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December 15-31, 2014

Is it Christmas already?

By Katee McClure

Is it better to give than to receive, or do we just repeat that axiom because we’ve heard it since we were children? Christmas time is perhaps one of the most stressful times of the year. Sure we love the lights, the caroling and the tangy taste of candy canes but the stress of buying gifts, sending cards, going to parties, coordinating time to spend with our families, cooking AND working make many of us want to run away to some deserted island until January.
I have a solution. Don’t do any of the above. Give away your time, your money or both to those less fortunate than you. Do you really think your sister needs another sweater or your father more aftershave cologne? Wouldn’t it be nice if we eliminated the entire running around and spent that time with friends, family and some good conversation?
When I was about 11, years old my mother, a single woman raising five girls, taught us a valuable lesson. She suggested that we all take the money we had saved for Christmas and give it away to the poor. By poor I mean poorer than we were and that was pretty poor. Oddly enough we all agreed. My sisters were then 6,10,13 and 22 years old. We all went down to the Los Angeles Rescue Mission and gave away all the money we had saved for Christmas. It felt good! We still had a celebration on Christmas but it focused more on quality time with one another - singing, laughing, and, to be quite honest, wondering what we would tell all our friends at school when they asked “what did you get for Christmas?”
Christmas for many has become too commercialized. We all groan when we see the stores promoting Christmas before Halloween! The tension builds until Christmas Eve, and when it is all over and we breathe a sigh of relief and swear that we’ll be better prepared next year…we never are. I know it’s not logically possible, but December seems to come quicker every year.

There are many people that need help during this time of year.
Consider contributing to organizations that help those people;
There are hungry people - Give to ECHO, (Economic Council Helping Others), food bank.
1921 E Murray Dr,
There are homeless people - Give to PATH (People Assisting the Homeless)
309 West Pinon 
(505) 327-3104

There are women and children shelters throughout San Juan County that afford a safe haven to escape abuse. Many times these women and children flee with just the clothes on their backs.

The programs listed above are only possible through government grants and the generous donations of individuals. Time and time again Americans prove to be some of the most giving people in the world, not only on local levels but also internationally.

Local churches have programs to help the less fortunate not only at Christmas time but all year long.
Let’s not forget our furry friends. All of the animal shelters in San Juan County are in dire need of donations.

So if you’re stumped on what to get Aunt Edna for Christmas consider giving to people, or animals, in Aunt Edna’s name.

Merry Christmas
Happy Chanukah
Joyful Kwanzaa
Namaste my friends




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