Goodwill To All...

Goodwill To All...
Posted on 12/02/2015

By Mayor Kelvyn Cullimore, Jr.

The holiday season is upon us.  Thanksgiving recently gave us an opportunity to ponder our blessings and to take stock of the people and events in our lives for which we should express gratitude.  I am grateful to live in this city we all call home.  I am grateful for wonderful citizens who care about our community and work hard to make this the best city in the state.  I am grateful for the sense of community pride that is manifest in the well kept homes and yards, clean streets and the successful businesses that serve our community.  I am grateful for first-responders who help make our community a safe place to live.  I am grateful for public works crews who will leave their families on Christmas Day to plow snow on our streets so the rest of us can have a safe holiday and reach our destinations.  I am grateful for our teachers and school administrators who help assure the rising generation will be better than the present one.  When I look around there are so many reasons to be grateful living in Cottonwood Heights, in the great state of Utah and in the United States of America.  I am embarrassed that I do not express that gratitude and appreciation more freely and more frequently.   

The holidays are a time that reminds us to be kinder, gentler and more appreciative.  We tend to recognize the good in others more than finding fault.  Our thoughts turn to others as we purchase gifts for friends and loved ones, participate in Sub for Santa activities and spend time with our friends and neighbors.  It is the very process of thinking of others that creates that special feeling we all enjoy during the holidays. 

Cottonwood Heights is a diverse community.  Christmas is a focal point spiritually and commercially for many of the Christian faith, but we should also be aware that some of our neighbors have different reasons to celebrate during the month.  My maternal grandfather was of Jewish descent.  For those of the Jewish faith in our community, the month of December brings the celebration of Chanukah (or Hanukkah as it is pronounced in English), an eight-day festival of light that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration and of spirituality over materiality.  Chanukah begins on Dec. 6 and ends on Dec. 14.  

Some Muslims celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed on either the 21st or 26th of December.  Those with ties to Western African nations will observe Kwanzaa from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1.  The celebration of Kwanzaa honors African heritage in African-American culture.  And if none of these celebrations fit, consider that many have celebrations around the winter solstice that occurs in December. 

While Christmas understandably has center stage within the main populous of the city, many of our friends and neighbors have other reasons to celebrate.  The point is, it should be a time of goodwill expressed to all.  In our society of social media and instant information feeds, it is not unusual to see negative stories and criticisms circulated freely.  The sharing of opinions can sometimes be fractious and unpleasant.  The celebrations of the Holidays offer an opportunity to concentrate on our inner angel.   What can we do to lift the burdens of another?  Who in our neighborhood this holiday season could use some cheering up?  What family member may need special consideration because they struggle during the holidays?  Who may need their sidewalk or driveway shoveled?  What conflict could be resolved in the spirit of the season?  What expression of gratitude is overdue? 

Who of us does not take more joy in giving than receiving?  My hope this holiday season is that we may all find our own way of giving to others, so our hearts may be joyous and filled with gratitude.  I express my gratitude to each of you for your contributions in making this city a wonderful place to live.  We are an expression of the collective nature of all who live here.  I wish you all a very Merry Christmas… Happy Hanukkah…Joyous Kwanzaa…in all a delightful December filled with joy and goodwill toward all.