Brightening Christmas for others

Written by Observer editorial reports December 20, 2013 08:38 am

No, they don’t wear white hats, like the good guys in the old Western movies, or drive white cars. But the cops are the good guys of the modern world. Proof is the Shop With a Cop program, which helps underprivileged kids have a Christmas while at the same time making them aware that cops are approachable and are there to serve the public and keep the peace.

Shop With a Cop is just one of many programs this holiday season that help everyone, especially kids, have a good Christmas. There are food drives in Union, toy drives in Cove, Christmas programs at the schools attended by thousands, the Living Nativity tonight and Saturday in south La Grande, the Neighbor to Neighbor free dinner on Christmas Day.

Face it. This can be a lonely time of year. Nights are long. Heating costs are skyrocketing. Some families are struggling financially despite news the recession is lifting. Food banks need all the donations they can get. Neighbors need a friendly greeting, whether it is “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” The media, in particular TV advertising, drives the mistaken notion that Christmas is not Christmas without a new car with a giant red bow on it or the latest video game or computer.

Christmas, though, is not about who gets the most goodies. It’s not about who has the biggest or most beautifully decorated tree. It’s about making sure the kids are remembered and that families struggling to make ends meet are not left behind. It’s about reaching out to older people and making sure they are not alone for Christmas.

Most of us can’t save the world. But we can do a little something to help our part of the world. A challenge this Christmas is to do something for someone without thought of anything in return. Get the giver’s high. Even if that is just one can of food for the food bank, or a quarter in the Salvation Army bucket, it all adds up.

Even if only a few more kids get a gift under the Christmas tree, or even a Christmas tree, from programs like Shop With a Cop, selfless actions brighten the holiday for everyone.