Even when we devoutly promise ourselves otherwise, the crush of the Christmas season manages to tie most of us in knots. In a time that is supposed to evoke joy and good cheer, we often feel rushed, harried, depressed and even angry.

This year we have added to that usual stress the unimaginable horror in Newtown, Conn., with the random slaughter of 20 precious elementary schoolchildren and six staff members.

It is at these times that we must stop, take a deep breath, reflect and search for perspective.

We counsel that you consider that even amid the stress and strife there are a few things that are right in this world. That is especially challenging in light of the shootings, but television news personality Anne Curry has shown leadership by vowing to engage in 26 acts of kindness to honor the 26 murdered innocents. She invited others to join her. The idea went viral and has swept the nation. It helps restore our emotional equilibrium to see such widespread and willing participation.

For Christians what is right is that this holiday marks the celebration of the birth of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Considering the significance of that for just a brief time should be humbling to any true believer and make them slow down to enjoy the moment.


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For most non-Christians, this remains a significant secular holiday often offering precious time with friends, family and loved ones.

That opportunity is a special gift and should be embraced and relished.

Then there are the selfless actions of those we see around us. Maybe it's the local food banks that make sure the less fortunate among us have something to eat, or the U.S. Marines' Toys for Tots campaign that tirelessly supplies toys on Christmas to children who would otherwise have little, or such incredible organizations as TurningWheels for Kids that makes sure many of those needy kids gets a bike for Christmas, a gift beyond the imagination of many of them. They are but a few of the hundreds of organizations dedicated to the service of others. They are most assuredly one of the things right in this world.

Yes, Christmas has become far too commercialized for our taste, but we are grateful that it is up to each of us to decide how we will celebrate this holiday and exactly what is important to us.

We are also grateful to not have soldiers on the battlefield in Iraq and to have declining numbers in Afghanistan. We are grateful for those soldiers who have served there and have a special place in our hearts for their families.

So, our sincere wish is for everyone to have a happy and meaningful Christmas holiday.

We urge Christians to take time to truly remember the tenets of your faith and reflect on exactly why this day is important and for non-Christians to use the occasion to consider the blessings of this life and to share a kindness of spirit with those around you.

And, finally, that there be peace with us all.

Our sincere wish is for everyone to have a happy and meaningful Christmas holiday.

We urge Christians to take time to truly remember the tenets of their faith and reflect on exactly why this day is important and for non-Christians to use the occasion to consider the blessings of this life and to share a kindness of spirit with those around you.

And, finally, that there be peace with us all.