By Bill Crawford / Guest Columnist
The Meridian Star
Merry Christmas to everyone – gas prices have dropped over a dollar since prices peaked last spring. Hopefully this will allow more of you to travel and be with loved ones over Christmas.
Merry Christmas to investors – the stock market continues to reach new highs. Hopefully this will cause wealthy investors to invest in more job creation activities during the coming year.
Merry Christmas to Social Security recipients – you just got a 1.5 percent COLA increase. Hopefully this will help many poor retirees.
Merry Christmas to state retirees – you just got another 3 percent COLA bump in your 13th check. Hopefully this will be a boon to you and to the state economy.
Okay, you don’t like to link Christmas with economic issues.
Merry Christmas to the men and women who have served and continue to serve so selflessly and heroically in our armed services – fewer of you are suffering injuries and death in foreign lands. Hopefully this trend will continue and America will pursue peace on earth.
Merry Christmas to Christians – it’s still politically correct for us to say “Merry Christmas.” Hopefully the trend to demonize Biblical beliefs will end and turn the other way.
Okay, you don’t like to mix Christmas with politics.
That smile of wonder on Christmas morn when a child opens a gift. That smile of joy when a place-bound senior receives a family visit at Christmas. That smile of elation when the music of Christmas stirs one’s soul. That smile of hope when the story of Christmas is told once more.
Such smiles are the true stuff of Christmas, that which makes it merry.
As for me, I have much to smile about this Christmas season.
A special blessing, a third grandchild, was recently born to my son and his lovely wife. A thought of these grandchildren at any moment brings a smile of such joy.
I have been blessed this year to weather a three-month furlough and still sustain our low-key lifestyle. My benefactors know I love and appreciate them.
My greatest blessings were prayers answered for the health and well-being of friends and family members ... Jamie, Roger, Jenny, Bob, Jan, Benny, Leo, to name a few. His angels have been so busy.
As for you, I wish for you many smiles and the blessings of the season, and pray our Lord of mercy and love will send His guardian angels to protect, comfort, and heal you.
“Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love; hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away. Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!” – Henry van Dyke, 1907.
Bill Crawford (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.