"There are many families in the South Burnett who will struggle to provide for their children this so-called festive season.” Matt Collins

OPINION: What's the real Christmas message?

I INTERVIEWED one of our Catholic priests last week.

Prior to our conversation, I went to see him in action delivering a sermon in his church.

This may not seem unusual, except that it was my first time in a church for more than 20 years.

Excluding weddings and funerals, I hadn't been inside a church for over two decades.

I felt a little overwhelmed and lost.

I sat down and stood up more times than I have in any gym class.

But I enjoyed it.

I see the appeal.

What I appreciated was a half an hour to focus on something other than my busy world.

It was an opportunity to spend time thinking about other people in my life.

And even those who are not directly in my circle but still in the community.

What became clear to me was this is the real message of Christmas.

Having empathy for other people in your life and in your community.

Christmas will mean something different to every one of us, however I think that one message is an important one.

Look out for each other.

There are many families in the South Burnett who will struggle to provide for their children this so-called festive season.

As much as they attempt to maintain the expectations of others, sadly they will inevitably fall short.

Whether it be a lack of finances, resources, a death in the family, addiction or whatever it may be, some families will find it hard to put on a Christmas smile.

I am very aware how fortunate I am to be surrounded by loving people.

This is not something I will be taking for granted this holiday period.

I invite you to do the same.

South Burnett

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