Washington column for Dec. 21

Heart of Christmas

As 2017 comes to an end and we start looking back on another successful year in Rappahannock County, the nights are drawing in, there is a chill in the air, and Santa Claus is preparing for his delivery season — like many of you!

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus, right down Firehouse Lane, checking his list with Oliver Grace Clatterbuck and Roman Slade Nicolas Clatterbuck to see if they been a good little girl and boy. They are the children of Jonathan and Amber Clatterbuck. By Amber Clatterbuck

Christmas is a celebration marking the birth of Jesus Christ, who was born more than 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem. Jesus of Nazareth was born to the Virgin Mary, according to the Christian churches that based their teachings on his teachings.

For some, Christmas is a time of celebrating and taking a break from the daily grind of life, before stepping up again in the new year.

Christmas is celebrated in many different ways, the celebrations varied by cultural practices, financial capacity and social and political factors. For some, it is a season for giving to the less fortunate ones and caring for them. One can dedicate all the efforts to help someone in need — a neighbor or a friend who is in need of help or care.

Christmas can be celebrated as a period of forgiving family or friends who have wronged us and asking for forgiveness from those we have wronged. We can celebrate this time by building new, stronger relationships with our families and friends.

For the religious, Christmas can be celebrated as a time for intense prayers for strengthening. It can also be celebrated by giving gifts, however big or small, to those you care about, making them feel special and loved. Most of all it is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birthday.

It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace on earth.

Take pleasure in the Christmas season. Be merry like the song says and sing the Christmas carols for all the joy that their words convey and the memories they bring back. A child of Christmas is anyone who believes, and as we celebrate this Christmas, let’s remember to give thanks, to give love, to be joyous and to share in the belief that this season of giving is worth celebrating.

Wherever we are, near or far, let’s remember to stop for a moment this holiday season to cherish the ones we love, and let’s make sure they know it.

I hope this year has been a fruitful one for you and your family, and that this season of joy brings you many blessings, good food and lots of time to spend with family and friends. Christmas is more than just giving and receiving gifts. Keep in mind that the greatest gift you can ever own is not found in the stores or under your Christmas tree. It is found in the hearts of your loving family and your true friends.

May each of us, in our own way, seek to increase outreach to others, peace and love in the light of the new year. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a healthy, prosperous and blessed New Year from that little hollow of mine.

Firehouse Treasures

As we close out a momentous year at Firehouse Treasures Thrift, the Volunteers wish all of their loyal patrons and donors the happiest of holidays. Thanks to them, it has been a very successful year. Please note that the Thrift will close for the Christmas holiday from Saturday, Dec. 23 through New Year’s Day. We will reopen on Jan. 2, 2018. Stop by in the New Year to see their sparkling new building. Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 to 5 and Saturday from 10 to 1. The new phone number is 540-675- 1245. We look forward to seeing you all in 2018!

Many thanks

This writer would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this column over the past year. Continue to call or email me with your news at 540-675-3338 or jan@rappnews.com.

I wish everyone a happy holiday season and best wishes in the New Year!