POINT OF VIEW: The holidays are our days

Even if you are not a person of any faith, and have no idea how the word came to be, I’ll bet you enjoy the winter holidays. All the busyness and stress notwithstanding, I think we miss them at least a little when they’re gone. Maybe it’s because for a few days we share the feeling that something special — whatever that might mean to us — is about to happen.

For many folks, the holidays are, in fact, “holy.” Many of us believe that, 2,017 years ago, a special child was born. Many others believe that, 2,185 years ago, a jar of oil that should have lasted for just one day burned for eight. Other special days honor the culture and values of another continent. And we all share the hope that something good will come with the new year.

So beginning with Thanksgiving — or even before — we celebrate, even if we aren’t all celebrating for the same reason. We have days off, and we attend events — office parties, family gatherings, religious services — just because it’s that time of year.

Of course, the festivities are also about making or spending money, or, as the exhausted shopper in “Miracle on 34th Street” said, “the commoishal” (Brooklynese for “commercial”). Still, most of our purchases are for someone else, and the search for the perfect gift is one more thing that we have in common.

There really is no way to make that once-a-year feeling last — the sense that we’re all in the season together. In fact, it’s kind of sad to see dangling lights and wilted wreaths still on display when summer rolls around. All we can do is enjoy these days while they last, and share them.

This year, South Floridians may experience the season with certain snowbirds in unexpected ways. My mother and I enjoyed the children’s pageant at our church on Christmas Eve. The president and his wife attended a later service and, I understand, were greeted with cheers by the congregation. If I had stayed for that service, I think I would have murmured a quiet, “Welcome to the celebration,” and, to all of us, whether present in that place or somewhere else, “God bless us, God bless us every one.” All year-round.


All we can do is enjoy these days while they last, and share them.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: Come to this island, before it disappears

KUTUBDIA, Bangladesh — Anyone who doubts climate change should come to this lovely low-lying island, lapped by gentle waves and home to about 100,000 people. But come quickly, while it’s still here. “My house was over there,” said Zainal Abedin, a farmer, pointing to the waves about 100 feet from the shore. “At low tide...
Editorial: Fire chief’s response time on sex harassment was his undoing
Editorial: Fire chief’s response time on sex harassment was his undoing

So the fire chief couldn’t stand up to the county administrator and now wants his job back. Jeffrey Collins, the former Palm Beach County Fire Rescue chief, resigned on Jan. 12 in the wake of sexual harassment and retaliation complaints under his command. Almost immediately he “rescinded” his decision, saying he had been pressured...
Letters: Brightline accidents tragic, but is railway really to blame?
Letters: Brightline accidents tragic, but is railway really to blame?

BRIGHTLINE, the innovative high-speed passenger rail service, has been in operation for only about a week and a half, and already three people have been hit by trains. Tragically, two of them died. You’ve sent us a flood of letters and emails about it — nearly 100 in all. As you’ll see below, most put the blame not on the railway...
Rampell: Blame McConnell and Ryan for the shutdown

It was neither the #TrumpShutdown nor the #SchumerShutdown. It wasn’t even the #StephenMillerShutdown. It was always the #McConnellRyanShutdown. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan are responsible for the completely avoidable three-day federal shutdown that ended Monday. They will likewise be responsible for the...
Gerson: The Trump evangelicals have lost their gag reflex

Billy Graham has been one of the most visible, respected and influential Christians in the world since the 1950s. But he often had a blind spot when it came to politics. Graham was Richard Nixon’s spiritual adviser. And Nixon consulted him on everything from his vice presidential pick to the conduct of the Vietnam War. It must have been a heady...
More Stories