The official publication date for The Citizen this week is Dec. 24, so maybe you are reading this on Christmas Eve. If so, I hope your packages are wrapped, candy is tempting you and loved ones are near.There are those who are not ready to celebrate. Here are my holidays wishes for them.
Tape, paper; you can do it. Here’s to you the procrastinator with gifts stashed under the bed, in the closet and in a dresser drawer. The sun is sinking; night reminds you nothing is wrapped. You were going to wrap last weekend, but the football and the chores and the classic old movies that are so irresistible got in the way. Some of you, I know I’ve been one of you, still have gifts out in the car that you just bought today. You at least got that done. Bear on old chap; seek not the perfect gift wrap but merely to swaddle your bargains and rarities in last year’s gift wrap. Running out of tape, maybe you can get by with one piece per gift. Or, Casey’s may still be open. May sunrise find you satisfied at your resourceful completion of Santa duties.
Take your shoes off ye weary store clerk. Sit back in the chair. Stare at the tree. Avoid the TV for a bit for it will pummel you with ads reminding you of where you’ve been today. The madness is over, at least until Friday. Even then customers will not be as desperate, clawing at merchandise and hoping something from what’s left might work. A sales clerk is merely a shopping assistant most of the year. On Christmas Eve, they are asked to be magicians. May someone offer to help you with something tonight.
Dear precocious teenager exploring the world, thank you for reading our newspaper because you are curious. Please know that you are rare and there will come a time in later years when these qualities will serve you well. We old-timers do get silly and sentimental at times. But keep studying our ways, and you’ll find something worth carrying forward in your grown up days. I’d suggest you especially take note when people are kind to one another just because they enjoy being so. The teenage world is complex. May a simple act of kindness surprise you this Christmas and allow the world to make sense for a while.
Take heart, you who are reading this in Platte City — on the square in fact, in the county jail. ’Tis surely not where you would like to be in this season. May a memory of a better day bring comfort and prayer lead you forward to the future.
Blessings to all the nurses, doctors and aids on duty tonight and tomorrow in nursing homes and hospitals. Those who serve the elderly or the infirm with unselfish kindness and understanding bring light amidst darkness. May Santa find you despite your remote location away from chimneys.
Donors, know you are appreciated. Here’s to those who give money, food, toys and time to various charities serving the needy. From Shop With A Cop to food pantries, the happiness needle will rise far higher in many homes this week because of your generosity. By the way, Scrooge, it’s not too late to be a difference maker and many charities will need cash to help families without jobs or those with low paying jobs get through winter. For those who have donated, may you feel gratitude in the air when north winds stir the cedars.
Teachers and school administrators, the holiday break is upon you and I hope that means peace, peace, peace for a few days. A profession where pressures are great and thanks from the community few deserves a good holiday. May some absolutely silly fun sneak up and make you smile when you least expect it.
Hark ye Merry Readers, know that people who write words in newspaper columns are thankful for those who read them. I wish you all warmth, peace, love, truth and beauty as eve becomes day and hope beckons us forward.
Bill Graham, who lives in the Platte City area with his family, may be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.