CHRISTMAS IN CHARLESTOWN
Well, it is almost Christmas again. Time certainly flies by, the older we get. There is no place better to experience Christmas than in Charlestown especially on a snow covered day brightened up by the sun above. For me, it is memories of midnight Mass at St. Mary’s Church. Today we see in many places such an anti-Christmas attitude disguised as tolerance. Back in the day, the controversy was over how to spell word “Christmas” and not “Xmas.” The way things are going today even “Xmas” sounds holy now. Also, don’t get me started on all the anti-Santa Claus @^#* going on. Over in the Peoples Republic of Cambridge, Santa is now banned in public school. Again, all in the name of tolerance. Over on the other side of the Charles they say they are neither pro- nor anti- Santa which tells me they think the jolly old fat guy is some kind of Level 3 character from Law & Order SVU.
For me, Christmas remains special as it did for my parents and grandparents before me. It was about Santa and toys growing up but more importantly it was about the Christmas story in Bethleham that changed the entire world forever. It was about love and respect, hope and endurance.
As the world pushes this holiday and Holy day aside, we see the results all around us. Too many hate one another. Too many only see themselves. Too many can’t see the face of God in our midst. For a number of years I helped with Townie Santa in helping those less fortunate around us, friends, neighbors and even strangers. I truly appreciate the work of Harvest on Vine with its food pantry open year round. The need this place serves never disappears but at Christmas time, what Tommy MacDonald and his crew accomplishes is an oasis for hope and a place that personifies the love we celebrate at Christmas.
For most of us Christmas always returns but for many it never comes. Our job as members of the human family is to see that it comes for more of us.
MICHAEL FLAHERTY’S ANNUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY AND TOY DRIVE
Once again last week, I found myself over in Southie at the Lincoln on West Broadway at City Councilor Michael F. Flaherty’s annual Christmas Party and Toy Drive. As usual the place was filled to the brim with Michael’s friends and supporters of which I count myself. The Lincoln by the way makes the best pizza and Irish Coffee in Southie.
The fun was everywhere as were the toys piling up as the evening went on. It looked like a Mt. Everest of toys. I saw folks I knew from cross the city and several from Charlestown. I look forward to this event now as a passage through the Christmas season.