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Letter: The holidays should be about the betterment of mankind
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Too often, we let the holidays pass as a blur: Christmas as a time to shop 'til you drop, increasing our credit card balances with each passing day, and New Year's as a time to stay up too late, drink too much and promise not to do that sort of thing ever again. But before we all return to work to pay off those Yuletide expenses, let's take one last look at what this time of year is supposed to mean.

For the religious, this is a holy season — a time when we celebrate the miracles bestowed upon we whom are not worthy. A season symbolic of our maker sending us gifts (including his own flesh) for which we all eternally thankful. For the more secular, Christmas is a time to surround ourselves with those we love and see their joy as they open gifts.

For all of us, New Year's is a holiday of hope and reflection. A time to make commitments to be better, a time to believe that change is possible.

These are very powerful ideas that often get lost as we rush from store to store and house to house.

The concept that we received love and gifts without payment or deserving, and that we, in turn, should give without expecting anything in return. Also that we should promise, and strive to do even better in the new year.

As the holidays pass and the old year gives way to 2019, we should all examine who we are and who we would like to be. Did we do all we could over the past few weeks to help our families? Our friends? Our communities? Our world? Have we studied our flaws and made a plan to be better people in the coming year? Why not?

Christmas can't just be another season of vapid consumerism. We have all year to waste money on useless things. Christmas should be about more. Christmas should be about all of us coming together for the betterment of mankind. And New Year's should be about committing to come together better next time.

Happy holidays, everyone!
Jeff Casper
Gainesville
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