Monday, December 29, 2008

Reflect and look ahead

When I was writing this, Christmas was still a few days away.
Since my family and friends all agreed to scale back on the “material giving” portion of the holiday, I didn’t experience any of the panic or last-minute “must shop” angst that sometimes hits.
But we at The Reporter again “adopted” a family through Community Housing Services, buying presents for each of the family members, and I also helped out with a child where my daughter works.
If you’ve never participated in an “adoption” program or angel tree, I highly recommend it.
Buying for those who otherwise would have nothing on the holiday, for those who are truly in need, is much more satisfying than combing the stores for some silly little knickknack that most likely will wind up at a yard sale or thrift store.
How many grass-growing pets or singing/dancing Santas can one person use, anyway?
Yes, this holiday season — as many of us hunker down for what may be an even more challenging year ahead, economically speaking — seems to be bringing many people back to what really counts: their faith, their family and friends, helping others.
Facing our own challenges may also help us to think of those for whom the holidays are not a happy time of the year.
Perhaps they have gone through the loss of a loved one this year or are dealing with a major health crisis.
Maybe they’ve already lost their job or know that, unless a miracle occurs, that will be their fate in the new year.
Major expenses may have hit their family’s wallet this year or there may be some other crisis in their lives.
If we think more about reaching out to others, finding comfort in our spiritual beliefs and realizing that being with family and friends all are much more important than how many presents are under the tree, we may find this holiday to be the best we’ve experienced in years.
And I truly hope that people who are convinced that there is some kind of “war” on Christmas will come to their senses.
Just because more people are recognizing the diversity of this country and deciding to say “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” does not mean that the religious aspect of this holiday is in danger.
If they consider that most scholars agree that Jesus was not born in December and that many of the traditions we observe have nothing to do with Christianity, they would realize that no one can destroy what is in a person’s heart and soul simply by what greeting they extend at a store or in passing.
There are so many more important issues we should be concerned with and so much more we should be focusing on than something this silly.
How about following the Golden Rule? How about staying firm in your particular faith and living that faith? How about getting your priorities in order and following through all year long — and not just at Christmas?
By the time you read this, Christmas will have past, many presents will already be exchanged, most of us will have eaten too much and many will be focusing on New Year’s Eve plans.
But I hope you’ll take a few moments to reflect on this year, how you have lived it and how you would like to live in 2009.
Reach out to others. Mend a quarrel. Comfort someone who is hurting. Aid those who are in need. Show your love in word and deed. Live your faith.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank You. d