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Springville Journal editorial: Cherish the moments

SPRINGVILLE — I started my Christmas shopping early, this year, for once. I have never been one to do the Black Friday thing, instead preferring to sleep in and do my last-minute shopping online, in my pajamas.

I was proud of myself for having wrapped presents that were piled up on Nov. 1, ready for the arrival of my Christmas tree, while other people were still making their lists and checking them twice. I was so immersed in making sure that Christmas would be perfect, that I almost forgot who I was making it perfect for. Until last Friday.

Our country was shaken into a wakeup call. Having to watch moms and dads mourn such unspeakable losses as those experienced last weekend in Newtown, Conn., right before the holidays, was enough to make anyone with a heart think twice, before taking their families for granted.

My heart goes out to all of those who were affected by the Newtown tragedy. Losses of this nature are always horrific, but the fact that these families must face the holidays, missing the faces of their beautiful children, must only compound the pain that they are feeling.

This situation is being taken advantage of by some who see it as a means to a political end, but I say that we should mourn with those who mourn and see this as a second chance to slow down and appreciate the time we have with our families. None of us knows how much time we have left with them.

Brightly-wrapped presents lie underneath my holiday tree, waiting for Christmas morning. But those are not the only gifts that I can – or should – be giving, this holiday season.

NBC News’ Ann Curry asked her followers, via Twitter, to honor each person lost at Sandy Hook, by committing to doing 26 acts of kindness, this holiday season. I believe that we are all up to this task. It should not take a tragedy to motivate us to do good for others.

The 26 acts do not have to be huge or dramatic. Buy a cup of coffee for a stranger. Give a holiday card to someone who is normally neglected. Make Christmas cookies for the mail carrier. Do something good for someone who cannot do anything in return.

For more ideas, or to read the stories flowing in from all over the world, check out #26Acts and #26ActsOfKindness on Twitter. Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!
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