A Season of Giving

In the past week or so there have been news stories about school administrators’ efforts to basically outlaw any celebration of Christmas on both primary and secondary school campuses. In my assessment this effort is totally misguided and driven by a continuing effort to demean and degrade one of the world’s major religions. 
Just this week I got the chance to surprise my daughter-in-law for her birthday. The surprise was complete because I have a steadfast rule of not traveling back east when the frozen white stuff is falling or there’s a possibility of it falling – and my mandatory minimum temperature has to be above 60 degrees. But seeing the joy in her eyes made it all worthwhile. This week reminded me of the special moments untold numbers of folks are preparing to share with loved ones. It’s the quality of time that will be shared with family and friends and the loving memories which will make this season special. More than material goods, time is the most precious gift we can give one another. At this time of year, the gift Christians were given over 2,000 years ago is not lost on folks once we get past the commercialism and think about the true meaning of this season.
My commentary is not an invitation to those who seek to trash Christianity to continue their efforts. Rather, it’s an invitation to stop denigrating and, instead, seek to understand and appreciate. Engage in a conversation where emotional correctness and active listening are used. And try to remember that true people of faith are seeking ways in which to have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship with their God while practicing real tolerance and love for their neighbor. Don’t be surprised if that honest conversation leads everyone to learn that we have more in common than we have different. From that common point we can all work together to find realistic solutions to the problems which continue to bedevil us all. And we can give one another the most precious gift of all – time spent together as friends, neighbors, and family.

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