Matthew Deans

Letters to the Editor - Saturday December 31

Kind deed really made my Christmas

ALL I want for Christmas are prawns and my wallet.

Shopping on the 23rd morning for prawns and fresh fish at our Fishermens Co-op while the family was about to descend on us from Byron Bay.

In my haste to leave the store I dropped my tiny zipped brown bag that had our house keys, licences, credit cards and cash.

One act of kindness from someone who found it and gave it to staff changed our Christmas!

I am so forever grateful to this kind soul and I am enclosing a big hug and tears of thanks.

To the great staff at our co-op for their help in getting it back to us.

Thank you all.

The Henderson family

The true meaning of Christmas

I LOVE Christmas! I love the warm weather, the family get together, and the general shift in mood to a more friendly, fraternal bonhomie. I often wish that such good cheer could be maintained throughout the year.

It is easy to be cynical when exposed to the crass commercialisation of Christmas that has the success of the season measured by retail sales volume.

But I have found that presents are just for kids and what really counts is time.

Spending time with family and friends is worth far more than material gifts.

Australia is a secular country but that does not stop atheists and non-Christians from enjoying the spirit of the season as the message is universal.

The birth of a child represents hope for the future and inspires a celebration of life.

Every religion celebrates this in one form or another.

Contrary to the confected outrage of a certain immigration minister and a certain shock-jock there was no threat to the celebration of Christmas. No-one was trying to take it away from us.

The irony is that, as we celebrate a certain middle-eastern family, who sought refuge in troubled times and were denied a place in the inn and had to sleep in the stable, our government is imprisoning people - men, women and children - who have committed no crime in offshore detention camps.

The only threat to Christmas is that we lose sight of our values, of the way we treat our fellow human beings. One does not have to look far into any religious or secular teachings to realise that our treatment of asylum seekers is unconscionable. The camps must be closed and the remaining people brought here and resettled. As much for our sake as for theirs. 

Peter Sobey


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