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The joy of the celebration

This is my final column before Christmas. Spreading peace on earth, goodwill to all, is the theme for many greeting cards, and good place to begin this week’s rant.

The secular celebration of Christmas or Xmas involves red and green everything, candy canes and the jolly fat guy in the furry suit. He drives a magic sleigh powered by flying caribou. There are many other aspects of this holiday including a recent addition involving an elf and a shelf. That tradition grew out of a 2005 children’s book written by a mother daughter duo according to Google.

It is too easy for Moms and Dads to get so wrapped up (pun-intended) in making it a perfect Christmas that the people putting forth the effort have little chance to enjoy the fruits of those labors. It must be exhausting.

The religious festivals celebrated on Dec. 25 are more complex and important. Baby Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary in a stable in Bethlehem. He was sent to earth to save our souls. That is the Church of Christ version I grew up learning.

Whichever holiday you celebrate, be it religious or secular, the best part of the year is the good feelings and spreading them around. Treating one another well helps us expand the cheer that makes the season special.

Madera has many homes decorated and lit up for the holidays. Drive around and see how great they look and enjoy the creativity of our fellow residents. Some of them are quite extensive and some are simple.

When we lived in Parkwood, we had a neighbor who put a single strand of lights on a camper shell that spent its life balanced on a couple of sawhorses. It might sound more sad than festive, but it is all a matter of perspective. It is like amateur drag racing, you run what you brung. People can install decorations on a grand scale or embrace the lesson of a Charlie Brown Christmas. It is the feelings that matter not the amount of money spent on the project.

The schools have been on winter break since Wednesday, which means slow down when driving and watch out for kids at play.

Also be safe, don’t drive if you imbibe adult beverages.

No matter what you celebrate — Christmas, Winter Solstice, Chanukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, Omisoka, New Year or any of the other winter holidays — enjoy the opportunity to foster the good feelings of the season.

May your chosen holiday be as solemn or as festive as you deem appropriate.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a good weekend.

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Readers, may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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