First of all, let's establish that this is not a romantic love story. This story has to do with folks of all ages, from the four year old that is just beginning to understand, to older folks with years of experience.
This is a story that is played out all over our country every year in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It is played out in the entrances to malls, box stores, supermarkets and any place where crowds of people gather for one reason or another.
I had a personal hand in the story this year as I was one of the many people to man the Salvation Army Christmas Kettles. It was the first time I had done this and I must admit it was an eye-opening experience. Sometimes we forget what fortunate people we are, here in Canada.
Sometimes we forget that even in Canada there are still many people that do not have the necessities of life, let alone extra for Christmas. This is where the various charities step in, year after year. Local, regional and national organizations go to great lengths to try to reach the needy with whatever they need.
A couple of hours a day for the weeks before Christmas doesn't amount to very much. I think I got more out of it than anyone did, frankly. By far my favourite part was the young children. Coached by their mum or dad, standing on my chair or being held up, carefully dropping the coins into the kettle, eyes shining.
They were an inspiration to me and everyone around us.
This is a love story. The children, the adults and the elders all made their contribution to the kettle. Some gifts were large, some not so large and some were the dregs of change from the bottom of a pocket or purse. However, all were given with a smile, a wish for a Merry Christmas and if that isn't love, what is? I felt the love, the folks who donated did so out of love and the money will be used to spread love to the needy.
Love isn't a matter of life and death, it is more important than that. All the charities, all of them, distribute their gifts with love. This is what love is all about. This is the love story for this Christmas. Don't you wish this love story would continue for the rest of the year? Let's all try.
Love is the answer; now, what was the question?
G. K. Riches Chilliwack
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