Holidays can bring out best, worst in people

T he season between Thanksgiving and Epiphany, which roughly defines the holiday season, seems to bring out both the best and the worst. Needless to say, I'm not writing of the shopping mall in Oregon or the Newtown school shootings; those are too horrific and macabre to fit into any pattern of sanity.

What I refer to are acts which fit into the spectrum of normalcy, yet seem to reflect both the highest and the lowest in human behavior.

On the lower end of the spectrum are people who do, as someone actually did to us, and steal the Christmas decorations that folks put out to bring festivity or humor to their own, and others', holiday seasons. I hope the loser who took ours revels in the fact that he stole a light up Snoopy and a Santa Claus that were the property of a third-grader.

Meeting up with my friend in Walmart, I discovered that it could have been worse. There are actually people who go around and puncture blow up Christmas yard items — you know the kind I mean. We have, as a family, never gotten into those, as they are pretty costly. Way too costly to be slashed up by somebody with more spare time than brains.

Then, watching the Albuquerque news, we encounter the bottom level of bottom feeders, the person who broke into a man's home and stole his entire cache of gifts for his daughters.

Of course it happens every year, and it doesn't hold a candle to wars, to mass murderers, etc. Nonetheless, it makes one wonder where the morality is, for some people.

The highs are just as predictable, and just as uplifting, as the lows are frustrating. Incredible time and energy were put into the Clovis Christian School Christmas musical by teachers, parents and others, and it was such a joy to watch our third-grade granddaughter and her schoolmates ring the rafters with their Christmas spirit.

From angel to sheep in four short days, so went our granddaughter's week before Christmas. Sacred Heart Christmas Eve pageant was another high point, again involving lots and lots of effort by dedicated grownups.

The fabric holding all of the above together, of course, is the celebration of the birth of the savior, in various ways and settings and venues, with family, colleagues,and friends. As the Grinch found out in Dr. Seuss' classic tale, you can't quench the spirit, not really.

Now all we need is an after — Christmas sale on surveillance cameras…

Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at:

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