This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
The recession is over, we’re told, and the economic outlook and jobless rates are improving. But for too many of our neighbors this holiday season, it may not feel that way.
Perhaps Mom’s unemployment benefits have run out, or Dad’s hours have been cut back to part time. Medical bills may be piling up because the health insurance went away when the full-time job did.
Money is tight for a lot of Americans, but for those who are unemployed – or underemployed – buying gifts for children or having a traditional Christmas dinner could be a budget killer.
Fortunately, many of you have rallied to make the holiday a brighter one for scores of families in South Sound communities.
You’ve donated food and money to an array of charities, and you’ve volunteered to serve at soup kitchens. You’ve bought toys and clothes for children whose Christmas morning might otherwise be a joyless one. At your churches and workplaces, you adopted families; the presents and meal you deliver will warm their hearts for months to come.
You’ve braved the elements by standing in front of grocery stores, ringing the Salvation Army bell and wishing everyone a merry Christmas whether they donated or not. The money you collected will feed thousands and help pay utility and medical bills. Many of those you’ve helped will turn around in years to come and help others, because they remember your kindness and generosity.
And in these darkest days of the dying year, you help to drive the cold winter away by decorating your homes with lights – enough, in some cases we suspect, to be seen from space.
You are the angels – or elves, for the more secular – of this holiday season. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the solstice, we wish you peace, health and a happy new year.