As the song says, ''It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.''
How delightful it is to witness the display of decorated homes, which offset the evening sky. This daily light show is in line with the real meaning of Christmas, when Christ the Light came as a babe in a manger to invade this dark world. This ongoing message has provided hope for those living in the shadows of despair, emptiness and uncertainty.
We refer to some people as ''living in the dark.'' Darkness is caused by an absence of light; therefore, putting on the light in a dark room dispels the darkness. Knowledge and truth are positive forces of light that can prevail over mental and spiritual ignorance. Unfortunately, it seems that humans by nature gravitate, and even acclimate, to the darkness of sin and corruption.
Significantly, most crimes and immoral activities are committed at night; thus we hate the light when we're doing something wrong. Authority figures - like parents, teachers, police, ministers, etc. - act as light-bearers to those who refuse light. No wonder there's such opposition to parental, school and court authority. Even Christ the Light was rejected by a dark world, which eventually crucified Him.
The darkness still prevails even in a so-called enlightened society. Just check the local and world news; there's little evidence of ''peace on earth, good will toward men.''
Sure, the true meaning of Christmas has been all but lost to a prevailing secularism that gives Santa top billing. That doesn't change, however, the reason for the season.
In a recent article on Halloween, I expressed concern about its satanic link to the dark underworld. Yet, that celebration continues to flourish. At the same time, there's a constant attack on the Christmas theme in the classroom by the ACLU and other left-winged educators. Cliches like ''happy holidays'' or ''seasons greetings'' suit their fancy, but to what holiday or season are they referring? I say ''humbug'' to the intolerant grinches that don't understand or appreciate the God-given heritage of America.
Our problem is deeper than the political and economic gaffe in the news. There is general disdain for the Judeo-Christian precepts that forged our republic.
Talk-show host Dennis Prager recently addressed this issue. He blamed parents and educators of the last several generations for not rightly instructing its youths what it means to be an American. We're ignorant of the Biblical principles upon which our founders established the legal, religious and academic life of the colonies. Christ's Advent was honored, which in turn provided light and hope to the new republic.
The role of government was to protect the Constitutional liberties and safety of the people; it was not intended to be a tyrannical ''messiah,'' enslaving its subjects. Unfortunately, for the last 100 years we have been on the downhill trek toward socialism and big government, until even ''capitalism'' is becoming a nasty word.
We have lost the beauty and significance of being a part of this unique experiment called America. It used to be the envy of the world as an exceptional force for good, demonstrating repeatedly its compassion in assisting other nations. This philosophy was resident in our Founders, who fostered individual ruggedness and religious virtue. Somehow we have turned our backs on the concepts that made us great.
A nation cannot be changed apart from a change in the individuals comprising that nation. A return to an honest and mandatory presentation of American History to our school children may be a step in the right direction.
Finnigan is a Howland resident. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org