North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL


December 14, 2012

Danielle Pelkey: What is your reason for the holiday season?

COMMENTARY — What is this Christmas season really all about? Doesn’t it make you stop and think about your motives when someone asks a question like that?

For some people, Christmas is all about the Benjamins. They think that everything in the month of December revolves around the almighty dollar. Their gift-giving and receiving is absurd. The most important thing to these type of people is whatever is under the wrapping paper and bows. These are the ones who are repeatedly disappointed by their Christmas holidays. When the last gift is opened and the smoke has cleared, they are usually sitting in a living room staring at their newfound electronics and wondering if this is really worth all of the fuss.

Then there are the folks who couldn’t care less about anything other than being surrounded by family and friends. These are the social butterflies, or homebodies, who long to strengthen relationships and see people develop closer ties that bind. I find myself quite close to this way of thinking. When the first whispers of Christmas are heard through the weeks in October, in my mind I am already sitting around the tree with my entire family on Christmas Eve. I long to be with my family and absolutely love to have any excuse to sit around and talk with them about new times and relive old memories with them.

It’s not just the family gatherings that get good around this time of year, there are parties with friends; and even work parties can be fun at Christmas time. It seems like the world is wearing a smile during this month, and we all get to stare at it in amazement.

Along the same lines of the family-loving people, there are people who can find everything they love about Christmas right smack dab in the middle of any nativity scene they come across. The reason for their season is the Son of Mary who sleeps in the manger of all ceramic nativity scenes. His birth is what made the angels sing, made the star shine, made the wise men wonder and made the shepherds quake. His birth is what brought freedom for the whole world. And through the birth of that chosen one, there was a way of salvation made for all mankind. For these folks, the hope of their entire existence rests in the smiling newborn lying in the straw in Bethlehem.

Yes, the presents are great. We all love to get them. And yes, family and friends are so very important during this special season of coming together for a common cause. But the real reason for Christmas and the whole basis of our holy holiday is the birth of Jesus Christ some 2000 years ago in a stable in the city of David.

When your child is ripping open his or her Xbox 360 or Easy Bake Oven, be sure that they know the real purpose for this holiday and the purpose of the gift giving as done by the wise men. Don’t let this be a purposeless season. Keep the main thing the main thing, and thank God for sending His only begotten son for you.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Text Only
  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014

  • Commentary: Bad vacation attitudes won't last forever

    In these photos, everyone else in the family is smiling as if this were their favorite vacation of all times, but I am huffing with my arms crossed and a literal frown on my face.

    March 26, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: I’ll never live down running out of gas

    Have you ever had one of those days where you are functioning on four hours of sleep, and yet you still have to get up at 5:45 a.m. to get the family to church by 7 a.m. on the other side of town? After church you run home to get ready for your 6-year-old’s birthday party and then head straight back to church to help with the services until after 9 p.m.? That just might be a good description of our Sunday afternoon. Whoever said “easy like Sunday morning” obviously didn’t have kids and probably didn’t go to church.

    March 20, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Most people aren’t politically correct

    I probably work in the wrong profession to hate political correctness, but I do. I can’t stand it when I feel as if I need to walk on eggshells all the time to keep from hurting people’s feelings. I don’t try to be excessively offensive, but people are so easily offended these days, it’s almost impossible not to tick someone off by everything that you say or do.

    March 14, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Lessons, fun times make retreats enjoyable

    I did something recently that is apparently out of the ordinary for most people. I went to a marriage conference while I was not in the midst of marital problems.

    March 6, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks to Gardendale citizens for hospitality

    We, along with many other travelers, spent the next two days and nights in your splendid center. We are of the opinion that we couldn’t have been stranded in a better place.

    February 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be sure to give your kids what they need

    Once the snow melted this week, life went back to normal and we all found ourselves busy with our regular day-to-day activities, and trying to catch up on everything we had put on the back burner during the snow days.
    Our household had a busy weekend, and among the events of the weekend, we celebrated our second birthday in three weeks. That’s right, our perfectly-blended family has given us two daughters who celebrate birthdays within three weeks of each other.

    February 18, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Find excitement in the boring days

    Many people got to take a vacation day this past Monday for MLK Day. What this day stands for is a great cause and an issue that should be addressed, but for many people, it was just another holiday.
    Our office is like most other offices, so we were open to the public Monday. But since schools and daycares were closed, I got the privilege of staying home with the four best daughters in the world. We started off the day with the attitude of fun.

    January 22, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: One year down, rest of my life to go

    Dec. 29, 2013 has come and gone, and for many people it held no lasting significance. But for me, it marked the first anniversary of marriage to my amazing husband.

    January 9, 2014