It is already the 20th of December. It won’t be long now before this year will be over; the first decade of this new century will be gone—gone forever. In the remaining time you have, try to find something to cheer about. Try to find a way to get into a Christmas holiday mood. Try and find a way to be humbler, friendlier, more empathetic, and more resourceful. Do the right thing by your wife or girlfriend; do something memorable for your husband or boyfriend. Don’t forget your children. Say a kind word to a stranger. Remember your good friends who were there for you in times of great need. Spread a little cheer if you can.
Why? Times are hard. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you are currently in—times are really hard. There is much want and deprivation all over and people are really struggling to stay afloat. This calls for a little understanding. A kind word to a stranger or even a friend can go a long way in these times of distress.
In the US, for example, despite being the number one economy in the world, unemployment stands at 9.8% nationally. In some states the unemployment rate is already up to 12%. People are losing their mortgages and thus their homes. There are roughly 5 people for every job out there. Thousands of manufacturing jobs have already been shipped overseas. Some people have already lost their pension and life savings. Despite what you may have been told, there are still millions without access to proper health care. Small businesses are closing shop either because they cannot secure health coverage for their workers or because they don’t even have the capital for the operational costs of staying in business. And let’s not forget, the banks aren’t lending like they should even though they were bailed out specifically to make this happen. Insurance premiums are rising daily, but this is not met by increasing wages. To summarize: the economic depression continues to exert its heavy toll on Americans.
But once there is life there is hope, or so they say. It may be hard to provide for your loved ones like you really want to, but take heart. Above all, remember that this is the season that Christians remember the birth of a savior. Forget the over commercialized Christmas celebrations; it is not really about the gifting. A world steeped in spiritual darkness and without hope of being reconciled to the maker has finally been transformed by the birth, in remote and lowly places of one who will save the people from the natural consequences of their sins. Let that very thought keep you warm in these cold winter months as you expect a bright tomorrow.
I am wishing you a merry Christ-filled Christmas now; I am not going to wait till the 25th to say it. And if my well-wishes and friendly salutation rubs you the wrong way because you are not a Christian, or because you are an atheist, please don’t be cross. Just disregard my sincere well-wishes. And no, I am not going to dabble into another one of those silly debates that pop up around this time. Let me concede to you early that Christ may not have been born on December 25 to begin with. Even if the December 25 day was arbitrarily chosen, what anyone should bear in mind is that it is the remembrance of the birth that is significant. He could have been born on the Ides of March—that will not rob the day of its special meaning.
Like I said earlier: spread a little cheer.