I am not a believer in many historical myths, as much as it would be comforting at times to buy into some of those.
I do believe the Christmas season has always had positive potential – and mostly a positive influence – on me and the people around my life. We make an effort to get together, to think a bit more intensely about each other, to match goodwill with good wishes, and encourage each other to extend that goodwill to people with whom we are otherwise less, or not at all, involved.
We all must realize, though, that the commercial aspect of the season can cause enough stress to negate much of the positive emotional impact. We are at the point where Christmas is a major budget item for most people, even many with extremely limited budgets.
When it is a struggle, even a mostly doable struggle, to maintain a roof, heat and sufficient food supplies for oneself and/or one’s family, the though of putting aside something extra for the season can be daunting and depressing.
In a society that, at least publicly, expects that everyone can participate in the excess expressed in media, the inability to keep up to those public standards can feel shameful, just as, for instance, the inability of some families to allow family members to participate in public activities – arts, sports, entertainment and the like – can be depressing, in a clinical as well as emotional sense.
Just a reminder that, if you can give, you should. We all, meanwhile, can give the supposed spirit of the season – goodwill towards all, a caring, civil attitude towards strangers, and the effort towards patience even with those with whom we fundamentally disagree, or comfortably disapprove of.
C’mon, it will be all over too soon. Make that effort for a few days. It will make your season happier, too.
Have a Merry Christmas, all, and be careful out there.
• It has been hard to be a local hockey fan of late. It has not helped that both local clubs have struggled to maintain effective lineups for any length of time, and at least the Smokies have sometimes been subject to incomprehensible officiating, along with missing a total of 22 games from their top three scorers.
Christmas wish for the local hockey community – that the clubs return to healthy lineups before the playoff chips fall where they may.
• I know, I know, we should be happy that the developmental aspect of junior hockey is producing – scholarships, all star elite play, and access to the biggest scouting pools available for those players looking for futures commensurate with their elite talent.
Trail will again be missing, not long into the new year, one of its premier players for a few games. Congratulation, again, Seth Barton. Please hurry back. We have seen what happens to a first place, Top 20 nationally-ranked team when important pieces of the lineup go missing.