Saving Christmas


Submitted 2 years ago
Created by
Susan B. Apel

"Change the world, one act of random kindness at a time."

If you are happy about the election results, your holidays will be fine. If you are devasted by the idea of Trump in the White House, you are wrestling with what you see as the loss of human decency and wondering how best to fight back. Me, I have decided to bake cookies. 

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My inbox is overflowing with petitions to sign, politicians to call, marches to attend. I will do something, probably put my legal skills to work, as soon as I can figure out what that best something may be. For now, I am taking a breath. I am thinking about the hatred that is flowing through this country during a holiday season that is supposed to be about love. (Anecdotes are numerous; here are the stats from the NYPD about hate crimes in New York City alone.) I am trying to make this holiday season work for me by finding ways to inject some of that human decency back into the world. 

Baking cookies: I am calling on the spirit of my mother, getting out my mixer, and baking her toll house cookies for the Lebanon Christmas Day Dinner. I am imagining that my/her cookies may find their way into the homes of people who have reason to be afraid for their lives and/or their dignity after this electoral campaign. I wouldn't even mind if some of the cookies ended up in the hands and mouths of people who are so lost that they have nothing but venom to spew. After all, 'tis the season for God bless us, every one.

Supporting refugees from Syria: Rutland, VT is scheduled to become home for a handful of Syrian refugees in January. Rutland Welcomes is a group of Vermonters who are committed to making room at the inn, not just in a pretty Christmas story, but in real life. In the Upper Valley, Who Is Sylvia, a store in Woodstock, has been collecting items needed for these families, including gift cards to Rutland grocery stores. I took their suggestion, went to the Price Chopper website and purchased a gift card. I entered the shipping address as Who Is Sylvia, P.O. Box 601, Woodstock VT 05091; the gift card is being sent directly to the store. Couldn't be easier; they are collecting needed items until December 15. In addition to the above links, more information can be found at the website of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program. Also in the Upper Valley, there is the Upper Valley Refugee Working Group that can be reached at uvrwgcom@gmail.com. Their next meeting is at the Howe Library in Hanover NH on December 17 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.

The Jones Family Singers on January 19: If I did not already have tickets, I would be purchasing them. On the eve of this inauguration, what could be better than being at the Hopkins Center surrounded by music and fellow Upper Valley folks? The gospel-funk tunes of this multi-generational family of singers--described as "spirit-lifting, hip-shaking"--will provide a needed and perfect touch of grace. Click here for a preview .

That, together with the love of my husband and friends, grandkids generating mounds of crumpled wrapping paper, and maybe my mother's traditional ham plated on her serving platter, will be my holiday this year. All I want for Christmas is to believe that I can inject just a little happiness into my small corner. Time again for the audacity of hope.

My best to you this holiday season. How do you plan to spread the light? 

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Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge

#pdv #pdn

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