Readers’ Forum, December 6, 2021: Mutual aid and sharing accompany Christmas | Letters to the Editor

Take care, share with Christmas

The Christmas season is approaching. It’s a time when so many things seem to get bigger. Some, like our appetite and our waistline, are a never-ending battle. Others, like our hearts, are more important and really the reason for the season.

We are a nation of immigrants and of various religions from around the world. Christmas is a Christian tradition. At the same time, it is a holiday that goes beyond strict religious lines. About three quarters of the population are Christians. However, around 90% of the people in this country celebrate Christmas.

Each family has its traditions. Perhaps it is a matter of hanging the handmade 50s ornament on the tree in a place of honor. It could be the four little angels spelling out CHRISTMAS who have adorned a mantle for generations. There are other traditions which have fallen into disuse or are quite recent.

Coca-Cola popularized the modern image of Santa’s grandfather. Before a 1938 advertisement, the portrayal of Santa Claus was very varied, but generally that of an elf or a gnome.

Christmas trees became popular in the mid-19th century. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were shown in an illustration published in 1848 standing next to a decorated tree. Soon the practice became popular over Christmas. Previously, it was only a German tradition.

Ghost stories were popular in the Victorian era. This held true even at Christmas. So it’s no surprise that Charles Dickens built “A Christmas Carol” around a ghost story.

Caroling looked a lot more like a modern trick-or-treat. He was supposed to provide food or drink for the singers, otherwise your garden might be in trouble.

In the 17th century, it was common for a single person to throw a shoe into a tree during Christmas time. If he was hanging there, you’d be married next year.

Christmas is really all about the birth of Christ. From there we have the message of faith and love.

From this message, we all become a little more generous, caring and sharing. This helps bring the Christmas spirit to this time of year. Let us each keep this spirit alive throughout the year as we keep Christ alive in our hearts.

– Dwayne Owens, Terre-Haute

Search for meaning

In 1946, Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) wrote “From Death Camp to Existentialism” about his years in four Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust of World War II.

His memoir was republished in 1959 under the title “Man’s Search For Meaning”. Frankl was born in Vienna, Austria, and also earned a doctorate in psychiatry and a doctorate. He has published over 30 books and has been a visiting professor and lecturer at Harvard and Stanford.

His theory of logotherapy (finding meaning in life) centers on the fact that we cannot always avoid suffering, but we can choose how to deal with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with a renewed purpose. Forces beyond our control can take away all we have except one thing, our freedom to choose how we will react to the situation. We can’t always control what happens to us in life, but we can always control how we feel and do about what happens to us.

He explains that during his three years in the concentration camps, he kept himself alive and kept hope by thinking about his wife and the prospect of seeing her again, and dreaming of lecturing after the war on the lessons. psychological to be drawn from the experience in the concentration camp.

What a reading this is. This writer recommends it to anyone who is still looking for meaning in their life.

– William Greenwell, Terre Haute


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