From Ready Nutrition:

Ready Nutrition Guys and Gals, this is the holiday season, and Christmas here.  I wish to give you a little food for thought for you and your families while you’re together…because when you’re together, it is the best possible time to discuss what really matters.  Family.  Togetherness.  Good memories.  All of these things are important, and they are what really make us Americans.  Without the family as the core unit, everything comes grinding to a halt, as can readily be seen with just a glimpse of the level our society has denigrated itself to.

There was a time when we faced overwhelming odds, as we do now.  Our Founding Fathers faced it in the Revolutionary War, the “it” being the crushing might of the British Empire, then the foremost military power in the world.  Back then, Christmas was not celebrated as much as it is now: our forbearers were Puritans, and in their eyes Christmas mirrored the Bacchanalian feasts and Saturnalia of the Ancient Romans too much.  It is believed that German immigrants to Pennsylvania introduced the Christmas tree, a staunch German tradition centuries old at that time.

“We have it in our power to begin the world anew…America shall make a stand, not for herself alone, but for the world.”                  

Thomas Paine, in “Common Sense,” January 9, 1776

They stood on the edge of an abyss, these men, and the great experiment of a Republic based on principles of freedom and the vote of the people was so delicate as to be almost a gossamer cobweb in the morning grass.  The slightest wind could shatter it and the dream would be gone forever.

On the 6th of December, 1776, the naval base of Newport, RI was captured by the British, and 5 days later, General George Washington went across the Delaware River with his men into PA.  The Continental Congress had to retreat from the city of Philadelphia and relocate to Baltimore, MD.  Thomas Paine also wrote of these happenings, as he was serving under General Washington in the Continental Army.  Paine wrote these immortal words:

“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country: but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered. Yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

Great words, and completely true that we can hold with us today.

Christmas Day, December 25, 1776, and George Washington re-crosses the Delaware River and attacks the Hessians (German mercenaries from the city of Hesse).  Those Hessians numbered about 1,600 men, and the Americans captured 1,000 of them.  This started to turn the tide for the future United States…and Washington and his troops suffered the privations of hunger, severe cold, lack of provisions and supplies, and numerical inferiority.

But Washington triumphed, on Christmas Day, 1776, so many…

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