Children light up the Christmas season
"For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself." – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
It's good to live in communities that take pride in their organizations and institutions. In December that pride is particularly evident. The chambers of commerce and fire departments of several Sussex towns host Christmas parades to welcome Santa Claus. They clearly want the patron saint of Christmas to know they've been good.
They also want to focus attention on the downtown commercial areas that provide a heartbeat for their communities throughout the year. Store owners and towns reward visitors and patrons with decorations to lift holiday spirits, special holiday events, and festive Christmas lights to brighten the darkest days of the year.
But the brightest lights are the shining faces of the children riding and marching in the Christmas parades, and perched on the red velvet-clad knees of Santa when they visit him in his downtown houses.
The children – and their young-at-heart parents, coaches and group leaders – sing, dance, laugh, play musical instruments, hug goats and loving dogs, and wave to the thousands who attend the parades. The children waving in return also share laughter and smiles, especially when they're grabbing up candy canes. Altogether, they're the reason so many strive to make this a better world.
The car clubs, the horseback riders, Jolly Trolleys filled with honor students, floats that tell the Christmas story, floats that share the snowy joys of Christmas fun, gleaming fire trucks that remind us of the important role our first responders play in our communities – they and so many more participants represent the blessings we enjoy in our lives here.
The Christmas season is a season of love and celebration and giving, and a season to put smiles on the faces of children. As Charles Dickens reminds us in his Christmas Carol, it is good to be children whose joy and appreciation light the Christmas season.