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COLUMN: Generosity is what makes the season
Christmas, or at least the traditional appearance of it, courtesy of early holiday print deadlines, is happening as I write this. On what may be the only ‘snow day’ of this celebratory season there’s about 100 millimetres of the white stuff adorning my deck rail.
Thanks to metric, that amount sounds spectacularly much more than a mere four inches which, while creating cataclysms of concern for Lower Mainlanders, is laughable in its relative insignificance to those living almost anywhere else in The Great White North.
On the other hand, kids and my next-door neighbour love to play in it.
In fact, for the past couple of weeks the neighbour’s tricked-out tractor has been parked in the garage breezeway waiting for such a morning as this when, before the crack of dawn, it can with flashing lights and backup beeper be put into driveway cleaning mode.
The diligence with which the neighbour conducts his kindly snow removal gestures is truly remarkable. On the rare occasion that we have a truly large dump of snow, he spends most of the day clearing as many driveways as he can get to before the rains come to wash away his good and generous works.
And isn’t that what this season of Christmas should be about – generosity, kind deeds, warm thoughts, neighbourliness and helping others?
We may never achieve peace on earth, but we can certainly try to do everything else, even if it’s just the simple act of cleaning a driveway or shovelling someone’s sidewalk.
Or, as I am doing – perhaps as you read this – donating a pint of blood. There isn’t a lot more “giving” than can be done by providing the life-saving contribution of yourself through the donation of blood.
There are also many for whom today and tomorrow are tough times of sadness or despair brought on by poverty, addictions and circumstance.
Let’s not forget them and, if you haven’t already, put aside some of your wealth of generosity to make their season a little brighter.
After all, joy and happiness can come in small packages, even such simple things as seeing my dog race about in the snow, taking great bounding leaps between running his nose through it. Or the horses out in the field, their backs white as they rummage for blades of grass.
The donkey, meanwhile, stands looking out of his stall wondering I’m sure why his equine cousins are so dumb as to be out in the cold when hay will soon be thrown in their mangers.
Not being the brightest light on the Christmas tree isn’t just restricted to four-legged creatures.
As I watch the snow pile up, I’m reminded that I still have to put outdoor lights on the deck, which will now require sweeping as well as stringing.
Such is the nature of procrastination; it almost always results in more effort expended! At least this year I got my shopping done early.
However, on a snowy Friday as this is written, and today on the eve of Christmas when it’s being read, I wish everyone the very best of the season.
May all be wonderful, and the fire in your hearts be as warm as the blaze in your hearth.
From my family to you and yours, a very Merry Christmas.