Commentary – Celebrate the real reason for Christmas – may your presence be the best gift of all

Richard Froese

Christmas will soon be here and a time to celebrate the real reason for the season, the birth of Jesus Christ. “Joy to the World” is one Christmas carol that proclaims the true message.

Somehow, and unfortunately, some of the focus of the season has been altered. Let’s keep Christ in Christmas. Many businesses and entities have taken Christ out of Christmas. Instead of “Merry Christmas”, some have diverted to greet people with “Season’s Greetings”. Why do some people feel they have the authority to change the meaning and focus of a statutory holiday, whether it is Christian or otherwise?

Some people say they change it to be “politically correct”, to not offend anyone who doesn’t believe it that faith or are newcomers to Canada.

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 and wrong and offensive.

If someone says “Season’s Greetings”, why is it said only in the winter season and not in spring, summer or fall? That also goes for “Happy Holidays”. People usually take holidays or vacations in the summer. Christmas is a very important holiday in the Christian faith.

It’s the time to specially express love, give, and enjoy peace and goodwill to all people. Christmas is also an opportunity to share and show charity. Many people in the community are less fortunate and struggle to find a comfortable place to call home and provide plenty of healthy food for themselves and their families. Extend love to people all around you.

Christmas hampers have become a popular way to share with 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 at home or in an institution. 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 and share plenty of food.

Many of them feel isolated and disconnected from society. People confined in hospitals and care homes especially value visitors. Seniors especially love to be with young children. Visit the shut-ins and people with limited mobility.

Invite the lonely neighbour, single, couple, senior, family to your home during Christmas for a meal or two. 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, some day you may be struggling and suffering and appreciate a time when someone reaches out to encourage and comfort you. Do unto others as you would have them do for you, states the Holy Bible in Matthew 7:12. Bless others and others will bless you, maybe not immediately, but sometime when you need it the most.

A community that shares is a community that cares. Christian churches in local communities and around the world will likely be full during services and masses in the final days leading up to Christmas Day. Celebrate Christmas with family and friends in a local church. May your presence be the best gift of all.

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