Thu, May 24, 2018 04:57 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Mischief & Mayhem

Ask not

11/28/2007 - It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas Ö that is if the Christmas feeling comes from the fact that it is dark when we leave work each day! Personally, I do not like daylight savings time. I would rather it be daylight when I come home from work than when I go in. I have to wonder if the reason depression seems so prevalent around the holiday season is because it is dark and gloomy outside. I am sure someone has completed extensive studies on the subject.

Personally, I don't believe depression increases during the holidays. Rather, I believe that those of us who are not depressed actually have a heightened level of empathy for those who are down and, as a result, we are more aware of the issue during the holiday season.

It makes perfect sense that individuals who are on the Christmas 'high' are more likely to notice those who are not. That does not mean that more people are depressed, only that we notice that they are depressed more during the holidays than during the rest of the year. For the most part, we all want 'peace on earth and good will toward man' — specifically when we are surrounded by the power of faith-filled songs and prayer. We tend to be moved by music as well as by the Spirit that surrounds us at Christmastime. The question I pose is simple. What are we moved to do?

The Spirit is quite contagious. The more we reveal it to those around us, the more quickly it will spread to our neighbors. Christmas lights, Christmas trees and Christmas gifts for those in need — every little thing we do to let our Christmas light shine works to spread the Spirit. These little things that we are moved to do at Christmastime can make a huge difference in someone's life all year. Seeing the lights that decorate our homes and the smiles on our faces not only helps the Spirit grow in our own souls, but it can also spread the Spirit to those who are feeling down.

Usually we see Christmas trees with angels bearing the names of children who are in need. We all tend to be very happy to share the Christmas Spirit with a child but we are more hesitant to share that Spirit with adults. Our Church has a tree but the angels are bearing the names of elderly people at the local nursing homes. When I first saw it, I was disappointed that there were no children's names. After all, it is sooooo much fun to buy gifts for the little ones. However, after I reflected on the concept for a brief period, I began to feel that it was an excellent idea to add cheer and good tidings to the lonesome individuals at the nursing home. Many of them have full mental capacity but their bodies are giving out as their time on earth nears the end. How sad it must be to have a fully functioning brain trapped inside a feeble body. These people need our gifts just as much as children.

The question that is always asked at this time of year is, "What do YOU want for Christmas?" However, the question that we should be asking is, "What are you doing with all the blessings that you have been given this Christmas?" It does not take much to make someone's life better. A simple smile can brighten most people's day. Keep the Spirit in your heart at Christmas and it will shine to brighten even the darkest afternoon.

Ask not what Christmas can bring to you this year, but rather, what you can bring to Christmas. Peace and love be with you all!

Appalachian Regaional
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