In his novella, A Christmas Carol (1843), Charles Dickens immortalized the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge who is transformed from a bitter old miser to a benevolent man who embodies the true spirit of Christmas
"I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."
Pictou County is noted for reaching out to others throughout the year. Perhaps at Christmas time as we attend a variety of concerts and special dinners, notice the red kettles in the market place, hear the familiar carols and read the traditional stories of good will, our hearts cannot help but be touched. It is, indeed, the festive season; a time when we reach out to others.
Many individuals work quietly at home crafting, baking, creating Christmas presents that have the distinctive personal touch. Camilla Marshall is but one example. She crafts a wide variety of Christmas ornaments for others to adorn their trees, gifts or coats and sweaters. Her crafts have travelled across Canada and beyond our borders.
This Christmas season Marshall has crafted a variety of angels, Christmas trees, wreaths, candy canes for others to enjoy, reminders of the season when the birth of the Christ Child is celebrated. As a member of First Baptist Church in New Glasgow, Marshall crafted Christmas decorations that are being distributed to the church children and to shut-ins at home. What a wonderful season when hearts are touched to give, and those who receive are blessed by the kindness of others. “It is the best of times” (Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities).
Marshall reminded us in her recent letter to the editor that the real meaning of Christmas can be found in Matthew Chapter 1, Verse 18, up to the end of Chapter 3.