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Ben Lippen

Merry Christmas, and all the rest, to all of my friends here....

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I wish you all the best of Holiday Seasons ever.


It's ben a tough year, for all of us. We've lost some very good folks, both members here, and of the extended SOL family.

And we're all, a little smaller for that.


But as we remember those dear departed, we must also think about what we have now.


Last month, right before Thanksgiving, I hired my brother to come over and clean the leaves up from my yard as an early Christmas present for my landlords.

I hadnt seen, nor talked to this brother in several years, even though we live just a few miles apart. I'm the king of grudge holders, and a few years is nothing for me, but my motive was purely that I didnt wanna do it myself, and I was leaving for Virginia for three weeks and I didnt want my 73 year old adopted "Pop" to do it while I was gone.

Saw my brother and paid him when the work was done.

Went to Virginia.



But something was nagging at me, in the back of my mind.

I just kept thinking about my family.

I'm the youngest of ten ya see. And eight of us live in the same county here in Jersey. I havent seen any of them in a few years.


We , some of us, are literally minutes apart, but I havent made the time to see them.

That was naggin' at me.


Then I spoke to a dear friend on the other side of the country who is far from her family.

Thousands of miles away, and I know she would give a small body part to get "home" for the holidays.

She was having trouble dealing with some issues of the holiday and friends.

And I was having trouble coming up with a topic for this post.


And there it was.....


The essence of the season.

Not just the religious part that some worship.

But that part we all need.




Family, whether blood or not is a tie that man has always sought.

To belong.

It's a survival instinct, but so much more.

We all need others around us, for protection. For esteem. For order.


We here at Stripersonline are a family.

Growing at unbeliveable rates.

Someone here gets hurt or wronged, and there's a great outcry and offers of help.

Better than that, someone here says someone they know has ben hurt or wronged.

The same cry goes up.

Offers of help are proffered, movements begin.

Money or whatever is asked for to help, and it comes in buckets.


From folks who dont "know" other folks.

This is the family I love.

As truely as I love my own flesh and blood family.


The thing was still nagging at me, in the back of my mind because there's a few brothers-in-law that I dont particulary wanna see right now....


Then I talked to my friend, and she made me realise that it didnt matter.

All the bullcrap. Whatever was in the way.


It's the time of year to get past all that.

It's all about family.



I'm not gonna blow it off this year like I usually do.

I'm going to my sisters house for Christmas.

I'm gonna hug my brothers and sisters really hard and they're gonna be surprised at that smile.gif

But that's okay.

Cause I love them.


Merry Christmas everyone


John Parker

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Merry Christmas to you too. It sounds like you will have a Merry Christmas. Lifes too short to hold grudges or to be avoiding people over what is probably now some silly argument Remember you can never get that time back again.

Happy Holidays to all the good people here on the site.

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you are absolutely right.


as usual.


this Christmas, i'll be spending time with my extended family. no, we're not related, but we're family nonetheless.


and sometimes, well sometimes, that's good enough.


love you big brother.


and i'm proud of you.


Merry Christmas to you, yours, all of my family here on SOL, and to my own family, thousands of miles away who will never see this.. but who are always grateful that i have good friends out here, because they worry about me.

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John, An eloquent post if ever there was one! I too am going through family fueds on my wifes side and it all gets worse this time of year. God bless you and your family during this holiday season. I am going to make it a point to throw back some pints with you and Andy at the next food fling, Stay Safe, Dave Collins

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Hi my friend,

Going to your sisters is a good thing, and your right, It's about family. Thanks for that. It'll be good to see you again at the

MERRY CHRISTMAS, to you too, and a safe and healthy holiday

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Thanks for the post John. You said it all. I think you have touched a bunch of us and have started an inward gaze. I know that's what it did for me. I have realized that the addage " Too soon old and Too late smart" was written for me.

Merry Christmas to all.

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Ben Lippen,


I read your post and I feel your pain. I could not agree more about what you said. Family is everything in life and important for the inner sole. One thing I can tell you for sure, the wiser we get the sooner we realize that life goes in a cycle. A cycle like the way the earth turns, the sun rises, the way fish migrates, the way we sleep and wake and so forth. Everything in life goes back and forth in one form or another... but again, it is a complete cycle. The same way we live to die but it is up to the individual to know when to give and to take in life. It is all a matter of time and time is all we have in this planet. Your heart is still alive and you have a will... The will to bond into that cycle....There is still time for no regrets.


You need to reach out to your family my friend. A family is what you started with and it is the cycle that you need to complete. I am hopeful of the outcome and you will feel good that you did.


Have a Merry Christmas to you, your family and to the rest of the SOL family! HappyWave.gif


"Crazy" Alberto

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Great post John, as usual. Looking forward to hoisting a jar with ya one of these years, hopefully the Food Fling.

All the best to you and yours John, and to the rest of the SOL family as well.

God bless.

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