EDITORIAL: Together for good

This season's giving nature is for more than just Christians

It’s a holiday to celebrate the birth of Christ, but it has become so much more.

Yes, there is the commercial side to the holiday season, the latest toys, gadgets and fashions. Some people say they are disappointed with that ever-growing part of Christmas, but that’s a negative discussion and we don’t want to go there today.

Every year we are so impressed with how the people, organizations and businesses of Parksville Qualicum Beach embrace the ‘giving’ part of Christmas.

Perhaps that evolution of this holiday has been a way to widen the scope of Christmas beyond those who count themselves as Christians.

The act of giving — a present, one’s time, one’s shoulder to lean on — is just a good thing universally. We are willing to wager that selfless acts to help fellow humans are something all faiths embrace.

So, Christmas provides the world an opportunity to focus on helping those in need. Yes, we all should be thinking about that every day of the year, but if Christmas provides some impetus, some calls to action, that can’t be a bad thing.

Today on page A5, J.R. Rardon tells the story of a program co-ordinated by School District 69 that is providing more than 100 families with hampers this Christmas. It’s but one of the many stories of giving we have been proud to present this holiday season. It’s heart-warming stuff and it takes work and many hours of selfless acts.

We are also willing to wager the dozens of volunteers who help put these hampers together and raise money and donate goods for them — students, businesses, school district staff and so many more — aren’t all Christians.

And that’s the point: giving and helping are universally best practices. Perhaps that’s the best gift of Christmas: the community comes together to help the less fortunate among them.

That’s why it should never be offensive to wish someone ‘Merry Christmas.’ Sure, those of other faiths get bombarded with Christianity on this continent, we get that, but there are so many good things to celebrate in this holiday season.

This year, the first night of Hanukkah falls on Christmas Eve. That’s pretty cool, at least for our come-together-for-good theme today.

So, Merry Christmas. And Happy Hanukkah.

— Editorial by John Harding

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