Christmas in America

This week I want to talk about Christmas in America, what it’s all about and why I love this country as much as I do.

It’s popular to hear a lot of people complain that Christmas has been commercialized. That it’s all about gifts and parties, that the real meaning — celebrating the birth of Christ — has been lost. There might be some truth in that but I sure see a lot of cars in church parking lots between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Somebody’s going to church, and it isn’t to shop.

Beyond that, it’s also about generosity and about doing the right thing. I’ve looked around some this year. There’s a Salvation Army kettle in front of an awful lot of stores. I see shopper after shopper dropping a dollar or two into them as they hurry to their cars.

And, I’ll tell you what — not all of the people donating look rich. They’re ordinary people doing the right thing. They recognize that they, along with most of the rest of us, are incredibly fortunate. In their own way they want to help those who’ve been less fortunate, those that somehow were left behind.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that you’ll see a story or two on the evening news about a car that was broken into or a house that was robbed. A family’s entire Christmas is taken. That’s awful.

You know, though, if you watch the same news show the next night you’ll most likely see that several people, often strangers, have contributed gifts to the same family.

For every low-life hooligan running around in our society there are a dozen or more good people who try to make up the difference. That makes me feel good.  

Honestly, I can’t get over it. I’m going to guess that almost, maybe every, kid in our nation who wants a gift will get one tonight or tomorrow. Countless charities, supported by ordinary Americans, will see to that.

This is one heck of a country. We need to think about that every single day of our lives. And, while we’re celebrating the birth of Christ and exchanging gifts with the ones we love we need to take a few minutes and think about that.

If you think this topic has nothing to do with fishing you’re wrong. I say that respectfully, but I say it nevertheless. It has everything to do with fishing. We run a good, clean and wholesome sport.

We’ll never know how many kids we’ve kept out of trouble with our camps and our fishing trips. We’ll never know how many times we’ve made a kid or a family smile with our B.A.S.S. Nation charity food and toy drives. That’s OK, though. We don’t need accolades. Our pleasure comes from giving.

Living in this country isn’t a gift. It’s something we need to earn one way or another. Any of us could have been born to the streets of some poor, third-world country run by a despicable dictator, but we weren’t. Thank God for that this Christmas.

Chris Lane’s column appears weekly on You can also find him on visit his website,

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