Common themes unite us

By Heather McCracken

In our paper today, three people from three very different backgrounds explain what Christmas means to them.

They have all given a thoughtful and thought-provoking explanation of why and how they celebrate Christmas.

All three were a pleasure to read, amid the stress of shopping and cooking, and the constant advertising trying to convince us that to celebrate we need to buy more and eat more.

All have written from a different perspective - Christian, Humanist and Bah'ai - but there are common themes.

None saw Christmas as a time to spend unwisely, to put ourselves into debt, to drink too much, eat too much and fight with our families.

There are probably many who would see the festive season in that light - perhaps the emergency services who deal with carnage on the roads, family violence, and drunkenness. Working at a newspaper, this past week I've seen a stream of safety messages: slow down on the roads, service your car before you leave on holiday, look after your pets before you leave, lock up your house before you leave. Watch for powerlines when you're towing your boat, watch out for rips when you're swimming, watch your kids everywhere.

Christmas seems fraught with ways we can get into trouble, which, regardless of what you believe, doesn't seem in the spirit of the day.

But the Christmas spirit will be in evidence at community dinners being held around Wairarapa tomorrow.

I popped into Masterton and Carterton's last year. Everyone from volunteers to guests was having a fantastic time, and genuinely celebrating the chance to share with others over a meal.

Wherever and however you're celebrating, I wish you a happy and peaceful day tomorrow.


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