Christmas a time to celebrate our common humanity

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The Christmas season is here again. For many of us we wonder where the time went since last Christmas.

For me, it makes me remember the basic tenets of my family life – past, present and future. My Granddad was a Baptist minister who married my Nana in the early 1900s after he graduated from McMaster University Divinity College. My first memories of him include Christmases with my family at his parsonages in various southern Ontario small towns, and Christmas services in his churches. Later memories are of my own parents’ Christmases with them and my two brothers.

After I married the love of my life – Brenda – in 1969, my memories include the many Christmases we’ve enjoyed over the years when our kids were at home, and later after they’d moved out. Memories then expand to include Christmases with both children and grandchildren. All of my recollections include great memories of the friends we’ve made over the decades.

One thing stands out. It’s that all of my memories include those of friends, acquaintances and others whose religions weren’t Christian – but who nevertheless were happy to celebrate our Christmas beliefs and traditions. That includes everyone who decades ago lived in the small towns of my grandparents to those who live the Alberta of today – including St. Albert. I have done my best to reciprocate with respect for their beliefs. I can only hope that others do likewise.

All said, and given our country’s past and present history of welcoming people from around the globe, I’m really looking forward to our coming Christmas celebrations. It’s an opportunity for not only Christians but for Canadians of all beliefs to come together to celebrate a belief in a supreme being or, alternatively, a belief in our common humanity. Most importantly it’s a common hope for a better future for us all regardless of race or religion. Merry Christmas to all, and …. “To all a good night.”

David Merritt, St. Albert

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