Holly Johnson: A time for reflection

Published 6:30 am Saturday, December 26, 2020

If you asked 10 people to tell you what Christmas and New Year’s celebrations mean to them personally, you would likely get 10 different descriptions or stories. When I wish someone a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, I am aware that their feelings about the season may be different from mine. What I am really saying is that I wish them well at this particular time of the year and that I hope they are celebrating the traditions that are important to them.

For some, this season simply marks the end of another calendar and is a time for both reflection and looking ahead. For myself, it is a special time to reflect on Christian teachings and values. Others celebrate different holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and I am sure there are many more. Maybe it’s about Santa or gift giving and receiving, or maybe it’s about the food and drink that are commonly enjoyed this time of year.

Ninety-six years ago, George Hormel shared his reflection of the meaning of the season in the Dec. 24, 1924, Squeal magazine.

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“With the birth of each new year there comes to each individual new hopes and new ambitions.

“Happily each year brings more and more proofs that man’s lot is what he makes it.  We reap what we sow.  We get what we give.  Like the Little General from Corsica, each man can be the master of his own destiny.

“The best New Year’s wish I can extend to a friend is that he may find the strength to follow his own ideals, that he may have the courage of his convictions, and that he may do the things that he himself knows he should do.”

George made reference to Napoleon Bonaparte in his autobiography as well and respected him for his belief in democracy. (On a side note, George did not appreciate how the controversial general began denying the freedom for others to utilize their own talents to advance under him. But that’s another topic.)

Whatever the holiday season has looked like for you, I do hope you took five minutes or 30 days to focus on the good in your life. Sometimes the good is small and sometimes it is huge, but there is always something good. Like George, I wish you strength and courage as you embark on another year’s journey …  your own journey.

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