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Tucker: Xmas Score: Scrooges 4, Me 14

Posted: December 24, 2014 11:05 a.m.
Updated: December 26, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Here we are, in the midst of the Christmas season, and the Scrooges of the world have once again tried to ruin it for everybody.

Oh, they’re not difficult to find. All you have to do is pick up a newspaper or tune in to a talk show, and you’ll get an earful:

• Commercialism is killing Christmas.

• All the meaning has been taken out of the holiday.

• Greed is running rampant.

• Kids are getting spoiled rotten by gifts.

And to all that, I say balderdash.

Sure, things can get a little out of hand this time of year. Some merchants insist on putting up their Christmas decorations in early November, and the jingling of cash registers can be overwhelming at times.

But there’s still a lot to like about Christmas, and the commercial aspect of the holiday doesn’t have to overshadow its religious meaning for Christians. Think about it a moment:

Of all the holidays, which is more significant to you? Probably Christmas.

When does your family gather together? Christmas.

When does the spirit of generosity and helping others seem most prevalent? Christmas.

When is fellowship of the human spirit most evident? Christmas.

If you want to grouse and moan about how commercialism is ruining the focus of the season, that’s your privilege, but spare me. Perhaps you’re letting superficial issues cloud your mind and drape your heart. We can all celebrate the godliness in all this while at the same time enjoying other aspects of the season.

So for me, here’s what I like about this time of year:

• I like the feeling I get when I buy presents that I just <start ital> know <end ital> are going to make people’s eyes light up. I like watching them open them on Christmas morning, and I like the grins that cover their faces.

• I like the people who volunteer their time to man the Salvation Army buckets, spend time repairing and repainting old bicycles for kids, collect baskets of food for others, put on Santa suits and make little kids laugh.

• I like people who go over the top a bit with their decorations, lighting up their houses so others can drive by and marvel at all the lights.

• I like stores that bustle with excitement because people are shopping to make others  happy.

• I like the carolers who go from house to house, entertaining people they don’t even know and passing the spirit of the season on to others.

• I like Christmas get-togethers, when friends gather and celebrate, once again, why they like each other.

• I like the forgiving aspect of the holiday – the fact that people seem ready to overlook the foibles and idiosyncrasies of others.

• I like it when my daughter, who lives in California, gets off the plane in Columbia to spend Christmas at home. And I like having my other two children here on Christmas morning, just like when they were little kids.

• I like the crackling fire we always have in the living room on Christmas, and the warmth that comes not only from the flames but from the hearts of the people in the room.

• I like the fragrance of Christmas trees and pine boughs and cookies baking and pecans roasting. I like hot spiced tea and Christmas punch and a wee nip on Christmas Eve. As for fruitcake, I’ll pass on that.

• I like the helter-skelter excitement of my granddaughter.

• I like department store Santa Clauses.

• I like last-minute shoppers, those who always procrastinate until Christmas Eve, then rush around like madmen getting their shopping done.

• I like listening to the Christmas tapes that we’ve had so long – the Gatlin Brothers and Nat King Cole and Amy Grant and Jessye Norman.

There’s a lot more, but I’ll leave it at that, and I hope you’ll take a few moments to ponder what you like about the season. As for those grouches who’d ruin Christmas for everyone, I have but two words for them:

Bah, humbug.


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