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Editorial: Our prayer for a happy, meaningful Christmas

Dec. 21, 2017 at 12:14 a.m.


The Christmas season should bring feelings of joy, good cheer and benevolence toward our fellow man. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen. In these last hours before the blessed day, some of us — actually, many of us — are more likely to feel rushed, harried, depressed and even angry.

That is understandable. The crush of the holiday season adds many tasks and deadlines to our busy schedules and the pressure can overtake us.

But that is not how it should be. It is sad, and can even be dangerous. As we rush to and fro in our efforts to make this time perfect, some of us forget it already is perfect. Our efforts, when we stop to think of the real meaning of this season, are quite meaningless.

Our advice, and our hope, is that each of us can slow down, to make this a time of reflection. Leave behind the hustle and bustle and take time to celebrate the many things that are right in this world.

For Christians, what is right is that this season leads to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Considering the significance of that should humble any believer and direct our focus to where it should be.

For most non-Christians, this is a significant secular holiday, often affording precious time with friends, family and loved ones.

We also must consider the selfless actions of those around us. In these days before Christmas, let us reflect on the spirit of charity we see through our food banks, missions and other efforts working to make sure the less fortunate have something to eat. Consider the U.S. Marines' Toys for Tots campaign, which supplies toys to children who would otherwise have little. Please don't forget the help provided through shoppers' pocket change into the Salvation Army's red kettles for the homeless.

Those are only a few of the many organizations in Longview and East Texas that are dedicated to the service of others. They most assuredly are examples of all that is right in this world. Remember, none of them can do their jobs without your support.

We have long bemoaned that Christmas has become too commercialized, has moved too far from its true meaning, and that is true. But we remain grateful that the choice is ours to decide how we will celebrate it.

We also are mindful our nation has soldiers in harm's way around the world, and that first responders daily are running toward danger to protect us. We are grateful for those who serve, pray for their safety and hold a grateful place in our hearts for their families.

As we approach a weekend of Christmas merrymaking, praise and love, we hope only peace, safety and joy for each of you and those you love. And in the spirit of this sacred season, the News-Journal family wishes you and yours a happy and truly meaningful Christmas.

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