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We (still) need a little Christmas

SPRINGVILLE — There’s a commercial on the radio right now that starts off with a story. A pastor talks about an encounter he had with an angry woman, who shouted at him before she burst into tears, overwhelmed. The man concluded, over the soft tones of soothing background music, that she “needed a little Christmas.” I understand his sentiment, but I don’t think peace on Earth and goodwill toward men should be limited to one day. Shouldn’t we aspire to live that calm and love, all year long?

By the time you read this, Christmas will have come and gone and New Year’s Day will be fast upon us. Some of you will have undecorated your homes and moved on to the next holiday; some will spend the intervening days at holiday parties or enjoying the company of loved ones. By the time our next issue comes out, that Christmassy spirit will have faded from the stores and the airwaves, and I’m afraid our seasonal instinct to love our neighbors and cherish our family and friends will have faded, right along with it.

I think we all need a little Christmas, too. But I prefer to call it empathy. When I was a kid, my parents told me to treat others as I’d like to be treated. Not a bad idea, no matter what the calendar says.

Tis the season for starting fresh and making plans to improve ourselves, as the calendar flips over to a brand new number. What if we all resolved to inject “a little Christmas” into every day? What if we all decided to remember that Christmas feeling Hallmark has been trying to sell us since August, but all year long? What if we were all as sweet as a cut-out cookie, every day of the year?

I like the idea, Mr. Church Pastor. But what I like even better is the thought that we could all “carry Christmas in our hearts” for the length of the calendar, instead of sinking right back into the doldrums, as soon as January rolls around. Let’s try it, shall we? Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy New Year, readers.

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