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There Is More To Christmas Than Just One Day Of Celebrations

Let us make the remainder of the holiday season a time for sharing with those who are in need and for caring about those who are hurting.

27/12/2017 14:16 SAST | Updated 27/12/2017 14:16 SAST
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Avoiding Christmas is impossible, and it is certainly not for the faint-hearted. It comes on the 359th day of every year -- or the 360th day every leap year -- and we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas, despite all our intentions never to do it again.

We are reminded of its arrival for months in advance, as retailers offer weekly Christmas specials. We are inundated with Christmas songs, until we'd prefer the sound of nails scratching on a chalkboard to hearing "Last Christmas" or "All I Want For Christmas Is You" one more time.

The real meaning of Christmas is so often forgotten, as we get wrapped up in all our preparations so that we can enjoy the day with family and friends. Our focus is on the food we plan to eat, or the gifts we plan to give –– and not so much on the simplicity, compassion and love that is the real meaning of the Christmas story.

As we rush to buy one more fragrance gift set that will probably remain unused, we complicate our lives. We forget that the baby of Bethlehem was born in the simplest of circumstances, as if to remind us that we should live our lives in simplicity, with humility and in confident assurance that our needs will be provided for, just as a stable became the shelter that was needed for the birth of the Messiah.

As we went ahead and prepared Christmas meals for those we care about, I hope we all remembered the compassionate heart of the innkeeper in the Nativity story, who showed kindness to people he did not know or care about. Through the actions of the innkeeper, we are prompted to strive every day to reach beyond ourselves and to show compassion to those who are in emotional or physical distress.

So even though we could not avoid the chaos of Christmas, let us make the remainder of the holiday season a time for sharing with those who are in need and for caring about those who are hurting.

As Christmas tells the story of the birth of a child, it is the one holiday that focuses on the family like no other. Thus we are reminded that family, whether blood-related or not, is the place where we experience unconditional love and acceptance.

So the next Christmas that we spend with our loved ones, let us take a moment to remember those who find themselves in families where fear, violence and hopelessness prevail, and let us resolve to get involved and do our bit to make their burdens lighter.

As we enjoy the laughter and joy of those around us during the remainder of this festive season, let us remember the families where a chair remained empty and where a voice has forever gone silent. Let us reach out and tell them that our thoughts are with them, and that we hold them close in our hearts.

As we enjoy the comfort of post-Christmas cheer, may we not forget those for whom the day was much like any other day, because they had no means of making it special. Let us teach our children to give to those less fortunate, whether in orphanages or down the road.

So even though we could not avoid the chaos of Christmas, let us make the remainder of the holiday season a time for sharing with those who are in need and for caring about those who are hurting.