To note the obvious, far too many people are losing their jobs here at the tail end of 2008. Maybe it's hopelessly naive, but my first Christmas wish for this year is that employers do all that they can to keep this the most wonderful time of the year wonderful for as many people as possible. Save the bad news for January. Timing matters for a whole host of reasons. And perhaps the lucky rest of us who still have our livelihoods can take a few minutes to remember in our prayers those who are newly unemployed.
While we're on the subject of Christmas, what charitable thing can we find to say, in this most charitable of seasons, about our noble representatives in Congress? While too many people are losing their jobs, Congress, in an act of shameless arrogance, has given itself a pay raise. Now, we ask ourselves, how could this be? Where have our country's "leaders" gotten the idea that this is a good — or even morally defensible — idea at this particular time in our history? Perhaps from Dickens, the great chronicler of the True Spirit of Christmas? We've read A Christmas Carol and know that Ebenezer Scrooge gave Bob Cratchit an unexpected raise on Christmas Day. Could that Christmas classic have given the Congressionals the misimpression that raises at Christmas, even when self-gifted, are necessarily generous and laudable things? Naw, not even they could have misunderstood the story that badly.
So Christmas wish number two is for Congress to do what leaders are supposed to do: get out front and lead by example. If you want to inspire the American people to make sacrifices for the common good, then prove by your actions that you are willing to join in the sacrifice. Words won't do. Only actions will. Do the right thing. Repeal your pay raise.
And with that we say Merry Christmas to all, and God bless us every one!