EDITORIAL: Christmas is about more than just presents under the tree

Carole Morris-Underhill
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With just a few shopping days remaining before Christmas, the malls are packed, the local stores are bustling, and the line ups seem endless.

This is the time of year when we see people at their best, and at their worst.

So many people get caught up in the commercialization of the holiday that they lose sight of why this time of year is truly special.

It's not about the presents under the tree. It's not about striving to make our holiday perfect, just like those quintessential (albeit unrealistic) moments so often found in movies and television shows.

Rather, this is a time to celebrate family, friends, and the gift of life. It's a chance to create wonderful memories and to make a difference in other people's lives. It doesn't matter what religious or ethnic background you have. It doesn't matter if you celebrate the Christian holiday, the winter solstice, Hanukkah or the host of other special observances this time of year. What matters is that we come together to promote peace and love.

There's something special about a gift of homemade cookies or a child's hand-drawn card. Whether offering to help shovel snow or pay for the next person in line's coffee, it's the little things that make a big difference.

There's something authentic, something tangible, about doing nice deeds without looking for anything in return. That's a lesson children throughout West Hants have been discovering this month. The Kindness Tree project in our school system is as an excellent example of how the holiday spirit can bring out the best in one another.

This month, children were challenged to report kind deeds. And while loaning someone a pencil may not seem like a big deal to an adult, for a child, on that particular day, that small act of kindness meant the world. We should all be so lucky to have such a positive outlook on simple, everyday acts of kindness. Maybe then we wouldn't be so hung up on expensive gifts and creating perfect holiday scenarios.

For those who have suffered any loss, this time of year can be particularly difficult. Life can change so quickly. This holiday, don't forget to take the time to celebrate what you have. Some people are simply thankful to have a roof over their head, and food in their bellies. We live in a wonderful part of the world. Let's not forget how fortunate we are and remember to give a little. A smile costs nothing.

From our staff, Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and may the new year treat you well.

Organizations: Hants Journal

Geographic location: West Hants, Nova Scotia, Hants County Windsor

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  • Linda Sheehy
    December 20, 2013 - 19:07

    What a shame..Last year this time I owned Children's Classic Apparel..Two months before Christmas I contacted Christmas Angels about a program I was doing with the store.I got all kids to go through their toy box ..Clean up a toy bring it into the the store and put it in a Christmas basket I had made I got three Santa Sacks full.But wait I was told by someone with the Christmas angels the Toys ha...d to be new..Not wrap.And that they supply the Wrapping paper..I made a lot of calls.The person that I contacted was Rev Bill Gibson..He was more than thrilled to take the toys and spread them around to needy Family's..It;s like this if every child in Windsor pick out a toy from their box and clean it up to make it look like new ..We wouldn't have this problem..That was my theory.I did get new toys and use ones..If you all stop and think years ago toys were home made not New.. It doesn't have to be new to put a Smile on a Childs Face Xmas morning..Something to think about..Thank-You to Rev Bill Gibson for such a Kind Loving Heart..P.S some of those toys did go to Christmas Angels..Also check out windsors on line yard sale..More Coments..Not Good.Christmas Angels needs to be rethought..They are shy of 123 Children please read and check out what I ask of you Please..Thank-You..

    • Linda Sheehy
      December 22, 2013 - 00:21

      The coments I received was for Christmas Angels revamp their giving by accepting . used toys that are given from kids to kids from their toy box..People want to know why only new.When some have so much to give to these children..I received coments on my Facebook Page..Plus coments on Windsor on line yard sale..People don't get that it has to be all new toys..I'm sure at one time or another .We have all given our own Children used toys when they we small.Kids are Happy with anything they get as long as it's all clean up and working . It's not a hard thing to do for needy familes who are having tough times..Losing jobs..or Simply just don't have the money to do so..I for one don't get it either..New is not the problem solver..The toys I collected by doing this. did go to Christmas Angels.So who does have a problem with not accepting used toys..Christmas Angels when they now need to get enought toys for 123 children Where's the logic to that..