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We cannot thank all, but all should be thanked

December 20, 2018

Christmas is nothing if not tradition.

The story of the Nativity of Christ is told in the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. In you want a modern account, turn to Lew Wallace’s “Ben-Hur,” first published in 1880.

Stuffing stockings with presents dates back to the fourth century.

Christmas carols are said to have started in 13th century in France, Germany and Italy.

The display of Christmas trees began in earnest in Germany in the 16th century.

Martin Luther is credited with being the first to put candles on the tree. The trees became much more popular with their use by Britain’s Queen Victoria.

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” was published in 1843.

In our own time, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was composed by Robert L. May, a Montgomery Ward’s copywriter, in 1939.

“Frosty the Snowman” was a Gene Autry song in 1950.

“A Christmas Story,” the movie with Ralphie and the Red Ryder BB Gun, was based on a 1966 book by Hoosier Jean Shepherd, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”

Locally, the Riverview Housewalk has been showing off Kankakee’s historic community for 31 years.

The Jingle Bell Run has been raising funds for the Arthritis Foundation for 28 years.

Bradley has held a Christmas parade to welcome Santa for 33 years.

People have visited the Gallery of Trees at the Kankakee County Museum for 40 years.

Olivet Nazarene University has been performing Handel’s “Messiah” for 83 years, putting voice to faith.

The best tradition, though, is community generosity. Churches and clubs of all kinds open their doors, make donations and gather gifts for the less fortunate.

The Christmas Day Inc. Dinner program lifts spirits by feeding all who want a meal and companionship at numerous Kankakee County locations. Police officers and sheriff’s deputies do Shop With a Cop.

The generosity includes the gold coin in the Salvation Army bucket, barrels for food at schools and angel trees with gift tags for children at stores.

This is a community that gives in many ways, at many places, throughout many days. We cannot mention them all. We are sure we have forgotten some, yet, thank all from the bottom of our heart.

“Peace on Earth. Good Will Toward Men.”

Merry Christmas.

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