THIS is the last issue. Oh me oh my, last week I goofed, I said that IT was the last issue, then went on about how you still had one more week to get your listings in. Ah…guess I really need this break, huh?
Anyway…do NOT panic when you don’t see the Neighb News on 12/20 & 12/27. We will be back on 1/3/19 (unless I win the lottery).
So, every year at this time, as deadline approaches, I realize I did not take the time to craft a carefully worded, brilliant, and profound Christmas message.
I just took a few minutes to look back on the last issue of each of the last 12 years…yup, 12. With this issue, I finish up year 13. In many of those last letters of the year, I managed to squeak out a pretty decent Christmas message. Sometimes I was able to tie my message into the hapenings of the day, local or national.
But I found that I had a theme that popped up more than once. Not in all of them, to be sure, but enough to be a real message.
Is there a Santa Claus, Virginia? Well, I have never been as eloquent as the editor of the New York Sun in 1897, but I dare say, we have our own eloquence here in these parts.
The Town Hall Sing-Along (see page 13) gave children the excitement of Santa Claus, the beauty of music, and the wonder of community, all creating the magic of the season.
Over the years, I have pointed to that event, the Old-Time Holiday, and the work of all the small groups that make up our little part of the world, to show that Christmas spirit does, indeed live on.
A recurring theme is that there is a little Santa Claus in all of us (okay, there might be an exception or two), a little magic just waiting to get out.
In 2013 I wrote about a sadness letter going around social media telling us who love the season to tone it down for those who are sad. I said then, and I say now, let the happiness rub off on you, instead of trying to make your sadness rub off on others. Volunteer where you are needed. If you can’t, then just go and sit. There are so many groups that will welcome you. It will make your season brighter, and theirs, too. Just look through these pages for lots of local groups that are doing good work. That’s Christmas magic.
In 2010 I wrote that there are a million little kindnesses that go unnoticed, except by those who receive them.
Here’s a little more from that brilliant editor who clearly had more time than I do: “There’s a little bit of Santa Claus in each of us, and when we all get together for a common purpose, he becomes all that legend has ever made him out to be. It’s magical. It’s powerful magic. And that kind of power can easily create a single night when all those little bits travel the world to spread the joy of gift giving. It’s not a leap of faith. Just pay attention. It happens. Every year.” (Neighb News, 12/23/10)
Until next year, then…see ya
And may you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and any other holiday you celebrate this time of year. May the new year bring you good health, good fortune, and hope for the future.
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Click here to download the entire 12/6/18 issue: 12/13/18 TownHallSingAlong