Why does the United States so enjoy the celebration of Christmas?

Why does the United States so enjoy the celebration of Christmas?

Many reasons can answer that question. My feeling is that it is a season of hope. Little ones are taught to look forward to Santa: ideally, as they grow older, they are encouraged to enjoy giving and thinking of others.

When we lived in the country, down Stodgin Hollow, I walked to and from the school bus, quite an endeavor for a 6-year old, approximately ½ mile crossing a wet weather stream. A day I remember well is arriving at home and the house was empty. My mother and father had traveled to PG (Pleasant Grove) via our wagon pulled by our two work horses and had every intention of being home long before school was out. Heavy rain had commenced while I walked and the stream was building as I crossed it to our home. Mother had several projects to keep food on the table in the early 40s and one was to buy three-day old baby chicks and raise them. My first concern was to check on the baby chickens and I had no doubt my family would be returning soon.

What I hadn’t anticipated was the heavy rain very quickly caused the wet weather stream to become a raging ‘river.” As mother and daddy arrived on the opposite creek bank they had a serious dilemma to cross the water, would the horses be able to pull the wagon, and every minute was becoming a more serious concern. Ultimately they left the wagon and contents and rode the horses, gaining the river banks and arriving home, somewhat worse for the ride, safely. I never doubted they would be coming home, they (typical of McDonald County people) figured out a way. They, concerned that I was home alone, found a way.

When I read of the 20-year-old in New England who committed suicide after brutally ending the lives of 26 innocent people, I can only think that he had to be without hope. Did anyone offer him a way out of his hopeless life? When I refer to my source of strength, I refer to 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” No one will ever know what went on between Adam and his mother before he deliberately shot her. Did she attempt to assure him there was another way to ease his pain? His misery? Did no one offer him love, joy, peace, patience, kindness? We will never know the answer but we can make a difference in those around us.

Is there someone whose life touches yours, someone who passes by that needs hope? Are you a person without hope? You need not be alone. Someone said that when we are wrapped up in ourselves it makes a small package. There are times, the antidote for loneliness and misery is to look outside ourselves. Is there someone in need in your life? We were all born with a purpose to our lives, we need to look outside ourselves. As the new year approaches this may be a good time – like the McDonald County couple above — to figure out a way.

May you have a blessed New Year, may it be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control illuminating your unique talents, traits and personality.

Look around you, can you make a difference in one without hope?

Alberta Anders writes a weekly column for the Daily News.