hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

Letters

December 19, 2013

Putting Christ back into Christmas

“Christmas is a tree full of lights

A heart full of joy

A pocket empty of money

And one terrible headache.

It’s a day for being nice to everyone

And wondering why people can’t be

That way the rest of the year.”

After taking the holiday plunge like a lot of other people, I’ve come to an obvious conclusion. What we need most in our lives now is prayer. And there’s no better time to start than now, while we are lamenting our delirium.

Don’t expect a tree full of gifts this Christmas, not my usual allotment of greeting cards with a personalized photo. I’ve been meaning to pare down my list. This is a good time to start.

You know the parties I used to attend with surprise Santas and all. A better alternative this year is to become more sedate in my socializing and spend added time with my family. It’s not only cheaper but more intimate.

The six or seven gifts we used to buy for each grandchild? A better plan this Christmas — out of necessity, I’m afraid — is more like 2 or 3. Far less chaotic Christmas morn and much less expensive.

The more you give, the more they expect.

Instead, let’s all take a different approach this holiday. Instead of running ourselves ragged and nursing our anxiety attacks, a far more logical solution might be Christ and the church.

It only costs a plate offering, whatever you can afford. If it’s a dollar, nobody but God knows the difference and he’s forgiving. Maybe this Christmas, we can all pool our extra resources and support an orphanage somewhere in the world.

A journey to the summit begins with small steps. We could all have a part in the rehabilitation of a world that desperately needs our help. Reaching high keeps us on our toes.

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