Keeping Christianity In Christmas and more letters to the editors

Keep Christianity in Christmas

A lot of people worry today how to keep Christ in Christmas, and rightfully so as our culture teeters on becoming a secular, spiritual wasteland.

One simple way to keep Christ in Christmas is with your choice of Christmas decorations for your yard and home, of all things. Think about it, the more monsters dressed in Santa suits you have or the more light-up deer or polar bears with candy canes you put out -- while not also putting out traditional scenes of shepherds, wise men, angels, and, of course, baby Jesus -- the more people, especially children, will associate those things with Christmas, instead of Christ with Christmas.

Look around; it's what's happening. So few Christmas scenes with Christ in them, but you can change that simply by what decorations you choose.

It may sound minor, but the repercussions may be major. So, please keep Christ in Christmas, including in your decorations, lest we forget the reason for the season.

Will Lance

The gift that keeps on giving

Red Bank Church of Christ has provided a hot meal each Monday for the surrounding area for five years.

When people come, they are invited to go to the bread table and take bakery products donated by Starbucks and Panera Bread.

They then go up to the kitchen counter and ask for the number of meals to eat in or carry out. As they wait, volunteers ask if they need any other help.

They also enjoy friendship with others. A couple of times each year East Ridge Church of Christ brings a truck of clean clothes that people may choose for themselves or family.

Now that prices are sky high and people are having hard times making ends meet, clothing and food are a real blessing this Christmas.

This church is truly a beacon of hope, and a gift that will keep giving all of 2023.

Celia Lyon

Disembarkation fee would help Lookout

The recent news about the sharing (or not) of tourism revenue between the city of Lookout Mountain and the Incline Railway certainly illustrates how fortunate our region is to have a vibrant tourism industry.

We recently parked at the Incline, bought tickets for our family and took the extraordinary ride up to Lookout Mountain, where we spent a few minutes. There's no question that we spent more time and more money at the bottom in the St. Elmo district, but there are more spending amenities at the bottom than there are at the top.

I want to offer a sincere suggestion that could solve the perceived economic imbalance.

Follow the cruise ship industry model.

Specifically, charge a "port" or disembarkation fee as part of the ticket price, with the fee accruing to the city of Lookout Mountain in return for its contributions to the overall experience.

Just to reinforce the point -- in another industry -- airports charge landing fees.

Having just spent some time with my family riding the Incline, I can say with confidence that preserving this unique experience is worth an added, fair fee.

Michael Mallen

Our immigration policies must change

Everyone who cares about the future of America should heed the message of Cal Thomas' column in the Dec. 20 Times Free Press. He correctly lists three historical reasons for a nation's decline: massive national debt, losing a shared sense of moral values and uncontrolled immigration without assimilation. All three can be applied to our nation, but there is not much we can do about the first two. On the third reason, except for Native Americans, we are truly a nation of immigrants. Beginning with Ellis Island, we had a workable immigration policy that provided for assimilation. But that policy has long been outdated, and the quota system included is not the answer.

The situation on our Southern border, with, as Thomas quotes Border Control, "2 million migrants crossing the border in fiscal 2022, not counting an unknown number of got-aways," makes assimilation impossible. Thomas also emphasizes the horrible cost of fentanyl coming across the border. These conditions are untenable.

Title 42 is a small step in establishing minimal control, and we must not allow it to expire. But then we must take massive steps to establish a legal and enforceable immigration policy that provides for the assimilation of legal immigrants into our national life.

Glenn Swygart

Winchester, Tenn.

Crosswalk help needed in Hixson

When feasible, I try to walk or bike in town rather than drive. Since traffic has steadily gotten worse in Hixson, it's nice to have other options. Walking in town can be difficult, however, due to gaps in the sidewalk infrastructure and faulty or missing crosswalks.

In particular, the crosswalk button to cross Highway 153 from the Subway to Northgate Mall does not work. Also, while there are crosswalk lines and buttons at Hixson Pike and Northpoint Boulevard, there are no crosswalk lights, increasing the risk to pedestrians.

I would welcome improvements to make Hixson a more pedestrian-friendly city.

Jacqueline Smith


Silence, no action are not answers

We are living in a time that does not fit into our usual expectations. We need to attempt to grapple a new approach to our political arena. Talking to each other, even while disagreeing, has been a way of life and led to solutions to vexing issues. Agreement did not translate as loss or win but rather as progress.

We need to think about our political interaction. Gun violence followed by silence and inaction. Hate and hateful actions followed with silence and inaction. Women's health issues followed by silence and inaction. Book banning followed by silence and inaction. Republicans seem to hope we won't notice. But I can assure you we do.

We need to adopt an identifier for this behavior. PSNA: purposeful silence, no action. When we see this as a response to issues of significance, we must speak up. Common-sense gun regulation is in order. Hate in any form must be dealt with vigorously. Books are tools of learning, and we need to rely on our teachers and librarians. Republicans or Democrats employing PSNA must be held accountable.

Legislators, we expect you to do the right thing. PSNA doesn't do it.

Irv Ginsburg

Hickory Valley tree community holiday gift

The lone Christmas tree on Hickory Valley Road at the railroad tracks is a holiday delight. While an unlikely location for this Christmas surprise, the traditional decorations warm my heart and, like this tree, seem to instill a little hope in the wilderness of our own lives. Don't miss it. Thanks once again to the giver of this gift, and have a very merry Christmas.

Libby Simons