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EDITORIAL: The spirit gets around

Most people get caught up in the bustle of Christmas – religious and non-religious. And as long as they also get carried along in the joy and giving spirit, then it makes that busyness worth every minute.

The season can be trying for some, if they let the frenzied aspect of it take over.

Christmas is an interesting, significant time of year for many. For those who are devoutly religious, that is especially so – marking one of the most important dates on the Christian calendar and a special birth.

But that doesnt leave out those who arent particularly religious. With Dec. 25 coming just around the time when the daytime shrinks to its shortest, the greying shadows of late afternoon linger until nighttime takes over and morning seems reluctant to break – its a time of year when looking ahead means everything.

Its little wonder that these days in December were marked for festivities, observations of the sky and celebrations of light by many peoples in the northern hemisphere, and as those keen on studying ancient cultures will point out, it began a long, long time ago.

How could any people or civilization not be anxious about the turning of the season back to one with the sun climbing higher in the sky and coaxing the natural world out of the frost, back to green, growing life?

For those religious, non-religious, or who are caught in the middle – or havent given it a lot of thought lately – it is a special time of year. It can be one of new beginnings, guided by a spirit of giving and caring. But like so many things, what you get out of it depends on what you put in.

In Pictou County and pretty much every other community, that spirit of giving does rise to the top with a number of campaigns set out by organizations and religious groups. Generally they receive a generous response and, as much as we wish the need for such action wasnt there in the first place, it is, and enough individuals respond kindly to see that they are a success.

Those who are helped by such neighbourly efforts are buoyed by the kindness and probably much relieved, when facing some trying circumstances during what is supposed to be a festive time for everyone.

For those who are in a position to help out, its hard to tag a value on how good the spirit of giving feels.

We often hear it said, Christmas comes but once a year. But really, Christmas should serve as a good illustration of how we should be and feel throughout the year. The joy, friendship and generosity are what individuals, families and communities thrive on. And dont forget the blossoming of renewed life and hope, like the journey from nighttime into dawn.

Merry Christmas to all.

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