Advance View: Reach out with plenty

Christmas time is a time of universal joy and friendships, peace and happiness, sharing and goodwill.

At least, that’s what it is supposed to be, and indeed, that’s what it is for many of us. But for some, it’s a time when loneliness becomes more oppressive than any other time of year. It’s a time when feelings of loneliness are compounded by sights and sounds of others enjoying the warmth of each other’s company.

It’s a time that for some people, ironically, it becomes even more difficult to reach out to others, because the expectations of fellowship run so high that they create feelings of inadequacy, and lower feelings of self-worth.

It is a sad truth that there are those among us who dread Christmas Eve as the coldest night of the year.

For those with plenty – surrounded by loved ones and friends with whom to share this beautiful season – this can be truly a season of giving, not just of gifts, but of selfless contributions to community. It’s a time of reaching out to those who need – in some cases, desperately need – more than they have.

Although Christmas has become a ubiquitous celebration of the goodness and kindness of which we are all capable, enjoyed by people of virtually all (or no) faiths, it remains a time when the spotlight shines on the community’s churches, a number of which offer special Christmas Eve services where anyone seeking spiritual comfort or just the comfort of connecting with others, of being part of something, can find refuge.

We can look to the Salvation Army’s Gateway of Hope, throughout the year, but especially in the days approaching Christmas, as an example of the selflessness that makes us all feel a sense of belonging, a sense of community.

On Christmas Day, the St. Joseph’s Church tradition continues, providing Christmas dinner to any and all (4 p.m. on Christmas Day at the Langley parish, 20676 Fraser Hwy. – they even offer rides, just call 604-538-3303), along with games and prizes and joyful singing.

Christmas shouldn’t have to be the loneliest day of the year – for anyone.

– B.G.

Just Posted

Chances coming for public to have say on Langley tax rates

Local councillors will soon debate property tax rates for 2019.

Parking rules could limit ‘tandem’ spots in Langley

The Township is considering limits on restrictive parking in townhouse complexes.

End ‘exploitative’ parking fees at Lower Mainland hospitals, group says is criticizing a new contract between health authorities and Impark

Langley thespian performs in upcoming rom-com

Mikayla Wust, a recent graduate at TWU, plays the lead in Beau Jest.

Langley East MLA could testify in logging lawsuit

Rich Coleman has been put on the witness list for a lawsuit against TimberWest.

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

South Surrey mother ‘never called 911’ after killing daughter, court hears

Crown submits evidence shows Lisa Batstone wanted eight-year-old Teagan to die

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Most Read