By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
“Peace on Earth, good will towards men.” Thus spoke a choir of angels to shepherds attending their sheep in the field, announcing the birth of the Christ Child 2017 years ago.
The Christmas Season is upon us. It’s a time for families to get together in order to celebrate the present and remember fond memories from the past, when life was simpler.
It’s a time when parents and grandparents’ lives are enriched as they watch the awe-struck, wide-eyed faces of their children eagerly inspecting what seems to be an unlimited trove of presents under the tree. In their minds, they wonder and hope whether what seemed an eternal wait was worth it.
Following the gift giving, family members will sit down and be treated to a meal fit for royalty. But this meal has an added ingredient not found in royal meals—love.
However, in many families there will be members who are not present for this annual celebration. They may live out of state, and because of distance and time constraints are unable to attend. Married couples may alternate with each other’s families each year. Some family members may be required to work—some have to work.
For those required to work, wouldn’t it be nice if their employers put aside the almighty dollar for this one day? Even better, companies could adopt a business model similar to Hobby Lobby, where the spirit of Mr. Fezziwig is kept alive.
Once again, this year our world is not experiencing peace on Earth. Many of our military men and women are separated from their families, spending time in some Third World hellhole, making a conscious sacrifice to ensure those on the home front sleep safely.
Unfortunately, their sacrifices create a sense of loss, heartbreak and overwhelming concern of their safety for those serving by family members. This year’s Christmas family memories will be of their absent loved ones and a hope that those not in attendance will be there next year.
Let us take time out of our Christmas celebration this year to remember and hopefully appreciate the sacrifices these military personnel are making for us.
This year, like last, many of our police and firemen will not be attending the family festivities. Accepting these jobs automatically puts you in line to possibly miss celebrating Christmas with your family. Their tireless dedication to the communities they serve should be recognized throughout the year.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the hospital and ambulance personnel, public works personnel and the forgotten people who work at coffee shops and other places, providing the aforementioned groups the ability to take a well-deserved break.
While Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Jewish neighbors will be celebrating Hanukkah, which begins on Saturday, December 24 and concludes on January 1.
Hanukkah remembers the rededication and purification of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabees’ defeat of the Syrians. The wicks on the Temple menorah miraculously burned for eight days, despite having only a one-day supply of oil.
Lastly, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah. And to all those politically correct, non-believers who look on Christmas as a humbug—well, I say, a very Merry Christmas to you all!