OUR VIEW: Christmas thoughts of yoreThe tragedy of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy a little more than a month before Christmas deeply saddened a nation preparing for one of the most joyous of all holidays — the coming of the Christ child.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
EDITOR’S NOTE: For the remainder of the week, The Daily Republic will publish Christmas-themed editorials from years past. Included with each is the date it was originally published, along with the names of this newspaper’s executives at the time.
Dec. 24, 1963
The tragedy of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy a little more than a month before Christmas deeply saddened a nation preparing for one of the most joyous of all holidays — the coming of the Christ child.
Now, with the 30-day period of national mourning ended, the national Yule tree has been lighted by President Lyndon B. Johnson; the White House is properly decorated. A people drawn more closely together by the martyrdom of a leader will find the events of tomorrow more meaningful.
Homes and yards are aglow with Christmas lights and decorations. Carols now fill the air and people are humming the old songs that commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many churches display crèches, reminding the passerby that there was “no room at the inn” for the Holy Family, and opening the heart to the virgin mother and child.
Christians feel part of the one universal family as the ecumenical spirit permeates all faiths. All eyes are on the Holy Land and the first pilgrimage in history by a reigning successor of St. Peter — Pope Paul VI — to worship humbly at the places made holy by Christ’s life and passion.
Even the Berlin Wall has fallen for a few days and thousands stream from West Berlin to East Berlin to visit with long separated loved ones; a Russian family is visiting in Portsmouth, Ohio, and will spend Christmas with a typical American family in a representative American community.
Through its recent sadness, this nation is rededicating itself to the spirit of Christmas, a vast chorus of voices singing “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of goodwill.”
Florence K. Ronald, publisher; E.M. Bradly, executive editor
Each year, we hear complaints that Christmas is becoming too commercialized, that people are losing touch with the true meaning of the holidays. We would have to disagree.
People may seem to spend more time roving shopping malls and searching for Christmas decoration bargains. But that doesn’t mean the spirit is lost. They’re not shopping for themselves; they are shopping for those they care about.
... Families might spend plenty of dollars and time putting up a tree, decorating it with tinsel and candy canes or making extravagant meals, but the message is not lost in the bustle. People are trying to make their homes more comfortable and joyous for the benefit of those visiting.
Main Street merchants might try to come up with plenty of ways to get customers into their shops. … But that doesn’t mean they have lost the true meaning of Christmas.
Look to the donations businesses and organizations make to the Salvation Army and other causes. Look at the presents under trees set up for those less fortunate. Look at the gorgeous lights decorating Main Street and other locations.
Some count down the days to Santa Claus’ arrival with great anticipation. Others may spend hours glued to the television watching Christmas specials and football games. But that doesn’t mean they have lost the true meaning of Christmas.
Just watch how many of those same faces show up for Christmas Eve services, singing songs and lighting candles.
Each year, we cry out a little louder against the commercialization of Christmas, but how often do we stop to think what those words really mean?
Plastics and bows and sale tags and media ads are a part of everyday life now. That doesn’t mean their presence destroys the holiday spirit. It only redefines it.
Have a merry Christmas.
Jon M. Noel, publisher; Tammy Ramsdell, managing editor