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

VIDEO: Saturday was devoted to the arts in Langley City

The 25th annual Arts Alive festival took over a main thoroughfare.

Arena opens at Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre

Grand procession brings Aldergrove ice arena users to new facility

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

VIDEO: Tire recycling at Kal Tire

All tires will be recycled back into products to be used in British Columbia

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read