Letter to the editor: Christmas is about more than gifts

Driving home on the Northway the other day, I was getting tired of hearing ads promoting the use of more plastic money; songs supposedly representative of a season, but more so a performer’s take on updating a past favorite; and radio personalities editorializing about their take on election results and what the future will bring. I zoned out for a while, thinking of seasons past. I remembered someone saying, “It’s too bad summer is gone” and replying that, “It does not have to be!”

If summer only means certain months of the year — flowers in the garden, cutting grass, more sunshine — then of course it vanishes with time. But if you draw a deeper meaning from the experience such as a more positive outlook, then you can go back to summer whenever you choose.

Our present season can be viewed in a similar manner in that it has a time slot; it has its weather pattern; it has its green pyramidal trees with ornaments and tinsel; it has its presents; and, it has its ever present bigger and better sales. And then you will hear on Dec. 26 that Christmas is over and we should move on to Valentine’s Day. Unless, of course, you decide not to let it be over.

Christmastime has become like the old wood in the 1800s farmhouse the new owner of which decides to paint it so that it can look different and be more up to date. It is still there, but it takes some effort to find it.

The old wood represents remembering a time when it was Christmas, not a holiday season; a time when Christmas trees were found in schools; a time people went out of their way to help the less fortunate than themselves; a time when people thought about others and did not turn inward to themselves; a time when presents were representative of giving and sharing and not of another’s expectations; and, a time when churches rang out with song and positive words.

Christmas is only over if you believe that it ends when you open your last present. It need not be over if you decide to scrape away the painted façade and incorporate the season’s reality into your life throughout the year.

Brian J. Bauer


Share this story:

More News

Editorial: Learning to cope with floods

As lightning flashes outside my office window this Wednesday evening and weather forecaste … (read more)


Community Forum: Taking on health care costs

The 2024 Legislative session started and finished the same way — with universal concern ab … (read more)


Ways of Seeing: What I’ve been reading

Three years ago, I joined Goodreads’ annual reading challenge. Since then, I’ve read betwe … (read more)

Share this story: