How many more sleeps to Christmas? Children are no doubt counting down the days to open their gifts.
Let’s celebrate the real reason for the season: the birth of Jesus Christ. Somehow, and unfortunately, some of the focus of the season has been tarnished. When many people think about Christmas, they focus too much on the commercial part to buy and spend money and times to drink and party.
Let’s keep Christ in Christmas.
Many businesses and entities have taken Christ out of Christmas. Instead of “Merry Christmas” or “Blessed Christmas,” some have diverted to express “Season’s Greetings.”
As Canada grows to represent more cultures and faiths, it’s vital to respect all and not take anything away from them, including their holidays and celebrations. To try to take away beliefs from that faith is simply dishonourable, wrong and offensive.
Christmas is a very important holiday in the Christian faith. It’s the time to express love, give, and promote peace and goodwill to all people.
Take the time to celebrate the true meaning at any of the various Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services at a local church with family and friends.
Christian churches in local communities around the world will likely be full during services and masses in the final days leading up to Christmas Day. Some feature special music and children’s presentations.
Christmas concerts at local schools are also popular the final two weeks before the Christmas break. Some local organizations host community concerts with bands or choirs.
Christmas is a time to share and show charity. Many people in the community, your neighbours and friends, are less fortunate and struggle to find a comfortable place to call home and provide plenty of healthy food for themselves and their families, even during Christmas.
Extend love to people all around you. Christmas hampers have become a popular and practical way to support the needy. Spend time with those shut in their homes, hospitals or continuing-care centres.
Christmas can be the most exciting time of the year to spend with family, friends, and share a meal or two and many memories. Some people don’t have that opportunity as they are bed-ridden and restricted in their mobility in their homes or in hospital.
Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year for seniors, homeless, and those with no family nearby, while others spend time with family and friends. Many of the lonely feel isolated and disconnected from their social network and community.
People confined in hospitals and care homes especially value visitors. Seniors love to be with young children. Visit the shut-ins and people who can’t get out to enjoy Christmas more.
Invite a lonely neighbour, single, couple, senior or family to your home during Christmas for a meal or two. Give them a care package with food. Share the gift of love, not just at Christmas time, but all year.
Many unemployed or under-employed are also in need of some extra love at this time of year.
Who knows, one day you may struggle and suffer with living and appreciate a time when someone reaches out to encourage and comfort you.
Bless others and others and you will be blessed, maybe not immediately, but sometime when you may need it the most.
A community that shares is a community that cares.
May your presence – and love – be the best gift of all.