On Christmas morning a dad points and says to his daughter, “Open that one next, Sweetie!”

The daughter unwraps the gift he was referring to and finds inside a singing Christmas tree. “Dad, I told you how much I hate these obnoxious singing Christmas trees!” she whined.

“I know, I know,” he agreed. “But open that gift next,” he says, pointing to another present.

The daughter opens the gift and finds a sledge hammer inside. “Is this what I think it’s for?” she asks.

Her dad smiles and says, “And you thought I wasn’t paying attention.”

It’s a unique gift idea, that’s for sure. Recently I watched the movie “Instant Family”, based on a true story. A couple become foster parents to three siblings, and the movie shows the ups and downs of fostering children. The teenaged girl is rebellious and angry at life in general, so one day the foster dad takes her to a house he needs to completely redo and renovate. He hands the girl a sledge hammer and tells her to think about something she is really angry about and then smash anything in the house with the hammer. The girl is smiling from ear to ear as she smashes everything in sight.

If you have been paying attention to everything that’s been going on in our nation lately, you might appreciate having a sledge hammer of your own. Instead of a sledge hammer, we have something much better; it’s called Christmas.

Every Christmas season much of the world begins to turn their attention away from everything negative in the world, and looks towards the brighter aspects of life, with some celebrating the birth of the Son of God, who came to build a family, the family of God. Christmas is a season where family becomes a focal point. It’s a support group intended to defend, fix the broken, love sacrificially and unconditionally and always desire the best for others. Christmas is also a season when children are valued, and their innocence is celebrated.

This past year I have signed more petitions than I have signed throughout my entire life, and I find myself wondering if my sole signature makes a difference. But at this time of year many people make an infrequent visit to a church to join in a candlelight service. There, the lights are turned off and a single candle is lit. Then, one by one, one candle ignites another until the room is illuminated. It’s an illustration of the era we are living in today.

Though there is crime, addictions, selfish ambition and greed all around us, together we can make a difference if we allow our candle to be lit.

One of my favorite Christmas stories took place about eight o’clock on Christmas Eve, 1914. A soldier recalled, “We heard this singing and saw some lights. Later we heard them (German soldiers) singing ‘Silent Night’ in German. I shall never forget it. It’s one of the highlights of my life. Then all of a sudden lights appeared all along the German trench and the Germans starting singing ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’. They finished their carol, we applauded and replied with ‘The First Noel’. So we went on, the Germans singing, then we would sing. Then we started singing ‘O Come All Ye Faith’ and the Germans immediately joined in singing the same thing.”

“I thought this was rather extraordinary, to think of two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of the war,” the soldier concluded. However High Command soon became angry and issued strict orders to end such activity, with harsh punishment for any man caught refusing to fight.

The Christmas season for 2018 will also soon come to an end, but we don’t have any commanding officer ordering us to extinguish our lights of kindness and good will. We can choose to keep shining a light in the darkness.

So I take a moment to say a huge “thank you” to all of you who regularly read what an ordinary Canadian like myself has written. I’m simply trying to shed some light on many different topics. Even though there’s a lot of negative things all around, keep focused on all that is bright, and continue being a light. In other words keep on signing petitions and writing and phoning your local government representatives. Be sure to look into all aspects of a topic and don’t assume what you’re hearing on the mainstream media is the whole truth, and seek after solutions that will make our nation strong and free. Above all, don’t get tired and give up, because history has proven the extraordinary can happen, even in the middle of a war.

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