pic by marfis75 (flickr)

Ahh, ‘tis the season again. Across the world, a festive spirit engulfs the land. Whether it be under the snowy blankets presiding over North America, the blessed rains brim-filling the African landscape, or the relentless sun descended over Down Under; Christmas is indeed upon us.

For many (religious or otherwise), Christmas provides a universal time of thanksgiving and reflection. Friends and families bask in the joy of each other’s presents and, more importantly, each other’s presence. Christmas is a victory lap; one stands tall and relishes in the glory of having lived through the trials of the year.

Almost 30 years ago, the immortal song, “Do They Know it’s Christmas” was released to raise money for relief of the 1983-1985 Ethiopian Famine, and raced to break all sorts of records in a short space of time.

What a reality to face. While many of us spend Christmas with loved ones, probably exchange small tokens of appreciations before topping the day off with a hefty meal; there are those among us who will go hungry, unsheltered and lonely.

 The burden of existence weighs heavy upon them 364 days a year.

But on Christmas, it weighs a little heavier. Do they know it’s Christmas? Chances are they do. One can argue it would be a relief not to know it is, because then the realization of what is alack would not be especially hammered into their consciousness.

Yet they do. They are reminded of life’s seeming injustices. They sit in silence, imagining what could be. Providers dream in agony, hurting at the thought of letting down those entrusted to them by life.

Above all, however, Christmas exists in the hope that comes from being alive. It lives in the belief in human goodness manifested in charity. It shows on the smiles given out by those who have nothing else to give.

To answer the age-old question: yes, they know it is Christmas. If they do not know it is, they do. What Christmas means to those less fortunate than us, however, is up to you and me. So go forth; make these holidays that much more special for someone else. It might be the best present that both of you get this season!

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