Time with family helps reinforce true meaning of holiday

Posted: Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Who knew slicing fruit could be so significant? A knife, a kiwi and a glass bowl is all there is to it, right? Well, not exactly.

It's no hidden secret that holidays such as Easter and Christmas tend to be blown out of proportion in America. With the historical documentation, enticing gift exchange, credit card swiping and bunny rabbits hiding decorated eggs, the true meaning of these holidays becomes buried among our national traditions.

Every child looks forward to December 25. Who wouldn't? The entire month is dedicated to a full-blown extravaganza including gift exchange, all-day baking, house decoration and series of parties, singing and activities. In the back of their brewing minds, ideas of which toy they desire or what "big

surprise" they would enjoy is set even before Thanksgiving.

Once all the shopping has ceased and the company has left to head home, only a few strings of ribbon and a the most treasured birthday are left. By the end of Christmas Day, much of the excitement decrescendos into a low rumble of joy. All the while, the celebration of Jesus Christ's birth should be music to our ears, fueling a yearlong span of happiness and fulfillment.

By now you may be thinking, "Okay, I understand that point, but what does this have to do with chopping strawberries, some pineapple and maybe a few grapes?" Hang on, I'm almost there.

Months pass by, the end of winter blossoms into spring, soccer season and prom night, and it's then you realize that it's time for Easter -- the baskets, possibly a new pastel-colored dress and church in the morning. Nothing much really -- more candy to restock the last wrappers from Halloween and a few family members over for an early dinner. At least I have been guilty of these thoughts.

Back to the fruit bowl. It was while preparing this year's side dish for our feast when I realized how lightly we take this coveted Sunday, and I don't think I am the only one. Not only is it the weekend we remember Christ's conviction and crucifixion, but also the time when we take to heart the gift of salvation He continues to offer.

In essence, this holiday should be more set apart and distinguished than any other.

Along with the merriment and celebration of these special occasions, family time and eating are also my favorite ways to cherish the time. It is loved ones who makes these days even more meaningful. With family, you know they will always support you and love you no matter what. They also recall the precious memories and the humorous, not so beloved ones. And who could enjoy gatherings without ham, mashed potatoes and fruit salad?

When it comes to the few days a year that really count, recognize their importance and remind yourself why they really matter.

Spend the time with those who have shown their love and support. Share and make new memories with those whom you share a tight-knit comraderie. Oh, and one more thing -- always offer to help prepare the meal, you never what you might learn.

Shamra Bauder is a senior at Kenai Central High School who has worked as an intern at the Peninsula Clarion.

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