Going above and beyond

We pull out all the stops for Christmas. Household budgets are torn up in our determination to get the perfect gift for everyone on our lists.

Many set aside a few dollars, perhaps more, in our concern for the less fortunate. We push a few dollars through the slots in Salvation Army red kettles. We take tags from Angel Trees. We respond joyfully to appeals in our churches. We put packages in Toys for Tots bins, set bags out on our porches for those collecting food to provide holiday meals, write checks when friends mention special Christmas projects to help the needy.

We reflect that it truly is better to give than to receive. We understand that in doing so, we are receiving.

Many among us received even more on Christmas morning. They are the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of our neighbors, friends and co-workers who go above and beyond each Christmas season.

They are the church members who work tirelessly during evenings in December, collecting, preparing and delivering gift packages.

They are the police officers and sheriff’s deputies who spend time – it flies when you’re having fun – taking children on Christmas shopping tours.

They are the club members who slave over hot stoves for hours so they can have the pleasure of dishing up turkey or ham with all the trimmings to families who, otherwise, would not enjoy festive meals on Christmas.

They are the business people who worry as much about the real bottom line as about the one their accountants consider.

On the heels of the Christmas season, we all should remember those who made the season a bit brighter.

God bless them all.