Remember to give this holiday season

Time is short for those of us who have fallen behind on our Christmas shopping. As we cope with the struggles of everyday life while trying to find the perfect gifts for everyone on our lists, let us not neglect to take care of the one task that ought not to require any thought: ensuring Santa Claus visits everyone.

Each December, the pages of this newspaper are crowded with stories and pictures about organizations working hard to ensure needy families — especially children — are not left out of our merriment during the holidays. There are dozens of clubs, charities, churches, businesses, even individuals, who make that their mission.

Why are there so many? Because there are so many families in our area who cannot imagine the kind of Christmas most of us take for granted. Some cannot even afford warm coats for the children, much less those expensive toys we will place under the tree. Some don’t indulge themselves in thinking about holiday dinners with all the trimmings. They feel lucky to have anything to eat.

Are we engaging in hyperbole? Are there really thousands of children who won’t get much for Christmas unless we help? Are there that many families without a little extra to spend on a table-groaning turkey or ham dinner?

What if we are wrong? And even if we are correct, won’t someone else take care of the needy children and their families?

Come on. You know the answers to both questions.

We’ll take the easier one first: As in all things, counting on “someone else” to get something done often means it does not happen.

As for you thinking we must be mistaken about the need, what if you are wrong?

What if, on Christmas morning, your delight at being with your family is tempered, perhaps ruined altogether, by the thought that somewhere in our area, disappointed little boys and girls are being reminded that they were told not to believe in Santa Claus? You could have given them a reason to keep believing.

So why take the chance that we may be correct?

A much safer approach is to find an organization that helps the needy at this time of the year and make a generous donation.

Then, on Christmas morning, think about what you did. Think about a couple of children telling mommy and daddy they were wrong. Santa Claus did come!

Don’t forget to make that contribution. It will make your Christmas brighter.

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