Southern style

tsj column writers - southern styleBy Randall Franks

Flickering lights shimmered in the breeze hanging from trees, light poles, porch eaves and buildings as I drove around my hometown last week.

It is such a heartwarming sight to see the efforts made both by our city staff and individual property owners to raise people’s spirits during the Christmas season. For me the warmth generated within by the beautiful decorations helps to make my hopes swell watching to see the goodness and kindness that so many exhibit during the season.

Many years ago I wrote a song called “Let’s Live Every Day Like It Was Christmas.”

The sentiment for me still rings true today. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the charity and good will that we see shown in the weeks around Christmas were part of our lives each and every day?

I have been blessed to know so many people in every walk of life, rich and poor, well known and unknown, mean-spirited and generous beyond measure.

I have seen some of the greatest of charity come from those who have the least to give.

I have seen some of the kindest actions given by those who are otherwise detestable.

Each year I watch countless individuals gathering toys to change the lives of children in our community. I saw my parents do this time and time again trying to encourage families who needed more than we did.

I have watched our church family gather to provide Christmas dinner, gifts and food and supplies to hundreds of families that would otherwise have a less merry season. I see people smile more; they stop to open a door for someone with an arm full of packages, or allow another driver an opportunity to go before them.

Now that is not to say, there aren’t those who selfishly push their way around the season trying to get what they want without consideration for others. Many times, unfortunately, these folks do live that way all year around.

It would not only be nice to live every day like it was Christmas but to remember that the greatest gift shared with us during the season was God’s love for all of us through the gift of His son, Jesus Christ.

Peace, love for one another and hopes for a greater tomorrow is within our grasp, if we only strive for it within our own lives, our own families and our own communities. When we put them all together, wouldn’t the world shimmer in the glow of Christmas lights that each of us might hang to raise spirits.

(Randall Franks is an award-winning musician, singer and actor. He is best known for his role as “Officer Randy Goode” on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night” now on WGN America. His latest CD release, “Mississippi Moon,” is by Crimson Records. He is a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame. His latest book is “Encouragers I : Finding the Light.” He is a syndicated columnist for http://randallfranks.com/ and can be reached at rfrankscatoosa@gmail.com.)

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