By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Bladine: Taking a look back for holiday thoughts

Looking ahead, it sometimes helps to look back. While searching for relevant words to pass along this Christmas Eve, I found a few from past columns.

From 1999, a suggestion that people of any means can give a great gift in the form of a single sheet of paper telling someone: “Thank you for all the good things you do for me. I’m sorry for all the wrong things I have said and done. You are a special person of great value. I love you.”

My 2004 idea was a non-starter:

“I think Christmas should be the fourth Sunday of December, thus ranging from Dec. 22-28, inclusive. Then, follow that immediately with a new Monday holiday during which people of all faiths are invited to reflect on the diverse spirituality that connects people of many religions … Now, before all Christians revolt at the thought, remember that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox, thus ranging from March 22 to April 25.”

In 2011, some commentary about commercialization:

“It’s tempting to dismiss all that commercialism as a stressful distraction from what Christians consider a sacred celebration … as a form of self-indulgence during what should be a time of charity and goodwill toward others. But Americans seem to have assimilated the commercial traditions into their religious/cultural holiday season without stifling the integrity of their personal beliefs.

“It’s finally time to put those credit cards down for a rest, but the positive economic impact of this commercial activity cannot be denied. So, it’s OK to grab a few last-minute items today, but stop along the way to enjoy the people sharing that experience. And then, whatever your religious persuasion, whatever your financial condition, celebrate the season by paying forward some measure of humanity to others.”

From Christmas Eve in 2020:

“As a religious holiday, Christmas is a beacon of hope shining from such words as found online at Crossroads.com: ‘As we remember the love of God and the gift of Jesus this holiday season, we are able to focus on the hope and joy that we have despite the circumstances that may be surrounding us. As a secular holiday, Christmas in America captures and helps preserve traditions of generosity, friendship, love, family strength and the joys of childhood.”

And for 2021, this simple idea: Reach out to people who matter to you; let them know they are in your thoughts.

Merry Christmas, and a peaceful holiday season.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

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