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Southern Maryland Holiday Season—It’s a State of Mind

This holiday season finds Southern Maryland’s streets and stores humming with as much activity as has been seen for some time—which brings us to a particularly upbeat year’s end. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa that’s spelled out in overhead banners, this is the one time of year when the commercial activity that marks all the big holidays is accompanied by a special spiritual overlay.

The hustle and bustle that’s led up to this week may have kept most of Southern Maryland’s parents, grandparents and everybody else busy collecting gifts and preparing for the gatherings we reinvent annually, but it’s nearly impossible not to also call to mind some of the indescribable wonder from childhood days.

That must have been in mind when, nearly a century ago, then-President Calvin Coolidge opened his holiday season message to the American people with,

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.”

“Silent Cal” nailed it in just those few words; he was famous for that! Today in Southern Maryland we call it a mindset—and that’s probably why this time of year it’s permissible to share such high-minded thoughts without fear of being judged overly sanctimonious.

Taking full advantage of that license, here is one author’s incisive counter to the season’s excessively materialistic trappings:

Christmas gift suggestions:

“To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

— Oren Arnold

In the same spirit, I wish you all the beauty, all the blessings—and especially all the joy the season can bring!

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