Christmas time a mixed blessing for many but spirit can shine through

EDITORIAL

There are some things that tell you that Christmas is upon us. “Snoopy’s Christmas” will blare out of every possible source and television will show again old movies that are so familiar you know the script well enough to stand in for the actors.

Gladstone Road will be the scene of traffic jams, and parks will be rarer than hen’s teeth. Shops will be packed with ill-organised individuals who have left their purchases until the last minute. Hopefully the latter will keep the tills ringing for our local retailers who had a two-day break because of the power outage following the death of two men.

Christmas is very much a mixed blessing for our emergency services — police, fire, ambulance and hospital staff. Not only do they have to work when almost everybody else is having a good time but some of them will be subjected to verbal or even physical abuse from drunks.

Unfortunately it will not be a happy time for many families who are facing financial hardship. The pressure to spend is unrelenting but they must avoid taking on debt which can be too hard to repay after the holiday. It is also a sad fact that Christmas always sees a spike in domestic violence and it will not be a peaceful time for these people.

Transport authorities will be anxiously watching the packed roads hoping that the inevitable death toll for the holiday season is not excessive.

The relationship between the holiday and the celebration of Christ’s birth seems to fade more and more over time, obscuring the true meaning of Christmas. Euphemisms like “happy holidays”, presumably intended to avoid offence to other religions or non-believers, miss the point. The holiday is actually called Christmas for a reason.

And at the end of everything, in a troubled world marred by violence, the spirit of Christmas always shines through. It is a time of generosity and goodwill to all, a break from the mundane and often unhappy norm.

We hope all our readers enjoy your Christmas and we wish you nothing but the best.

There are some things that tell you that Christmas is upon us. “Snoopy’s Christmas” will blare out of every possible source and television will show again old movies that are so familiar you know the script well enough to stand in for the actors.

Gladstone Road will be the scene of traffic jams, and parks will be rarer than hen’s teeth. Shops will be packed with ill-organised individuals who have left their purchases until the last minute. Hopefully the latter will keep the tills ringing for our local retailers who had a two-day break because of the power outage following the death of two men.

Christmas is very much a mixed blessing for our emergency services — police, fire, ambulance and hospital staff. Not only do they have to work when almost everybody else is having a good time but some of them will be subjected to verbal or even physical abuse from drunks.

Unfortunately it will not be a happy time for many families who are facing financial hardship. The pressure to spend is unrelenting but they must avoid taking on debt which can be too hard to repay after the holiday. It is also a sad fact that Christmas always sees a spike in domestic violence and it will not be a peaceful time for these people.

Transport authorities will be anxiously watching the packed roads hoping that the inevitable death toll for the holiday season is not excessive.

The relationship between the holiday and the celebration of Christ’s birth seems to fade more and more over time, obscuring the true meaning of Christmas. Euphemisms like “happy holidays”, presumably intended to avoid offence to other religions or non-believers, miss the point. The holiday is actually called Christmas for a reason.

And at the end of everything, in a troubled world marred by violence, the spirit of Christmas always shines through. It is a time of generosity and goodwill to all, a break from the mundane and often unhappy norm.

We hope all our readers enjoy your Christmas and we wish you nothing but the best.

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