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Bitter Pills

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Last Thursday our youngest daughter had a serious asthma attack brought on by a bad cold. She woke us up at about 4:00 am barely able to breathe. After a call to our clinic, we took her to the hospital emergency room. They ended up admitting her, and she spent a day and night in the hospital, coming home on Christmas Eve. The time was stressful and draining, but that’s just part of life. You learn to roll with the punches.

To help reduce inflammation in her lungs, the doctor prescribed Prednisone, a corticosteroid. I had it once myself when I had a persistent sore throat. It was the nastiest, bitterest medicine I’ve ever had, and I could readily understand my daughter’s reluctance to take it. She could barely get it down. I called the pharmacist but was told that Prednisone is not available in capsules or with a coating that would permit swallowing without tasting. Why not? Apparently no one knows.

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Christmas Lessons

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My third-grade daughter came home with a Christmas word-find. Here are the words, associated with Christmas, which she was supposed to find:

  1. GINGERBREAD
  2. CANDLES
  3. HELPERS
  4. GLOVES
  5. CINNAMON
  6. FRIENDS
  7. HATS
  8. GIVING

I don’t know about you, but HATS and GLOVES always make me think of Christmas. What about JESUS, MANGER, STAR, SHEPHERDS, ANGELS, JOSEPH, MARY, and BETHLEHEM? What about WISE MEN and INNS and TAXES? Certainly they are more representative of Christmas than GINGERBREAD and CINNAMON. My daughter thinks she is just doing homework, but she is learning what her culture says about Christmas. The not-so-subtle message of her assignment is that Christmas is just a winter holiday—not a celebration of the Incarnation. Here is a holiday drained of all religious content. Even SANTA CLAUS and REINDEER are missing. Too Christian? Or just not bland enough. Either way it’s disgusting.

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