MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 26, 2013

Area shows true reason for season


— Christmas in the United States can be a secular monument to commercialism.

At least that’s the opinion of some people who only see how frantic U.S. shoppers act on Black Friday and right up until 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.

There may be some truth to that — if you judge us by our actions as we are pushing and shoving our way to the next deal.

We would like to be remembered by society’s best side during the holidays.

Many become more sensitive to the needs of others.

Many people become more generous with their time and money.

In just the past week, the Phoenix reported on:

• One child’s quest to help the homeless by passing out items he helped collect.

• The Muskogee Police Department’s “Shop with a Cop” program, where officers took 26 children on a $150 shopping spree.

• Eighty students from the Early Childhood Center shopping for two families in need.

• A fundraiser to buy stuffed animals for law enforcement officers to give to children to help provide comfort during traumatic situations.

• Efforts by the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, the Muskogee Medical Foundation, and several Muskogee citizens to provide a free Christmas dinner and entertainment for those in need.

• The Fraternal Order of Eagles 4042 providing food baskets for eight families.

Those are just some of the people who helped make our world a better place in the week before Christmas.

It is also just a fraction of the people who donated time and money to help their neighbors.

Outsiders might not see this side of the U.S. They might focus on the millions and millions  of dollars spent on presents by a society that sometimes appears to succumb to materialism.

The Christmas season should be about celebrating the teachings of Christ. It should be about love.

Anyone who thinks we have lost track of that meaning should start with remembering everyone who ever dropped money into a Salvation Army red kettle.

The true meaning of Christmas isn’t lost. You just need to step back from the hustle and bustle and watch it unfold before your eyes.