Wednesday, December 12, 2012

John Walsh Saved My Holiday, And He's About To Save Yours Too

I'm gonna rain on your holiday parade.

I just stood in a post office line that extended into the parking lot in order to mail my holiday cards.  Rather, I stood in a post office line that extended into the parking lot so I could buy attractively-holiday-ish stamps to include on my holiday cards.  WTF.

As I waited, furiously checking my phone for responses to an article on the Today Show website in which I am quoted alongside Brad Pitt (for reals), a non-Christian, middle-aged mom stormed toward the end of the line screaming, “Are you kidding me?  A line at the post office?  What could be happening in the world that there is a line at the post office?”

(Please don't ask how I know she was non-Christian)
In all honesty, I expected the peeps from SNL (or at least Funny Or Die) to pop out with cameras, casting directors, or Andy Samburg at best.  But nothing.  Her actions were truer than anything on Storage Wars.  Bah Humbug.

While the holidays bring out the best in many of us, they can also bring out the worst.  You likely need proof of this like you need to see more Elf on The Shelf photos, but bear with me.  I am pushing an important end message here.

On two separate occasions this weekend I heard crying children head to the front of a store to ask for help after losing track of their parent or guardian.  I am still torn as to whether my reaction was more of anger or sadness.  Either way, there was empathy for both mother and child, and an appreciation for John Walsh.

Yes, John Walsh.  Everyone has seen an episode or 600 of America’s Most Wanted, created and hosted by Walsh, who became an advocate for victims' rights after the murder of his son in 1981.

Adam Walsh
I still have memory of that summer, when 6 year old Adam was abducted from the toy section of a Sears department store.  My mother used news of the then only missing boy to teach me a lesson about wandering off.  Then, when the 1983 made for TV movie “Adam” aired, she had me watch it.  Unfortunately, the ending of the film was as tragic as reality.  16 days after his disappearance, Adam’s head was discovered 120 miles from his home.  Nothing else was ever found.  (His murderer was convicted and later died in prison.)

I was 7 years old when “Adam” aired, but remember it to this day.  I am thankful to my mother, as unconventional as her ways may have seemed, for providing the reason why my girls doing this still scares the crap out of me.

There is so much to think about as the holidays approach… travel, shopping, expenses, stressful family visits, and coming up with innovative ideas for your Elf on the Shelf.

But more importantly, the holidays are about giving- giving joy, giving hope, giving thanks, and giving love.

Don’t lose sight of your love, literally or figuratively.