Christmas has year-round impactA reader — always pleased to hear from one — asked me if I was going to let Christmas pass by without comment.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
A reader — always pleased to hear from one — asked me if I was going to let Christmas pass by without comment.
I truly was, but with his question, and Sam Cook’s article in the Duluth News Tribune, gave me second thoughts.
Christmas is a very big deal for almost everyone and my comments won’t add anything new but hopefully will broach a thought that will engender some different perspective or bring back a memory faded over the years.
Christmas, for me, my family and acquaintances, triggers fond memories of family get-togethers, exchanging gifts and sentiments of peace and good will toward all.
Wouldn’t more of that peace and good will expressed during the Christmas season be great all year round?
Family get-togethers seem to top the list for most folks. When my kids were growing up, we made several long trips from Montana back to Menomonie, Wis., for that very special reason. It was never less than 850 miles one way and winter roads in North Dakota provided additional memories. This year, my eldest son Barry, is sponsoring a Christmas get-together for our entire family. He obviously believes the best Christmas gift of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up with one another.
Exchanging gifts is big on many people’s list, but I personally believe that is mostly a child thing.
I wouldn’t need to tell you, however, that thought is a minority opinion in my family.
I liked Sam Cook’s idea of folks without personal needs giving to a charity that will help folks at a low point in their lives, a tiny piece of a Merry Christmas they might not have had otherwise. It provides a good deal of satisfaction and good feeling for those who do that as well. Fortunately, that practice is growing and certainly pleases the occasion’s namesake greatly if we have interpreted those ancient words correctly.
The peace and good will would be more wonderful if implemented year round wouldn’t they? If we, as a nation, could be satisfied with a smaller portion of the world’s resources a good deal of ill will and confrontation would be avoided.
If we could be gracious about the religious beliefs of others rather than believing that ours is the one and only true religion — foreigners would much more easily become friends. The memories and written reports of the Crusades open old wounds and fears we could well do without.
Some academicians believe that Christmas was an earlier pagan holiday because of the birth of Mirtha and Sol Invictus, the Sun God.
That doesn’t disturb me in the slightest since the birth of a great practice, by whomever, benefits everyone.
I see Christ in the word and remember his teachings and actions as he spent so much of his recorded life helping others.
We can use a lot more of that too, can’t we? Yes, I realize that some folks call it socialism.
Henry Van Dyke is reported to have said something that expresses my feelings so I’m taking the easy way out — primarily using his words:
I am thinking of you as I write this because it is the Christmas season and I wish you happiness. I shall still wish you happiness throughout the year. I will not be able to tell you about it every day because I am some distance away, and/or because both of us are otherwise busy. But the thought and the wish will be there just the same. Whatever joy or success comes to you will make me glad without pretense, and in plain words, good will is what I mean in the spirit of Christmas.
And for some lighter thoughts about Christmas: There have always been some Christmas stockings that provided Santa with some problems, but we really wonder — what does he really think about panty hose?
About all you can do is dream about a white Christmas; all it does for most people is leave them in the red.
Anyone who thinks that Christmas is a one day event or that Christmas doesn’t have a year around impact must not be using credit cards.
Last year, a store in southern Mississippi started its Christmas sale so early Santa Claus wore Bermuda shorts.
The Christmas holidays mean anticipation, preparation, recreation, prostration and recuperation.
And very last of all — termination.
Merry Christmas and a Most Happy New Year!