By Patrick F. Cannon
Just some random thoughts on this Christmas Eve.
In the new stimulus package passed by the Congress, I see that most taxpayers will get a check for $600 (assuming the bill is ever signed). If you need the dough, great. If you don’t, please consider giving it away to a needy group in your community – maybe a food pantry or homeless shelter. Maybe you’re involved in one of these programs, or another that directly helps people in your community. Keep a few bucks in your pocket or purse, and give in to the impulse to make the day for some panhandler – and don’t forget the Salvation Army kettle.
The election is finally over, so forget about it. How people voted isn’t as important as how they treat their friends and neighbors. Give the new president the benefit of the doubt. I did with the current one until there wasn’t any doubt left.
Keep in touch. This year has been unique and difficult. We have always celebrated the holidays with family and friends – my wife Jeanette likes nothing better than a full table on Thanksgiving. No dice this year; same for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Zoom has been able to make up for some of this, but you can’t enjoy my famous stuffing over the ether! And although it seems strange to say it, some people are stuck in sunny Florida, when they would rather come north and be cold with family. So, do what you can – pick up the phone or even write a letter!
Watch a sentimental holiday movie! Maybe they stray from reality, but if the ending of “It’s a Wonderful Life” doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, nothing will (and who could have been more beautiful than Donna Reed?). We recently watched “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen. The usual silly plot, but what a joy to watch and hear these great talents.
Finally, it’s easy to forget the real meaning of the season. While most religions have similar messages, the ones Jesus tried to get across, it seems to me, were tolerance and forgiveness. How these simple concepts have gotten lost among many Christians and other religionists is a paradox. Although I’m sure other religions have similar basic documents, Christians would do well to remind themselves of two: The Ten Commandments, and the Beatitudes.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Copyright 2020, Patrick F. Cannon