Originally created 12/23/01

Christmas brings 'reflective perspective' this year



In just two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

- Philosophy 101

That white thing you see me waving is a surrender flag.

No more.

I give up.

I can't take one more generous offering of homemade fudge, Christmas cookies, pound cake, box of chocolates, candy canes, pecan brittle, sugar cookies or peppermints that my co-workers, neighbors and several very friendly strangers have decided to offer me and many others this holiday.

I've never seen anything like it.

I've realized quite quickly that this Christmas is different.

Since September, this country is different.

Many people are getting nicer.

How else can you explain the past week in which the desktops around the office have been filled with more tasty temptations than all past years put together?

And you see it everywhere.

Being the economical family man, my idea of holiday fun is to pile everyone into the car and ride around looking at Christmas lights. (It suits my budget.)

My 7-year-old seems to like the blinking displays.

I like it because many people have their curtains thrown open to reveal warm rooms, gaily lighted and warmed by the sight of large Christmas trees.

This is that one time of year when you can look into someone else's home without feeling like you're doing something illegal.

"Tree's pretty," I'll say to my fellow passengers as we drive by slowly, gazing through a big front window.

"Oh, they've painted the living room," one of my passengers will offer.

"Moved the couch up next to the wall, too," I'll add.

And all this is OK because Christmas is the one time when we open our windows, and also our hearts, and invite others to look inside.

We all still remember the pain of September.

Most of us have had a chance to realize how lucky we are to be here this time, this week, this Christmas to share once again in the season of giving.

This holiday has brought a reflective perspective, a different dynamic.

Some of us have looked into someone else's adversity and seen courage and resolve.

Some of us have looked into someone else's heart and seen a generous reflection of ourselves.

And some of us have looked into someone else's living room and seen that the couch has been moved.

A fulfilled Christmas offers many insights. We are blessed to share them all.

Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344 or bkirby@augustachronicle.com.