Thoughts on the 2010 Christmas Season

Holiday Greetings to all of the visitors who, by one path or another, have found their way to the pages of this blog during the preceding year. I sincerely appreciate your interest in my sometimes eccentric but always frivolous musings.

Traditionally, of course, the celebration of Christmas is both an uplifting period of religious renewal, and a festive time for gift-giving and for the gathering together of friends and family. That, at least, is what we and most of our friends typically expect during this, the “happiest” time of year. Unfortunately, the Christmas of 2010, like that of 2009, will probably turn out to be a very big let-down for a great many Americans. And, as the present year rapidly winds to a close, I think that it is fitting that we remember the millions of our fellow citizens who are presently without work and who now, through no fault of their own, find themselves facing serious financial hardship. This situation is especially troubling because, in many cases, their plight could actually be far worse. In point of fact, this Holiday Season would be even more difficult for many struggling American families without badly-needed assistance from the privately-funded charities and other non-profit organizations that tirelessly labor on the behalf of those in need. Thus, I think that it is important to remember — particularly when economic conditions are tough, as they are now — that the many worthwhile charities that work in our various communities across the country all depend on the voluntary contributions of individual donors. In times like these, private generosity — not just at Christmas, but year-round — really matters. It truly is “more blessed to give than to receive.”

In addition, I think that it is fitting that — at this time of year, particularly — we direct our thoughts and prayers towards the American servicemen and women who daily face an implacable enemy on our behalf in many distant and dangerous corners of the world. They are the first and truest guardians of our way of life, and their overseas’ deployment is a hardship that must be borne both by them, and by their family members back home. For that reason, I urge that we all take the time to remember and honor those fellow Americans who, because of their military service, are bound by duty to spend this and other Christmases separated from their families and loved-ones. Their ongoing gift to the rest of us, because of the many sacrifices that it entails, is a very special one, indeed.

Finally, as we approach a brand new year, let us all fervently hope that it will, in due course, end on a more up-beat note than this year or last! Perhaps, the worst news really is finally behind us; if so, then ever the optimist, I will, with fingers crossed, wish everyone a Happy New Year for 2011.

My sincerest Best Wishes for the Holidays, JCBIII


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