’Tis the season for reflection

Christmas is perhaps the most joyous occasion on the Christian calendar.

Traditions may vary as widely as the number of people who celebrate it, but time spent with loved ones and the warmth and hope that come from deeds of kindness are usually central to Christmas.

Furthermore, for many it is a much-needed break after a year that was filled with so much unpredictability, and it serves as a reminder of the ability to bring out the best in people.

Somewhere there is a child in need of clothing, a senior who needs a helping hand and a loved one who wants the simple gift of time. This is a time for reacquainting with family and friends, faith and treasured traditions.

While some might feel differently, it seems that Christmas, and the season that surrounds it, generates a degree of hope and optimism wherever the birth of Christ is celebrated.

During this time of the year, many people are more generous. Individuals who complained of being strapped for cash during the year find a couple of bucks to spend on friends, relatives and themselves.

People who were otherwise strangers during the year become more friendly, offering pleasant greetings for joy, blessings and happiness to each other. Generally, people become more charitable, reaching out to feed the hungry and offer gifts to the poor, especially children, who would otherwise receive no such thing.

Sadly, people also tend to lose their sense of reasoning during the season, not considering that this heavy spending will leave them in debt come the new year. While such spending augurs well for the economy, it depletes the personal savings of individuals and families who cannot afford this loss.

After all the glitter is cleared, and the visiting relatives return home, everyone has to find the most realistic means of coping with the challenges of their respective lives. Nonetheless, Christmas serves as an important reminder that offers hope to a burdened people.

If anything, Christmas provides the perfect moment for self-reflection, a moment to reset the clock, even if only temporarily. It is a time to appreciate the richness of life and those here and who have gone, who contributed to it.

The new year and its challenges will come soon enough.

From the NMH family to yours, have a blessed Christmas.