It’s Called Christmas, Let’s Keep It That Way

Dana Houser 0 Comments

Here in America we celebrate several holidays each year. I’m not sure what the exact number is, but the main six are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. These all have their own significance.

New Year’s Day is the celebration of a new year. That one’s pretty obvious. Then we have Memorial Day where we honor the nation’s war dead from the Civil War onwards. After that is Independence Day on July 4th. This is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence from British rule and it’s often referred to as simply “The Fourth.” Next, comes Labor Day which celebrates the achievements of workers and the labor movement & the unofficial end of the summer. After that, we move into the fall and celebrate Thanksgiving where we traditionally celebrate the giving of thanks for the autumn harvest. Then comes the biggest one of all, Christmas. This is the holiday, at least for Christians, where we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas

Many people, who are not Christians, join in this celebration. It’s a beautiful time of year where friends and families gather to spend time with each other, and in many cases, exchange gifts.

Christians are not offended by the non-Christians joining in this celebration. Although they aren’t exactly doing it for the same reason.

But that’s ok.

It’s NOT Happy Holiday

The issue I have, along with many other Christians, is the people who claim that they are offended by this. They are ‘offended’ when people say “Merry Christmas” to them or someone within earshot of them. These people have raised so much ruckus over this, that retailers have been ‘scared’ into dropping the term ‘Christmas’ from their ads and replacing it with ‘Happy Holidays’ instead.

This is ludicrous!


Because Christmas, yes, I said it, Christmas, is the only reason people are out shopping for gifts. It’s called a Christmas Tree that people place in their homes and decorate. They put up Christmas lights and sing Christmas songs and wear ugly Christmas sweaters.

There’s not one other holiday that’s celebrated by Americans that’s referred to generically as ‘happy holidays.’ And Christmas, I believe, is the only holiday that’s acknowledged worldwide on December 25.

You’re Offended?

If anyone should be offended it’s the Christians. Christians don’t try to change or discredit the holidays of other religions. They respect what they believe and encourage their celebrations.

Can you imagine if someone said they were going to go light some ‘holiday works’ on Independence Day? It doesn’t even make sense. Or if they said ‘happy holiday day’ on all the other holidays in order to not offend someone. And what’s “Merry Xmas?” I mean who was the ‘genius‘ that thought that up? I’m not even going to expand my thoughts on this, but X is not a substitute for Christ.

Merry Christmas is a very pleasant greeting or departing phrase. It has absolutely zero connotation of anything offensive. If you don’t believe in Christmas, just say thank you and move on. It’s nothing to get all bent out of shape over. The person is wishing you well.

Now go enjoy your friends and family.

Merry Christmas!

The Day I Flatlined

Dana Houser 0 Comments

flat-lineBeep. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

We’ve lost him.

That’s the sound of death. We’ve all heard stories of people that have come back from the dead. Whether they’re in surgery, recovering from surgery or just terribly ill.

I’m one of them.

But thankfully that’s not the kind of flatlining I bounced back from.


I woke up one Sunday morning and I couldn’t get out of bed. And no one could talk me into getting out of bed. I couldn’t find the motivation. Life had beaten me down and I couldn’t muster the energy to get up before the ten count. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, though. I had worked my ass off. I’d married an awesome, beautiful woman and was raising two kids that I was very proud of. But something was missing. I had no passion for what I was doing career wise. Sunday night was usually worse too because I knew what was coming over the next five days.

I had been letting other people have too much influence over my decisions on what I should do with my life.

MY Life

And it had taken its toll. I was burned out and my tank was empty. I had never felt like this before and I wasn’t sure what to do about it.


Like a lot of people, I kept thinking things would get better on their own. It’s a lie we all tell ourselves because we all know that in order for things to change, only we can change them. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.

I knew I could do something different, that I could be something different if I’d just put in the time and effort during my off hours. But I was so drained and life just kept throwing punches at me, that I couldn’t seem to drop the gloves and get a couple of jabs in. I always seemed to be on defense having to keep my guard up trying to avoid getting hit again because it seemed like no matter how much I hit back, I couldn’t counter the number of hits coming at me. The hits were financial and medical issues, which lead to more financial issues.

We Have a Pulse

Monday morning came like it always had and nothing had changed. That is nothing but my attitude. There are some things in life that are out of your control and the sooner you realize AND accept that the better your life is going to be. The bills kept coming and the health conditions weren’t going to go away… ever. But, I could get some jabs in and fight back if I didn’t throw in the towel. I knew what the results would be if I did that.

I had some skills that I wasn’t putting to use so when I decided to come back to life, I made a plan and started moving forward. You should do the same thing because life’s too short to not be doing something you’re passionate about. Even if you only do it as a hobby or part time.

Start enjoying the good things in life. There’s a lot of them if you don’t let the b.s. tear you down.

What Muscle Memory and Dreams Have In Common

Dana Houser 0 Comments

We’re Here to Pump… You Up! ~Hanz & Franz

Do you remember Hanz and Franz from Saturday Night Live? Those guys were hilarious. The mention of muscle in the title reminded me of them, but this isn’t about being a meathead.

Have you ever wondered if you could do what you used to be able to do? Or wonder why you can’t do what you used to be able to do?

I have. And when I surprised myself doing something I used to do for a couple hours a day, 6 days a week, quite a few years ago, I had realized something.

Let Me Tell You About It

I played football in high school, and since I played football, lifting weights was a natural addition. Plus, my brother Jon was a big influence in getting me to start lifting weights.

High school was the end of my football career, but I continued lifting weights for several years after I graduated. In fact, me and my best friend were so committed to it that we usually pumped iron for a couple of hours a night and most Saturday mornings.

We were dedicated. And we liked doing it.

But the older we got, it seemed harder to find the time to pump iron two hours a day. Then I got married and had kids and he was going to school. So working out together was hit and miss. We had so much time and energy into fitness though that I couldn’t just quit.

Like so many people do, they get on the roller coaster of fitness. They workout for awhile, and then they slack for awhile. It’s really a vicious cycle.


A few years ago I decided to commit and get back into shape. But I didn’t have the desire to lift weights, aka pump iron, for two hours a day. I didn’t have the time or desire. So I bought one of the best selling workouts from an infomercial. You’ve probably heard of, P90X.

So I started doing it. And I was getting results. But my mind was so tuned into lifting weights that I didn’t know what kind of strength I was really gaining, or maintaining. Then one day I had to take my son to basketball practice at the YMCA and my daughter wanted to work out while we waited. After his practice, he came up to the weight room and I decided to see if I could still bench press 225lbs. So I told them to pick a side and get ready to spot me. In other words, save my life if I couldn’t press it.

I Was Shocked

I took the weight off the rack, took a deep breath and did the first rep.


Then I did nine more. And I couldn’t believe it. I actually believe I could’ve done more than that, but I had two spotters that I wasn’t sure about how they would react if I got stuck. So I racked the weights.

This is a great example of muscle memory. Now I had been doing weight resistant exercises, like pushups. But I wasn’t doing any weight lifting and my muscles remembered what I used to be able to lift anyway. I hadn’t benched pressed for a few years. And here I was benching 225lbs for ten reps.

I Challenge You

Your brain is like a muscle. When you were younger, before you conformed and did what everyone else was doing, went to school and got a job. Or just got a job. You had dreams and high aspirations. But then you got in a rut and settled for what life gave you. You gave up on going out and taking what you want. On making the life you desire.

All you have to do is re-introduce your dreams to your brain. As soon as you ‘rekindle that fire‘ you’ll feel the passion you once had.

Just like muscle memory.

Think about your perfect day. Think about everything from the time you get up, to what you have for breakfast, to who you eat with and to what you do in the morning, afternoon and evening. Picture what you for fun and hobbies. Picture the life you were going to live before you let everyone and everything else dictate to you the life that you are living.

It’s within you, all you have to do is ignite that spark.