Dear Editor, 

The holiday, as some say, season, is upon us with decorations, bright lights, gift giving and the entire hodgepodge of culture that accompanies it. Some embrace the idea that this is a strictly Judeo-Christian observance, while others maintain a more secular view and embrace an orientation not tethered to particular faiths, or, as is their right, to no faith at all. Whatever your view, let’s try to keep in mind a certain spirit-that of giving, acceptance, inclusion, caring and assistance to those less fortunate and in need. Such are the principals of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism or any of the major faiths; or to any individual or group committed to goodwill and benevolence toward others.

Part of the American experiment has to do with acceptance of and respect for the right of all peoples to worship as they please, to adhere to the faith of their choice, or again, to adhere to none at all. The experiment certainly has fallen and continues to fall short at times, but if we as a people continue our efforts toward the goal of inclusion then indeed we are doing the right thing, are we not? As the old coach Mike Ditka once stated, “You never really lose until you stop trying.”

Whether your observances are centered about Christmas, Diwali, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Vesak, or that of another faith, or no faith, we can all contribute to the spirit of caring and support for all, simply by our words and actions. Visit the sick, lonely and those otherwise isolated; contribute financial support, time, or goods to a charity; help those in financial need.

So, let’s make it a “December to Remember” with greetings and goodwill: In Buddhism, (A silent bow); As-Salaam-Alaikum, (Islam) “Peace be unto you”; Namaste-(Hindu) “I bow to the divine in you”; Shalom-(Judaism) “Peace”; “The Lord be with you”; (Christian); “Have a good day” (Secular).

Best wishes to all now and for the New Year. Peace.


Jeff Churchill