This is the first time that I have not been working at least a full-time job at Christmas. Most of my life, I have worked multiple jobs–a full-time job and at least one part-time job. A couple of times, I’ve even worked two part-time jobs on top of my full-time job.
I am not complaining; I am simply stating a fact.
But now I am “retired” from full-time work, while continuing to work a part-time radio job on Saturday night. It has been a strange time, not getting up for work every morning, dressing up in a business suit, and heading off to work. I loved my job for the past 37 years (for the most part), but I was getting tired. At the age of 66, I decided that it was time to slow down.
So there is time to write, time to clean the house, get rid of junk, and, yes, spend time with the grandchildren…
There is nothing like being around children at Christmastime. We have three grandchildren–two boys and a girl–and another one coming in March. They are so delighted with this season, with the lights reflecting in their eyes, their dreams of what’s to come bubbling up inside their heads. They can hardly contain their excitement when they see something associated with Christmas–whether it’s a religious symbol or that ever-present jolly old elf, Santa himself. They are so enthusiastic about Christmas that it’s delightful to be around them.
Christmas is a time for new beginnings, new challenges, new solutions to old problems. Heaven knows we have so many problems in this world. Almost everywhere we look we can find friction, whether in our neighborhood or around the world. These children will inherit the problems we don’t solve. We owe it them to get back to civil discourse ad discussion to find solutions.
As another Christmas comes–the 67th one in my life–let us remember the reason for the season: the birth of a child who preached peace, who wanted us to help each other, to care for each other, to feed the hungry, to house the homeless, to give clothing to those who have none.
But we can’t stop at Christmas. This is a year-round job, this peace on earth and good will to all.
As the gap between rich and poor grows ever larger in this great country of ours, I hope that everyone will remember that not everyone has the same opportunities. The Horatio Alger story is a myth in today’s economy. “Pick yourself up by your bootstraps!” people say. What happens if, despite the fact that you may be working three part-time jobs, you have no bootstraps?
My wish for everyone at Christmas–and all year round–is to be kind to one another, to find joy in what you do, and to feed your soul with good works. That’s how we can make this world a better place for my grandchildren. And yours. And the grandchildren of the world to come.
Merry Christmas. Happy New Year 2015.