than ever.)

Truefaith

I have a suggestion--how about celebrating a 'Buy-nothing-Christmas'? You could donate a specific amount of money to that person's favorite charity--assuming its work is morally upright. Personally, I think the whole 'gift-giving scene' has really taken over, and unfortunately, the birth of Christ has become a side-thought--if thought of at all, for many. I've cut out virtually ALL of my gift giving--we really ALL have enough of everything. I do have a couple of people in my family who just REFUSE to give up the 'gift-giving'--and EXPECT a gift in return. So, in a spirit of tolerance, I've purchased 'token gifts'--under $25 each, so as to train them to expect less every year from me. Next year, they will received home-baked goodies, but NO purchased gifts.

Truefaith

John E--I agree with what you said about gift certificates. Many years ago, I gave my mother-in-law a monetarily generous gift certificate to an up-scale dept. store in her area--I was working very long hours at the time, and really could not spend much time shopping. I even had the gift certificate gift wrapped--in a box, with pretty paper and custom bow. Unfortunately, after Christmas, she complained to my husband (her son), about the 'THOUGHTLESS' gift I had given her!!! Needless to say, that incident among many, started me on the path to a 'buy-nothing-Christmas'.

J.R. Stoodley

Wow, either Jimmy's Catholic friends never read his blog or he just made a big mistake. Or maybe he just wants them to think they are getting this book.

Nutcrazical

You're so right, J.R. But I suppose Jimmy is using some Secret Script so that his friends won't be able to see this post...

The Incredibles is an awesome movie.


I've purchased 'token gifts'--under $25 each

What? To my 17 (I mean, 18 *sob*) year-old mind, $25 is a lot of money*! You should go for under $15. There are CDs and books that cost less than that.

I find gift-giving between adults at Christmas strange. Here in Puerto Rico, only the kids receive gifts - on two holidays, too (Christmas, Three Wisemen Day). There are gift exchanges at the workplace and such, but I don't know of any adult who gives gifts to other adults, except my grandma, but those "other adults" she gives gifts to are her children. There's a lot of people in the malls at Christmas time as is, I fear to imagine how it would be if adults were supposed to give gifts to their adult friends and family...


*for a gift on somebody you're not super-close to. I'm not that cheap... really. Like, I totally gave one of my best friends a $35 book on the art of the Lord of the Rings films... dad's money, for sure, but yeah.

bill912

Good point about money Nutcrazical(boy, is your handle hard to type!). Reminds me of the movie "The Magnificant Seven" (I just got SDG's attention. Probably Tim J's, as well). Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen are trying to recruit Charles Bronson.

Brynner compliments him on how he handled a job.

Bronson: "Got paid $600 for that."

Brynner compliments him on another job he handled.

Bronson: "Got paid $800 for that."

McQueen: "You cost a lot."

Bronson: "That's right; I cost a lot."

Brynner: "The offer is $20."

Bronson: "$20? Right now, that's a lot."

bill912

It's all relative. Lee Trevino used to say that playing golf with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line wasn't pressure. "A $5 bet, when you have $3 in your pocket--that's pressure!"

Truefaith

I have to buy two 'token gifts' every year, and I set $25 as the upper limit. In the past few years, since I'm pretty savvy at finding a good bargain during the year, I've usually spent around $15 to $20 for each gift. That may seem like a lot for a 'token gift', but the cost of living is VERY high on the East coast where I live.

Sherri

Ya'll make me laugh. $25.00 is no token gift to me. When my husband was in Medical School and we had NO money and 3 kids I got a few $25.oo gift cards to super Wal-Mart from a few kindly elderly aunts. I've never received a better gift in my adult life. If you have never had to do it even $25.00 can help on a tight food budget, especially if you can cook soup from scratch. Instead of giving another adult a gift card they don't need, try dropping some gift cards off at you parish and let them hand them out to a needy family. That's what I do now that we can afford it. I know there are families out there that will be TRUELY grateful for such a gift. I know I was. MERRY CHRISTMAS1

Linda

Reality is reality when it comes to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. While it was initially started by the Moors, the Spaniards who are fully White (though you do have the fact that Spain was conquered by Moors for over 500 years, so it doesn't really make them as "white")did technically play a major role in what happened. Slavery is commonly spoken of in terms of European Slave owners vs. Black African slaves, but the reality is slavery occurred on just as large a scale with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Namely within the Caribbean.

Read the history of what happened in "Latin" America and the Caribbean. While some Catholics don't want to face it, it was indeed done so by other Catholics. It was not at all condoned by the church, but it was indeed done by Catholics. I always make the distinction that the "discovery" of the Islands was not done so for religious reasons, but rather for secular reasons, only later did the missionaries come.

For instance, the natives of my country,Puerto Rico/Boriken, were completely wiped out. The Tainos
like almost every other Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean and Central and South America, readily accepted the Spaniards. The Tainos are known to be the most peaceful of all the Indigenous peoples the Spanish encountered. They readily accepted the faith the Spaniards had brought with them. Their counterparts, the Kalinas/Kalinagas or what most people know as the Caribs were the more fierce war like natives commonly described.

Agueybana, the head chief of all Tainos on the island of Boriken, readily accepted Juan Ponce de Leon. I don't remember if it was Agueybana's wife or sister

that was baptized out of good will towards the Spaniards. Many others followed, because the religion of the Cacique (Chief) was the religion that his people would follow. There was some resistance, by the priestly class of the Tainos, but as the Cacique/Cacica (Male Chief/Female Chief) had the last say it really didn't hinder anything.

Now the Spaniards, did play a major role in killing off a people. While not really their fault (in all cases) disease was a contributor to the death of many of the natives. But there indeed were many other things that were done, which are in no way shape or form were very Catholic in nature.

For instance, many of the Taino women were raped. The Spaniard men had been out at sea for months. Hygiene really wasn't a top priority, so its not like the Spaniards weren't carrying bacteria, that would carry STD's. I believe the first case of syphylis reported in the Americas, was in Quisqueya (what is now known as the Dominican Republic). Many of these unions produced children that the Spaniards did not recognize. I don't believe there are many documented cases where the Spaniards married the natives.

Secondly, the Spaniards in many instances equated the Tainos with the Moors in Spain. The Tainos habitually bathed at certain times of the day in the river. The Spaniards quickly equated that practice with the purification rituals of the Moors. This is all documented by Fray Ramon Pane (A Catholic Friar):

http://www.amazon.com/Account-Antiquities-Indians-Chronicles-Translation/dp/0822323478/sr=8-2/qid=1166643030/ref=sr_1_2/002-8081587-9704060?ie=UTF8&s=books

While he in no way shape or form agrees with the idolatrous practices of some of the natives, he tries to understand it the best way he can. Fray Ramon Pane, doesn't deny resistance from some to the faith, but he also documents how many of those who were resistant were of the priestly class.He explains how some of the priest class would trick the people of the tribe by making holes in the idols, which the idol would "speak" through, when in reality it was the priest doing so.

He also mentions how the natives buried the statues of the saints, hoping for a good harvest. This practice he attributes the natives syncretizing their earlier practice of burying their idols, in hopes of having a good harvest.

Among other things he writes about, he is one of the few who attempt to understand the natives and their beliefs.

Thirdly, the Spaniards conquered the islands. Why couldn't they have established a monarchy based on the Chiefdom that was already established. The structure of the Chiefdoms really didn't need much work, because it was extremely similar to that of a monarchy. We've go to admit, that it should've and could've been done. The Spaniards could have lived under a Taino monarchy. There would have been no arguments from the natives, because the structure of their society wasn't that different. Seriously if a monarchy is to ever be established in the Americas I strongly believe it should be under a Catholic Indigenous Native American (Taino,Cherokee etc.), not under a European, because technically the land belongs to the Natives. I know some will disagree, but thats life.

Then we have the concept of slavery. There are a few Papal bulls which explicitly stated automatic excommunication for anyone that enslaved the natives.It was apparently to late, because the majority were killed off from either disease,malnutrition or from being over worked. Much of this had to do with the search for Gold among other things on the island. It should be noted that African Slavery in Puerto Rico, was not as harsh as it was on the neighboring islands, because of what resulted with the enslavement of the Tainos. Many African Slaves fled from Haiti and Cuba to the town of Loiza Aldea in Puerto Rico. They only had to accept the faith and would be allowed onto the island. This is mainly the reason religions such as Santeria and Palo Mayombe (Cuba) and Voodoun(Haiti and to a lesser extent the Dominican Republic) didn't develop in Puerto Rico, only after the Diaspora were Puerto Ricans exposed to them, but thats a whole other story.

Yes, there were revolts amongst the Tainos, but seriously wouldn't you revolt, if you were enslaved in your own country. Wouldn't you revolt, if the people you welcomed into your home with open arms raped your women, completely wiped out your language except for a few words here and there etc. I reccomend some of you look up the things that were contributed by the Tainos to the world as a whole, cuisine, language etc.

There technically is no such thing as races of people, rather their are various ethnicities.

Ethnic Segregation did occur and still to this day occurs in many countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

There were Censuses taken that divided people into various groups. These are the most basic of them all;

1) Blanco (White European)

2) Mestizo (European and Indigenous)

3)Indio ( Indian/Indigenous)

4)Negro (Black West African)

5)Zambo ( Indian/Indigenous and African)

6)Mulatto (White European and African)

7) Criollo ( Child of pure White Europeans born in the Americas)

There's a saying that arose in Puerto Rico because of this. "Y tu abuela, adonde esta", translated it means "Your grandmother, where is she". The saying refers to the fact, that many people who had a Black or Indigenous ancestor would deny it. This was in order to be part of the "Blanco" which was associated with being high class and superior. This was prior to DNA analysis, people merely went on phenotypes. To this day there are countries in "Latin" America that have ID cards that have such categories listed on them. Some countries will categorize people as "Blanco" even when they're Black, if they have wealth. It really is a sad thing.

There are more categories existing amongst other "Latin" American peoples, but in this case I am using the ones most common in my country.

To this day many sections of Puerto Rico and Latin American countries are divided amongst these Ethnic factions. For instance certain sections of Puerto Rico where that division is most clearly seen are in:

Carolina ("Black" Puerto Ricans)

Loiza Aldea ("Black" Puerto Ricans)

Lares ("White" Puerto Ricans, the tension is most highly seen in this section of Puerto Rio)

etc.

While the majority of the island is intergrated now, it wasn't always like that.Its not uncommon to see people of all shades in a Puerto Rican family. I cannot speak for the neighboring Islands on this account, because much of the ethnic tension still survived mainly in Cuba and in the Dominican Republic.

Not everything about the colonization of the Americas is false, there are indeed things that should be corrected. The main thing being that the church approved of the enslavement of the Indigenous peoples. But there are other things that need to be brought to light, namely things that Columbus had done, and other such things that are commonly swept under the rug.

I put "Latin" in quotations, because I am of the opinion that it only acknowledges the Latin (Spaniard,French, Portuguese etc,) based roots of the people who make these regions. The same applies to the word Latino. Technically Latino refers to someone who speaks a Latin based tongue. So in using that definition, someone who is Haitian,Brazilian,Italian etc all speak Latin based tongues, which would automatically make them Latinos. The ethnic makeup of these regions is so diverse, that its a shame that all aren't represented.

For instance these are some of the few that make me as a Puerto Rican:

Tainos,Africans,Spaniards,Arabs, Gypsies/Romanies (and proud of it) more than likely they were Zincali the Rom that inhabit Southern Spain,Sephardi Jews (more than likely, but I'm not sure about it), there are probably more, but the point is all contributed in one way shape or form to the culture of my country which is both diverse and beautiful.

If you want to read more about the interaction between the Europeans and other Ethnic groups I'd reccomend reading up on the life of Anacaona, Caonabo,Nzingha and other various people that in some way shape or form shared in these encounters.

I live in New York, so I see day to day interactions with a myriad of other nationalities and ethnic groups. I've seen a lot coming from all sides both good and bad, catholic and non-catholic alike. I especially love when Spanish speaking people who came to this country were referred to as "Spics" etc.While I know other groups suffered similar name calling, those who did suffer under these names did no better when other groups migrated/immigrated to this country.

There are 2 sides to every coin, the world is not as small as many of think it to be.

For instance the Virgin in my icon, is called "La Virgen de Regla/Our Lady of Rule/Order". She is said to have been the Virgin of Saint Augustine. There is a story of her apparition as to why she became the head of the Order of Saint Augustine. Her statue had been lost for years and she appeared to a priest telling him where he might find her statue, there are various websites that have the story, so if anyone wants to read up on her be my guest. Well anyway, I identify with her the most. While the original Statue both Our Lady and Christ are black, that various adaptations show Our Lady as being black and the Christ Child being olive skinned. I can easily identify with it, because it reflects the various ethnic make ups in my own culture. There are other statues that reflect her as being an Olive Skinned women, but those are few and rare, one will commonly see Our Lady of Regla being black. I also identify with other "Latin" American virgins like, Our Lady of Charity,Providencia,Guadalupe,San Juan de Los Lagos, Monserrate, del Pozo etc, because of the fact I can see Christ and Our Lady reflecting the people. That doesn't mean that I don't identify with other apparitions, but rather that these are closer to home. I pray to Our Lady of Fatima etc, because no matter what she is Our Lady no matter what color she appears in, the same with Our Lord. Our Lady of Guadalupe is said to have appeared as a native to better reflect that she indeed was the mother of the natives as well, but also to prove that the natives were just as capable as the Spaniards in practicing the faith. Sadly not many of the darker skinned apparitions of Our Lady and Our Lord are known to the majority of Catholics. There was a time when people thought that there were no such things as Black Virgins. The ignorance of these beautiful apparitions has gone on for too long and its time for us to embrace them all.

I believe that the prayer to Our Lady of Charity/La Caridad del Cobre if I remember correctly makes a reference to Our Lady haven given birth without pain.

It was extremely sad when my mother brought in a picture of a Black Madonna to her classroom, and her students asked if there was such a thing as a Black Virgin.

bill912

Jimmy, we got a troll.

CELTIBERIAN

You said:"(though you do have the fact that Spain was conquered by Moors for over 500 years, so it doesn't really make them as "white")"

WHAT A BIG IGNORANT!!. THE ARABS IN SPAIN WHERE LESS THAN 50,000 WITHIN A POPULATION OF 5,000,000 HISPANOROMANS.THEY DIDNT INTERMARRY WITH SPANIARDS BECAUSE THEY WHERE A PRIVILEDGED AND EVEN RACIST CAST (AS YOU ARE BESIDES AN IGNORANT TOO) AND WE EXPELLED THEM TO NORTH AFRICA AND POPULATED THE PRESENT TERRITORY OF ANDALUCIA WITH SPANIARDS COMING FROM THE NORTH. IN FACT LOTS OF DNA STUDIES ALL OVER THE INTERNET SHOW THAT THEY ONLY LEFT A MINOR CONTRIBUTION TO OUR DNA (LESS THAN 3%)SO IS STATISTICALLY IMPOSSIBLE THAT YOU COULD SEE ANY MOORISH FENOTYPE IN US: WE ARE CELTIBERIANS AND IN FACT THE FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLERS AND IF YOU WERE MORE CULTIVATED YOU WOULD KNOW THAT IN FACT IRISH AND BRITISH DESCENT FROM US AS ALL DNA STUDIES SHOW.BESIDES YOU DONT HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA OF WHAT BEING "WHITE " MEANS YOU BIG IGNORANT!

CELTIBERIAN

SO ONLY 3% OF SPANIARDS COULD CLAIM TO HAVE SOME ARAB ANCESTOR BETWEEN THEIRS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SPANISH ANCESTORS TILL VIII CENTURY!IF YOU KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT GENETICS YOU SHOULD KNOW THAT EVEN THIS 3% POPULATION COULD NEVER EXHIBIT ANY MOORISH FENOTYPE TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE FAINTNESS OF RELATIONSHIP AND REMOTENESS OF THE ORIGIN. SO ARE YOU NORTHAMERICAN? THEM I AM SURELY "WHITER" THAN YOU NO DOUBT, YOU BIG IGNORANT AS YOU NORTHAMERICANS HAVE A HUGE PROPORTION OF NATIVE AND BLACK BLOOD RUNNING THROUGH YOUR VEINS. HOW MANY AMERICAN "WHITES" HAVE NEGRO ANCESTRY???

"For all the accusations of miscegenation in Southern Europe coming from American whites, it seems that they've had much more historical contact with non-Caucasoid groups than anyone in Europe ever has. Indeed, the evidence indicates that their average admixture levels, though still low, match the highest levels found in Southern Europe (Portugal), while greatly exceeding the Southern European average."

http://racialreality.shorturl.com/

bill912

Jimmy, please remove the rantings of the racist troll.

Mary Kay

Bill, I think the above posts simply show the wisdom of Jimmy's rules. I don't read posts that are in all caps nor did I read Linda's post (except for the last paragraph) because of its length.

GoomyBoy

I think Celtiberian is right.He is not a racist at all but he is in fact trying to defend himself from a racist statement: Saying that spaniards are not so white not only is racist but totally untrue. The moors were a minority in islamic Spain just as the visigoths. They both were the ruling casts but didnt leave any perceptible trace of them in the spaniards genetics.Spaniards are very similar to french and italians because they share a common past. If some of them look swarthier just as some french or italians do is because of exposition to solar beams.Just go on winter to Spain (I was there last year) and you will find that the only ones not looking so white are in fact the latin american or north african immigrants.As white people they are by far better preserved than northamericans. It seems to me that you don't really know very much about what you are talking about. You should definitely read more or travel more or both!

Retaliator

The Balkans were also conquered by turks for more than 450 years and the people there dont resemble moors or arabs although they are still muslims and followers of Mahoma. They look europeans like the rest of europeans only they dress like moors!. People of different cultures, ethnicities and religions dont mix so happily less if they're so incompatible like christians and mahomethans!. They didnt mix in the balcans and they didnt mix in Spain.

C'mon, to be white you dont need to have a pasty white freckled face and blondy hair!. The vast mayority of germans and austrians have brown hair and brown eyes and even some have a dark complexion (like basques for example: they have a dark complexion but have nothing to do with moors. In fact basques are a very old and well preserved people and the protoeuropeans in fact). So are they less white than norwegians?.Are british less white because they have a darker complexion than norwegians too?. Are scandinavians the only truly white people?.

Spaniards are fully white only they have on average a darker complexion than northeuropeans like french or italians. Darker complexion doesnt mean moorish blood!.Only because moors are darker doesnt mean that europeans with darker complexion should be of moorish descent!. So as native americans for example have a dark complexion too they should be considered of moorish descent? .C'mon dont be dickheads you racist people!

Pierre Bordeau

we do consider the Americans pretty ignorant. They do not have any world education (most of them probably do not even know where France or Spain are located). If any country really has a mixed racial white group, it is the Americans yet most still consider themselves white...What hypocrisy, when a lot of them have Indian or black ancestors..

Regards,

Pierre Bordeau
Cananda

LarryD

I know where France and Spain are, but I have to admit, I've never heard of Cananda.....

Cajun Nick

LarryD,

It's not often that I actually laugh out loud while reading these comments, but your last post really had me going. :)

bill912

I think it's a town in upstate NY

LarryD

Glad to have given you a good laugh, CajunNick.

Akins

White doesnt mean your skin colour should be whiter than snow. White means european aboriginal and spaniards are considered to be some of the first (if not the first) european settlers dating from paleolithic times: They are true aboriginal europeans hence truly und fully white. Whites exhibit different skin colours, whiter or darker, but they are all white.

Marty

With Executive Gift Shoppe, it wouldn't be that hard for you, though. For example, business card wallet would surely suit men, considering it's hard to find real gifts for the gents.

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