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Letter: Where’s the Christmas Spirit?

As we put the holiday decorations and presents away, we reflect on all the abundant good graces at this time of the year. In the spirit of this sentiment, I was struck by an incident, which contrasted with the tone of the season.

On Christmas Eve our family made its usual plan to attend the 4 p.m. Family Mass at St. Mary’s Church.

Having been cooking and preparing most of the day for the evening celebration, we made sure to leave home in what we assumed was ample time to secure seats. We arrived at church at 3:25.

When we walked into the church I was surprised to see many people already standing along the side. As we walked up and down the aisles looking for a place to sit, it became apparent the pews were not full. Instead, large sections were being saved for people who would be arriving after us. One young man had his overcoat folded lengthwise across half of the pew. When I attempted to sit down he said, “I’m saving these seats.” I responded, “Who saves seats in church?” He replied, “I have a 2-year-old,” as I thought to myself “didn’t we all have 2-year-olds at some point in our lives and we still managed to get to church all together as a family.”

As we waited for Mass to begin, I watched countless people arrive after us and sit down in the seats being held for them. Even those who arrived a few minutes after Mass had already begun, leisurely walked to their “reserved” seats.

As I thought about the situation I asked myself if this is another indication of our self absorbed, entitlement society. I would truly like to believe it was the untimely scheduling of the Giant-Jet game and it will hopefully not happen again next year.

Gina Cifichiello