Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Different Kind of Christmas

Christmas means different things to different people. For some it is a time for family, gifts and lot's of food. For others, the secular side of Christmas is all they know, or care about. To some, Christmas is a time of celebration of the birth of Christ and remembering what many consider the true meaning of Christmas.

And for some, Christmas is just another day.

Regardless of your orientation or beliefs it is almost impossible to miss a change in the air this time of year. You can't turn on a radio without hearing the sounds of Christmas. Even talk radio will play Christmas songs as part of their bumper music.

Retail stores are decorated with Christmas glitter, Santa is in almost every mall, the Salvation Army bell ringers are outside stores with their kettle and news stories abound with stories about children.

But something different is in the air this Christmas. Yes, there are letters to Santa asking for the latest doll or electronic game but there also are more stories that touch the heart.

Many children are not asking for anything for themselves but for others. The requests, both in person to a mall Santa as well as notes dropped in the collection plate at church have taken on a more serious tone.

There are requests for some of the most basic things in life that many of us take for granted. Children are asking for a warm coat for their mom or medicine for a sibling that is ill. Some will ask for a real place to live but instead will spend yet another night in a shelter for the homeless.

Children are not the only ones asking, adults are joining them, not in letters to Santa but prayers for a job, or funds to allow them to keep the lights on and food on the table for their family.

Some requests cannot be fulfilled, such as those asking for healing from a terminal illness or to bring back a friend or relative that has died.

This year, celebrate the life you have and remember that, no matter how dark things may be for you, there are others who would gladly trade places.

Two thousand years ago on a hillside an angel appeared to shepherds with this announcement. "Fear not, for behold I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."

Be an angel. Spread some good news.


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