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Honoring The True Spirit Of Christmas

The columnist shares a heart-felt Christmas message.

"Let Christmas not become a thing merely of merchant's trafficking, of tinsel, bell and holly wreath and surface pleasure, but beneath the childish glamour, let us find nourishment for heart and mind. Let us follow kinder ways through our teeming human maze, and help the age of peace to come from a dreamer's martyrdom."

-Madeline Morse

It’s hard to believe Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas is merely a few days away. Of course I say that every year. Right around the beginning of September someone will say, “I can’t believe the summer’s gone. It’s going to be Christmas before we know it.” 

My response used to be, “Come on! Christmas is a long way off!”  But time seems to move much more quickly as we grow older. Please note that I said older, not old. We’re all growing older; it just seems that time speeds up the older we get and the declaration that, it’s going to be Christmas before we know it, no longer seems implausible. 

Of course, along with the onset of the Christmas season comes traffic, more traffic, and even more traffic; finally culminating on Dec. 24 with the inevitable tons of traffic. 

“Once again we find ourselves enmeshed in the Holiday Season, that very special time of year when we join with our loved ones in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space at the shopping center.  We traditionally do this in my family by driving around the parking lot until we see a shopper emerge from the shopping center, then we follow her, in very much the same spirit as the Three Wise Men, who 2,000 years ago followed a star, week after week, until it led them to a parking space.” 

-Dave Barry 

As wonderful as the Christmas season is, it’s always an emotional dichotomy for me as I’m torn between the joy of the season and the saddening fact that for far too many; , despair and a disparaging feeling of hopelessness. 

These are difficult times, not only in our country but throughout the world. The global economic crunch has had an indelible effect on many who have previously enjoyed their fair share of prosperity, and those who may have been already teetering perilously on the edge have been pushed still deeper into a seemingly endless spiral of anguish and frustration. 

At this time of year, I can’t help but think about the families who will go without; the moms and dads who will know the unmitigated sorrow of not having the means to provide even the bare necessities for their children. Being unable to provide sufficiently for their family, especially during the holiday season, is a hurt no parent should ever have to endure. 

We all understand that Christmas is certainly not about materialism, but the stark reality is that with this season come expectations, most especially the expectations of children, and being unable to meet those expectations is a terribly painful thing indeed. 

There are wonderful organizations such as My Brother’s Keeper and who provide assistance to families who are going through difficult times, not only at Christmastime, but throughout the year; and there are a multitude of other benevolent organizations, , churches and the like who work diligently to help ease the burdens of those in need. 

But organizations, churches and all the good intentions in the universe are of little consequence without one key ingredient – you! Just you! One person doing one small thing is all it takes. One individual doing one thing duplicated over and over again can move mountains. And mountains are moved one pebble at a time. The power of many is an unstoppable force. But it always starts with one. And you are the one! 

Please do just one thing to help; no matter how small. Charity is not measured by the magnitude of one’s ability to give. Charity is measured by the abundance of the heart. Give what you can! Help where you can regardless of how much or how little you are able to do. 

Many doing just a little becomes a lot. 

Do one thing! 

From my family to yours – Have a Blessed Christmas! 

Bob Havey is an Easton-based freelance writer and a consummate trouble-maker. His column, "The View From Here", appears each Tuesday at http://easton-ma.patch.com  and on Wednesday at http://mansfield-ma.patch.com.  His column, The Way I See It, runs every other Wednesday at http://norton.patch.com.

Vilma Sceusa December 20, 2011 at 03:17 PM
Thanks for the uplifting article Bob. I agree with all the happiness the holidays bring the flip side is always present. I do believe one person can make a difference and I had a very spiritual moment in of all places Game Stop this week that I will be writing about. Happy Holidays and thanks for the wise words.
Nancy Zilch December 20, 2011 at 11:35 PM
Yes, ONE person CAN make a difference. . . Merry Christmas and a HEALTHY and Happy New Year to you and your family. . . love and hugs
Sinclair December 21, 2011 at 03:53 AM
Christmas is a birthday.
Jasmine December 22, 2011 at 02:19 PM
Such a sad reality isn't it. I spend the last few weeks wondering how can I give to someone in need? I don't have the extra means to provide so I felt a bit stuck but then I realized I have my time and I gave that instead. Thanks for the reminder that it only takes one!

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