Dan Smith: Just one week until Christmas

Dec. 17, 2013 @ 11:40 PM

It’s one week until Christmas. My column is also one week early the way it falls on Wednesday. I’ll give you my take on this special holiday and you’ll have one week to think about it.

As I always say, Christmas seems to come earlier every year. I think it has something to do with getting older and how we mark time. Those of you in my age category will understand, and the rest will have to learn it as they age. It’s kind of like the proverbial snowball that starts small and goes slow until it gathers more snow and grows, also picking up speed along the way.

I’ve also found that the older I get, the less presents I need or want. It’s more about the giving than receiving, which is the way it’s supposed to be anyway. I get more joy out of giving and seeing the look on the faces of people I love. I don’t always get to see that look because my children are so far away at Christmas; even my two grandchildren.

Next year may be better if circumstances change for them. That will be the best Christmas present, if that happens. I’m praying it will. In life sometimes, you play the hand you are dealt and hope for a better one the next time.

People are more important also to me the older I get. I love being with relatives for Christmas each year, which has become a tradition for us too. We have to travel to Ohio since they all live there. It’s not a bad trip and I get to eat Skyline Chili, which is a Cincinnati local favorite. Of course I do get a real Christmas meal while there, but I can’t pass up the chili.

I feel sorry for the military people who can’t come home for Christmas either. That must be tough. If you know me, you know my views, and I’d have them all home if I had the power to do something about it. Pray for them and maybe next year they too can come home.

It is not my desire to offend anyone, but Christmas is not about the holidays. I know that several other celebrated days fall at this time also, but they are not the reason for the season. I don’t like lumping them together or combining them as if they are all equal and that they mean the same.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I know it’s probably not the real date of His birth, but we have accepted it as such and so we’re stuck with it. It suits me fine. It is a religious holiday and the churches all have special music and sermons prepared for this occasion.

I like to watch the Christmas specials on TV that play this time of the year. I still watch the cartoons, and “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby along with “A Christmas Story.” It has become a tradition to do so. I always hope for a white Christmas, at least for that one day of the year which is the only day I need snow.

I always try to give to the less fortunate in the community, and I never have a problem finding such people. I don’t save it up though just for this season, but try to give all year when I can and I see a need. I’ve already found people who I have never given to before for this new Christmas season. You don’t have to look hard to find organizations right here in Sevier County if you want to help out.

One thing that makes me sad this time of the year is the loss of someone I know through death. This makes things extremely hard for those families that experience this at this time or have lost someone since last Christmas who will not be here anymore. They need special prayers just to get through this tough time.

I pray that all of you will do your best to enjoy Christmas and make it special for your loved ones. You don’t always have to give more or bigger presents. Just show Christ’s love, even to people who aren’t being so kind to you. It’s one of the best presents you can give!