‘Tis the Season 2

‘Tis the season. The days after Thanksgiving are fraught with all sorts of platitudes…deck the halls, trim the tree, falalalala. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. If you hear a venerable Christmas song, the words are there somewhere. After all, this season is a Good Season. Cash registers buzz as plastic cards are swiped through tiny little slots, lattes and cappuccinos gain Holiday flavor with mint chocolate mocha and hazelnut syrup, chocolate itself promises a “peppermint swirl” inside, and truffles are more desirable as gifts than simple boxes of butter creams. HD TVs are on sale. Books are on sale. Candles, perfume, scented potpourri fill the aisles of stores with their scents. Pity the poor shopper allergic to any or all of the above. It’s everywhere.
I am not a Scrooge. I do not declare “Humbug” whenever someone wishes me a Happy Holiday (political correctness in this day of non-offensive wishes). I love the concept of Christmas. It is a time of family, a day of celebration for the birth of a Messiah (if you’re Christian), seven days of celebration for the oil that never ran out (if you’re Jewish), the rite of the Winter Solstice for those who follow the Pagan Path, and so on. So many cultures have their own traditions for this time of year. It is impossible to name them all. But, it is a time of celebration. Peace on Earth, Good Will to All Men is something we all hope for in our own way. For this one day, we hope it exists and that all of person-kind endures.
Sometimes we forget this in our rush to honor the other traditions….giving gifts, throwing parties and open houses, easy payment plans on expensive items, and shopping willy-nilly in order to impress those who receive our offerings. It isn’t hard to do. We’re surrounded by enticements to buy now, pay later, dazzle our darlings with bling and glitz and generally overdo it. Caught up in our own assumed seasonal “prosperity” we forget that not all share in our good fortune. And we should not forget.
This has been a complicated and difficult year for this planet, not really that different from other years, you might say. There is always “something” happening to good people. I can’t solve their problems. I have my own. You do. I do. But in most cases, we are more blessed, fortunate, and just plain lucky to be where we are. So in this “Season of Giving”, maybe giving to someone in need, someone far from home, or even someone down the block is the one thing we can do.
Send a card to a soldier through the Red Cross. You can mail them a card before December 7th and it will be passed on to a soldier, sailor or marine serving his or her country on the other side of the world. Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O.Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456 For one Forever stamp you can bring “home” to someone far from their own.
Give someone the gift of a donation to a charitable organization. My own preferences are animal charities, those places who give shelter to a dog, cat, rabbit, even horses, that have no place warm and safe. They always appreciate donations. Money, food, shelter materials such as blankets, etc. If you want to give the gift of independence, Heifer International offers gifts of geese, chicken, bees, even oxen and sheep to be given to families on their list. You can even give a “portion” of a cow. Their website tells you all you need to know at http://www.heifer.org/catalog Drop your change in the Salvation Army bucket. Take some old but still good winter coats to a local shelter. Take a dinner to the old couple down the street who are on a fixed income. Give of yourself and your time at a local charity. So many things that cost so little but can mean so much.
I’m off my soapbox now. We should be doing things like this all year, every day if we can. If you can’t, consider this. You can create a new holiday tradition. Put it on your list. All you have to write is “Do Something Good for Someone”. And then decide what that something might be.
Peace.

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