Count your blessings

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For many people, the wild side of Christmas shopping should be all but done by now — and this year, we’ve been wild, all right.

It’s a wildness that has run right through the year: retail sales in this province are projected to reach a staggering

$8 billion in 2012. It’s everything from electronics to new cars, from computers to games.

In October alone, spending was up 5.7 per cent, with shoppers in this province buying $697 million in products during the month.

For those who love their material comforts, all of that may spell a wonderful Christmas morning tomorrow.

But regardless of whether you’ll wind up getting the big-screen television or the game system you’ve been looking forward to, there are good reasons to look forward to Christmas Day.

And it can’t be said enough: Christmas should be about family and friends, about the enjoyment of those around you and the quiet wonder of the worlds we build with each other.

There will always be those who get more and need even more after that — if you are among the lucky, you are one of those who is satisfied with merely enough. Greed often rears its head this time of year, and it’s never a pretty sight.

Go outside.

Breathe the air, look at the stars, quietly realize how lucky most people are in this province.

People do go hungry, but they don’t die of starvation.

We have quality medical care, clean water and, for the most part, safe streets.

No civil war, no pandemic disease, food in our stores.

We have many blessings — and many of us have so much that we have more than enough to share.

Be grateful for what you have, even if, as it is for many, Christmas Day is another work day.

As today winds down to Christmas Eve, if you are given the chance, relax a little and be quietly content.

Wish your co-workers well — drive safely and soberly — treat everyone the way you would want to be treated.

And try to make all of that more than a Christmas thing.

“Goodwill towards men” may be a Christmas tradition, but there’s no reason to limit your goodwill to this season.

We’ll all be the better for it.

And remember: it’s up to you to live Christmas, to make it what it can be.

The only real mistake might be in believing, whatever the staggering retail sales numbers might be this year, that you can simply buy it.

Merry Christmas, and compliments of the season to all.

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