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Keep the Christmas spirit alive after holidays

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Updated: January 28, 2013 3:42PM



The stockings are empty, the gifts have been unwrapped, the food has been devoured, and Christmas is over — or is it?

All the preparations most of us make before Dec. 25, all the excitement and anticipation, all the giving, caring, loving, sharing can continue in our hearts and homes if we remember the joy we felt, the hugs we gave, the neverending smiles, and, yes, even the tears of remembering.

There are, after all, 12 days of Christmas, according to the song! Looking around our table, listening to everyone talking at once, watching the little ones thrilled with a special gift, all keep warm thoughts in our memory bank.

Even those who are homeless or live alone can feel wanted as they partake of delicious meals and receive gifts to know that others care.

Then why can’t we promise ourselves that we, as one, will keep that same spirit alive over and over again during the next few drab months of winter? The day wasn’t yet over, and already there were commercials for “after Christmas” sales, special prices for the gift you didn’t get, emails galore to take advantage of one more great sale.

It kind of seems sad that, at least commercially, we can’t keep the warmth of this beautiful time of year cuddled in our heads without being bombarded with a “must buy.”

It may not last, but I am going to keep saying Merry Christmas to everyone I meet right up until it’s time to say Happy New Year. Maybe it will still bring a smile to the face of someone who could use a “little Christmas.”

The tragedy that brought all the people in Newtown, Conn., together, I’m sure will keep them caring and sharing for months on end. We all have sads in our lives which can often be filled with glads just by a warm hug from someone. Try it, you might like it!

And Merry Christmas!

A really neat exhibit is heading our way in early January. The Porter County Community Foundation and Valparaiso University are hosting Indiana Humanities’ “Spirit of Competition,” which can be visited Jan. 9 through Feb. 7 at the University Center for the Arts.

There is a great variety of exhibits and includes interactive opportunities such as mascot photo ops, bicycling to match Major Taylor’s track speed, short films on Hoosier competition, a scoreboard showing statistics of where we rank in the world on various topics, and information on items invented in Indiana.

Whether we realize it or not, according to Keira Amstutz, CEO of Indiana Humanities, we all engage in competition every day, and
“this exhibit teaches us that it affects us all and contributes to our individual character, as well as the culture of our local communities and our state.”

We are fortunate to have this exhibit visiting Porter County, and it will be a perfect time to see what outstanding people and inventions have contributed to make Indiana a great state.

In a few short days, 2012 will be a thing of the past, and we’ll be moving on to a new year.

For many, that means party time, so I ask you to please be extra careful on New Year’s Eve whenever you are out driving, especially in the wee hours. No matter how much fun you had, if it ends in an unforeseen accident, it will be a crummy way to start the new year.

So be safe, and have a happy and blessed new year, and I hope you have a great day because you deserve it.

Thanks for reading. Fly your flag.



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