The Christmas season has brought to mind incidents from years past where shoppers, in a mad rush to get the latest toy or the best deal on electronics, lay aside all common decency and descend on the stores like raging bulls inside a china shop. Fights, stabbings, and even tramplings have replaced orderly patience. To combat this, stores have begun opening earlier on "Black Friday" and many have even started opening the night before. Family time on Thanksgiving is no longer sacred, and everyone seems in a rush for the four weeks between holidays.

It seems no one remembers why we even have Christmas anymore. If we as a society were to remember that there is no Christmas without Christ, maybe we would be less obsessed with bargains and deals, and a little more concerned with helping our fellow man. Instead of buying arm-loads of expensive gifts for loved ones, I ask that each of us search out a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or even a stranger who may not be able to really provide a Christmas for their own family this year and bring them something — a gift, a meal, or even just some fresh-baked holiday treats. Together we can all achieve the words from a beloved Christmas carol: "Peace on earth, goodwill to men."

Patrick M. Hensley