By Loraine Debnam
At this time of year, inside each of us there is a greater spirit of brotherly love and a wish for peace and harmony on the Earth.
This is a special time, the time when we observe Christmas. It reminds us to look beyond our own lives to those of others around us.
To stretch ourselves past our own calendars and clocks to see how time is dealing with the rest of our community, locally and globally. To dig a little deeper into our pockets to share our resources with those who are less lucky. And, at Christmas time, the response is always there. This joyous season brings many outpourings of love and kindness and charity.
But “observing” Christmas and “keeping” Christmas are two different things. The key here is to do the giving with no restrictions or strings attached. It is not the gratitude of others that should dictate our generosity, but rather our own realization of how very blessed we are to have so much. It is a valuable lesson for our children as well — when lists to Santa become long and a little selfish. It should be one of our parental duties to help our young people understand the real meaning of Christmas (and of charity).
The joy of giving should not be restricted to a single season or a single holiday. Each of us has talents to share and blessings to count — no matter what our circumstances are.
Sharing does not necessarily come only in the form of financial support — volunteering, sharing a meal, a small good deed, a random act of kindness, a warm smile or a hug, all show others we care about them.
Christmas is a spirit — a spirit that shines from inside each of us, like that special star that shone on Bethlehem.
Try to keep this spirit in your heart.
Rejoice in those special things — a spontaneous giggle and sparkle in their eye that lets you know someone has a secret they can hardly bear not to tell or the deep caring embraces that let you know you are loved or the joy of giving or receiving a gift, chosen especially by or for you. Christmas is all this and more.
Don’t forget the other creatures that live on this planet with us. The little birds and animals outside find it difficult to find food when the snow is deep and the cold winds are blowing.
Domestic pets need a little extra attention as well, more time by the fire and less time locked outside.
Enola Chamberlain wrote a lovely little poem that expresses my thoughts exactly: “But most of all, I like the way that folks are glad on Christmas day. The way they laugh, the way they sing, their happiness at everything. How beautiful would be each day, if Christmas could be made to stay.”
May the wonderful spirit of this glorious time be nurtured within you all year long. To each of you a Happy Christmas and a safe holiday season spent with those you love and who love you.