March 22 • 05:14 AM

Special day not so special for everyone

December 26, 2007
Christmas. Is it really all that special anymore?

I was suprised several years ago when, a few days before the 25th, I saw a local restaurant's sign announcing that they'd be open for Christmas. The hours were modest, something like 10 to 5. Nothing earth-shattering, but it made me sad in a strange way.

As a kid, Christmas has been the one day a year where 'life' as I knew it stilled for about 24 hours. No school, appointments, work, meetings, shopping trips or chores around the house and I liked that. Few-er distractions meant spending an entire day with family and friends instead of hours or minutes. It truly was different from the other 364 days, or so I thought.

But, today I can't ignore the fact that Christmas can be a very ordinary or anything but relaxing day. Lots of cooks will be whipping up dinner for guests and farmers will still need to roll out of bed to go milk the cows at 6 a.m. Even though the calendar says December 25, accidents do happen and people fall ill.

So, kudos to all those people who choose pro- fessions that know no holidays.

Then there are those other 'realities' of life. Contrary to all those feel-good movies and children's storybooks, the things that make our hearts heavy don't just melt away once Christmas day dawns.

I've learned that unlike me, not everyone is blessed with a multitude of family gatherings to take part in on Christmas, generous presents to open and share or even a meal's worth of food.

No, the worries and problems don't disappear on Christmas but I hope that something—a Christmas carol, the bright lights or the joy on a child's face—gives them a moment's rest from those burdens. I hope it gives them hope for the new year to come. I hope they can find comfort in the story of that first, lowly Christmas in a Bethlehem stable and faith in the Christ Child who was born there.

Whether you're home or far away, sitting down to a homecooked meal or sliding into a restaurant booth, may you have a blessed and peaceful Christmas.

Email Maria at

Assistant Editor: Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.
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