• 37°

Look forward to the new year

By Loran Smith
Administrative assistant,  UGAFootball Club

With Christmas falling on Friday this time around, we become aware that the focal point of the annual holiday will be celebrated on Saturday in 2021 and Sunday in 2022.   Christmas on the weekend takes place about every six years.

Friday is the perfect day to celebrate the Christmas holidays.   

Most employers allow their employees to take off both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, which means you get a four-day weekend, especially if you can extend the holiday–time–off bonus by leaving the office early on Wednesday.

If you work in retail, however, you stay put on Christmas Eve until the last customer, often a last-minute shopper, makes his/her exit. 

Then you rush home and help organize dinner, which means that you spend Christmas day trying to recuperate from being weary because of the rush to get to the holiday.

When Christmas takes place on Thursday that is the best time for many in working America.  If you get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off, then that means you can, in many cases, become the beneficiary of a five-day vacation.

This discussion, however, segues into the humbling reality that the foregoing does not apply to those who only get Christmas Day off and nothing more.

The police officer, the firefighter, the waitress, the nurse, the emergency room physician and those on the garbage detail. 

Then there are those who are assigned to work on Christmas Day, especially those in medical facilities and law enforcement.

They don’t get long vacation periods, but they do their jobs with a smile and an altruistic demeanor.   

They extend a helping hand without carping and complaining. 

In any circumstance, those who give of themselves are everyday heroes. 

It happens in communities all across the country.  Somebody does something for someone else on a daily basis.

If you noticed, there were countless opportunities to help make someone’s Christmas.   

Perhaps you did yourself. 

If not, you don’t have to do exhaustive research to know that many organizations from the Salvation Army to the Food Bank, to churches and individuals that went all out to make sure that a kid got a toy, a family enjoyed a holiday meal and that Santa Claus did not miss an address where disappointment would have, otherwise, prevailed.

I can remember those austere days of the past, when my friends, who came from more affluent families, did not flaunt their good fortune.   

They took up time with others who were less fortunate and tried to make them feel good—regardless of the season, but especially at Christmas.

The worst thing I can remember were the teachers who were given to letting the students share with the class what they got for Christmas when we returned to school after the holidays. How colossally insensitive was that?

You would have a couple of privileged girls recite a list of about 20 things while those, whom Santa seemed to overlook, sheepishly mumbled something that was barely audible, but always sounded forth with the disclosure that they “got lots and lots of fruit.”

I always wondered why an adult, dealing with kids of varying economic status, didn’t have the foresight and good sense to let the class name one signature gift and move on.

As we move forward towards a new year, it is good to note that we seem to be experiencing a more sensitive and congenial society.   

We seem to be more considerate of those with whom we interact on a daily basis.  Drivers on the interstates seem to be less aggressive, but there are far less cars on the roads.

When we return to normal and the traffic escalates, followed by slowdowns and we are late for work – what will it be like? 

That is when we will find out what everyone’s courtesy level is. One thing that we can all look forward to is that after the first week in January, we will not have to endure another mean spirited political attack ad. 

Politicians, more often than not, ought to be ashamed when they “approve this message.”