Opinion

MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: A white Christmas

Obviously Mother Nature was feeling the pressure on Friday and delivered the goods in a big way for the North Okanagan.

Maybe too big for some.

But, hey, it’s important to many that there be white stuff on the ground for the big day and, frankly, I’m one of them.

I still remember as a youth in these parts going to bed on a snowless Christmas Eve, hoping, praying and wishing for by some miracle we could have snow for Dec. 25.

It snowed so much that night we had to take a taxi to church the next morning.

But that’s the thing about this time of year, there is pressure to deliver and it can be overwhelming at times.

As a kid it’s such a magical time as things just seem to come together, and then a certain man in a red suit gets much of the credit.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still  magic in the season for us who know that Santa Claus needs a helping hand from time to time.

There’s the housecleaning, the parties, the cards to write (OK, I gave that up a few years ago to be honest), the gifts you want to get just right to supplement Santa’s just in case, the deadlines at work so you can have some time off and, of course, the white stuff can make life challenging for those of us who have to travel to see loved ones at this time of year.

Phew.

There’s always a time during the Christmas hype and hustle where you ask yourself, is it worth all the trouble?

Well, I have to admit I’ve wondered this a few times lately but ultimately the answer, I believe, is you betcha.

Many of my fondest Christmas memories revolve around this time of year and not so much about gifts and material things but about times spent with now departed loved ones and just the plain magic of the occasion.

Despite all the hype and hustle I believe there is an underlying goodwill at this time of year that transcends the perceived, and sometimes, real madness.

The North Okanagan in particular always responds well to charity campaigns for the local hospital, United Way and Salvation Army at this time of year and much-needed funds goes to these charities to help our fellow neighbours in need.

And, indeed, consideration should always be given to these charities, and others, as part of your gift-giving routine.

The beauty of giving is it gives back to the givee in spades. If you’re looking for the true Christmas spirit you need look no further than giving to these worthy endeavours.

And then there’s the light displays, the decorations, the Christmas trees, the singing, the Christmas pageants and plays, the school concerts, the phone calls, the promise of at least a few days, maybe more, off, even the sappy holiday specials and movies on the tube – it all combines, if it doesn’t overwhelm at times, to give the season a magical feel that is tough to beat.

There’s a Christmas song that says something like “Why can’t every day be like Christmas?”

And I understand the sentiment.

Why can’t we be more filled with the Christmas spirit all year long?

Why can’t we show more goodwill to our fellow citizens no matter what the calendar says? Why can’t the generosity of the season carry on for ever and ever, amen?

Indeed.

But another way to look at it, and maybe even more constructive, is that the season sets a standard for how we should treat people all year long and if we truly look outside ourselves a little more, January through December, then, maybe, just maybe, we’ll all contribute a little to creating a better world.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

 

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