As it does every year, the front page of our Christmas edition features a message about the meaning of Christmas in Christianity.
It only takes a quick scan of our last few editions to realize Santa Claus has become the central figure of Christmas here, and probably throughout the U.S.
You might see a Nativity scene here or there, but Santa shows up everywhere.
Some deplore the commercialization of this Christian holiday, but Christmas still holds importance whether you approach the holiday from a spiritual or secular perspective.
It is a holiday for giving. The Christian holiday celebrates the gift of a child as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of mankind, whereas the secular celebration involves the giving of gifts to family and friends, and to the community.
In either tradition, the spirit of the season exemplifies something the child in those Nativity scenes would go on to say: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
We see this spirit in action all across the county as our friends and neighbors collect gifts for children who might not otherwise receive any, or even give a car to a family in need in one case.
We see it in the community support for food pantries and initiatives like CHIP Inc. and The Community Energy Fund of Lincoln County, which ensure no one in Lincoln County spends Christmas hungry or cold.
As we prepare for and celebrate Christmas, few of us probably reflect deeply on the spiritual significance of the day.
But regardless of our religious intent – whether we subscribe to Christianity or another religion or none at all – when we love our neighbors as ourselves, when we feed the hungry and provide shelter for the homeless, we help fulfill the message of the Christmas child.
However you celebrate (or don’t celebrate) Christmas, merry Christmas (or happy holidays) from all of us at The Lincoln County News.