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Talking It Over -- The meaning of Christmas

We are deep into the season and with it comes all the doubts that I often hear about this time of year. People are concerned that we are losing the "true" meaning of Christmas and forgetting what the season is all about.

I have to agree in many ways, but I also have come to realize that sometimes those ideas are superficial. It is impossible for us to know what is in the hearts of the people celebrating Christmas and even more difficult to know if the same people who seem to worship the giving, receiving and partying are also very committed to a deeper meaning.

Children are a wonderful way to measure thoughts and feelings at Christmas time. They seem to voice their opinions quite openly and have very expressive faces in the programs and gatherings. It is easy to see that for many of these children the holiday is much more than receiving gifts but rather about the gift that we all received so many years ago.

I have noticed this when we put together our annual Christmas section for the newspaper. We often ask children to draw pictures or write things for this section. I am astounded by how many of these children openly show what the season is really all about and have no hesitation in sharing their beliefs.

The next time you are skeptical about the commercialism of Christmas, I encourage you to stop and look for something good instead. The idea of families, employees or organizations getting together is wonderful in its own special way. A gift can be a token of appreciation, caring and encouragement. Singing, baking, decorating and sending cards are all ways to show our talents and stay in contact with people we don't see as often as we would like. Even if you would rather hear 'Merry Christmas' than 'Happy Holidays' just be happy that someone cares enough to offer the greeting.

Some of the parts of Christmas may be taken to the extreme and I agree that it often appears that the real meaning is lost, but there is still so much good surrounding the season. Take time to find that good and enjoy Christmas to its fullest.