Rudolph The Redneck Reindeer


The Christmas season has become so many formal things that
seem so vapid and shallow. Reality is much deeper and more profound.

Our great nation was built by rugged individualists who bent the world to their will. These days, it seems populated by professional victims whose day jobs often orbit around self-flagellation and pity. As I didn’t want to miss that gravy train myself, today, I thought I’d lament my sordid state.

It’s tough being a Mississippian. Our firearms mortality rate is 28.6 per 100,000 people, while that of New York is 5.3. We rank 47th in literacy, though we did beat out Texas, California and New Mexico. We are the whipping boys for the entire country. Most of America, particularly those on the enlightened coasts, views us as unwashed shoeless hicks clinging dogmatically to our guns and God. Well, perhaps …

The reality is that if you subtract the 18 impoverished Delta counties, Mississippi is safe, literate and prosperous. Statistically speaking, we are about in the middle for all the good stuff. I grew up in the Delta, and that’s a column unto itself. However, central Mississippi is a simply delightful place. We are flush with industry, and we produce lyrically beautiful women. If your metric is burnt-down neighborhoods, our race relations are massively more cordial than those of the more enlightened states as well. We also have the nation’s friendliest folks.

Now, it is easy to make that claim. In the following instance, my sample size is admittedly just one. However, I am proud of my people, my state and my tribe. Here’s why.

Oxford, Mississippi, is a simply delightful place. Provided/Visit Oxford

Wise Life Choices

I recently met a gentleman in my medical clinic. He and I are about the same age, but he has made better life choices than I have. As a result, he and his wife had retired from their tech jobs in California and were looking for someplace else to settle. The astronomical taxes, rampant drugs, unfettered homelessness and general social justice insanity had driven him from his home of 27 years in search of something more sensible. He has plenty of company in that regard.

This man and his wife had narrowed their potential retirement spots down to Florida, South Carolina, and Oxford, Mississippi. As they now had both time and resources, they resolved to spend a month in each place before making a decision and buying a home. I asked how the competition was coming.

We modern Americans have veered way off from the original
meaning of Christmas. It’s really about friends, family, and faith.

‘Tis the Season …

This was early January. The man told me that on Christmas Eve, he had been in the checkout line at the local Walmart picking up some things to improvise Christmas in his hotel room with his wife. As the store was crowded, the stranger ahead of him in the line struck up a conversation just to pass the time (we often still do that here). Recognizing that his accent was “not from around here,” the local citizen asked his story. Hearing it, he inquired regarding my new friend’s Christmas plans.

When my buddy explained that he and his wife were intending a quiet holiday at the local Hampton Inn, the man said, “Nonsense. Here’s my address. We start at 6. I’ll see you there.”

With some trepidation, my California buddy and his wife took this stranger up on his offer and appeared as directed at 6 o’clock, not really knowing what to expect. He said the evening was simply delightful with three generations in attendance. There were stories, food, laughter and Jesus aplenty. As the evening wound down and they were disengaging, the man they met at Walmart then asked what their plans were for the following Christmas morning. When they admitted they had none, the local gentleman gave him his mom’s address and said lunch started at 11. He expected to see them there.

Lunch was typical Deep South soul food — sinfully delicious, though terribly unhealthy. My new friend said he and his wife had a simply magnificent time. He actually admitted that at the end of those two days, he knew more about these strangers he met in the checkout line at Walmart than he did about his neighbors beside whom he had lived for 27 years in California. Needless to say, Mississippi enjoyed a resounding lead in the competition for retirement destinations.

Mississippians are indeed literate. A few of us can actually write.


I was a soldier. I have lived all over the world. There is no finer place on the planet than my little piece of Mississippi. Taxes are low, real estate is still sort of affordable relative to the rest of America, and our churches are full. There are no extraneous gun laws, and a few of us are actually literate.

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom is quick to point out that his state is poised to become the fourth-largest economy in the world here directly. They’ll be beating out Germany to get there. Good for him. However, what good is money if you don’t know your neighbors? Mississippi is still what America used to be.

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