The Spirit of Christmas Lives in All of Us (Op-Ed)

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Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published in December 2015. It is updated and republished in remembrance of its author–Saucon Source contributor Mark Reccek–who passed away Dec. 17. It is our belief that Mark’s memory and generous spirit will live on through his writing and the legacy of caring he leaves behind. Contributions in Mark’s memory are being accepted by the Catasauqua High School Scholarship Fund, 2500 W. Bullshead Road, Northampton, PA 18067.

Can you see it? Can you feel it?

It’s that warm feeling and comforting glow many of us experienced as young children during the Christmas season.

It came in the form of a decorated Christmas tree, a visit with Santa Claus or the loving embrace and thoughtfulness of a family member, friends, teachers, coaches and our local church.

Many of us touched and tasted the Christmas spirit as young children, however, as we have aged, a number of us have casually allowed the spirit to languish, if not wholly disappear.

The spirit that deeply longs to be shared with others and represents caring for those in need or lending a helping hand, somehow, has been replaced by a lifestyle that reserves less time for the meaningful moments.

The hustle and bustle of today’s world and our penchant for material goods over valuable, everlasting intangibles such as assisting and encouraging others, and embracing the moment, has contributed to the Christmas spirit becoming less visible and more elusive.

What can we do to call the spirit back into action?

Give not only to family and friends this Christmas holiday, but also to those in need. Spread the spirit by breaking out of the everyday, comfortable mode of existence and give a gift to someone who may be in distress.

I recently had an opportunity to experience an early version of the Christmas spirit. A group of former and current coworkers and colleagues banded together to present a gift I will always hold close to my heart. While a material component was involved, what was far more touching was their desire to reach out in my time of need.

It’s often the moments when others come to our rescue after we have stumbled and are attempting to press forward that we remember the most.

Take a moment or two this Christmas to recall those times when someone cared enough for you to provide assistance, and use that fond memory to spread joy, love and a helping hand to another.

The spirit of Christmas is among us and lives in all of us. We just need to awaken it and put it into action.

Let us remember, Christmas is a time of hope, love, sharing and lifting up others in mind, body, soul and spirit.

Bless another this Christmas, not only with traditions and words but also with actions. Actions that exhibit love and concern; actions that will be remembered by the recipient many years later.

I wish all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

Lehigh Valley resident Mark Reccek began reporting in 2010 and continued to work as a journalist until his death in 2017. He served as a web reporter for WFMZ News and the Lehigh Valley Press weekly newspapers. A Lehigh Valley native, Mark graduated from Lehigh University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science. He also held a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, having served active duty from 1996-2000.

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