Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The True Meaning of Christmas

Valerie J. Steimle

The Christmas lights are glowing everywhere and people are still driving with trees on tops of cars.  The thoughts of those pecan pies from Thanksgiving are still in our heads but we press forward as we are in full swing in the Christmas season.
            Last year "Black Friday" has past with little or no fan fair but as you remember a couple of years ago the news reported that a 34-year old man was trampled to death by Wal-mart shoppers trying to get into the store. This year there have been mostly good reports of kindness to others on that day. Maybe we have improved our behavior.  Maybe we can remember the true meaning of this time of the year.
            This year for Christmas many people have lost their jobs. This year there may not be the material Christmas many have experienced in the past. This year those who have been more fortunate to have employment will hopefully remember those who have not been so lucky.  Giving to others who don’t have much always leaves us with a great feeling in our own lives.
            As Christmas has at times lost its meaning in years before maybe as a people we can realize that the number and cost of gifts isn’t as important as being with their family.  Maybe we can remember that a few gifts to our friends and family are the tokens of what is really the true meaning of Christmas.
            There are so many wonderful events that are fun and do not cost much to help us remember the true meaning of Christmas.  Christmas concerts and parties, festivals in the park, parades, night excursions to Christmas lights and baking Christmas cookies at home are just some of the memories we can create for our children.
            Agnes Pharo says it well: What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, and hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.
            We are alive on this earth and can do good for others.  If we all had a glimpse of what George Bailey saw in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life”, we would appreciate what we have so much more.
            This is the season of love and giving to others.  We should all learn what it truly means in giving of ourselves to others.  Not just in buying material possessions but in spending time and using our talents to share with our friends and family.  That is the true meaning of the Christmas season.