About the Colony

At Christmas, give thanks for the faces of joyful children

This Friday is Christmas 2015. I’m always glad when the holiday is over because it has never been my favorite season.

But lately, I’ve found joy in the faces of children, especially at this time of the year.

I noticed my change in behavior only recently. There was a picture in the newspaper last week of two children going down a mountain of man-made snow (built at the hands of the Atascadero Kiwanis Club) with such looks of joy and happiness that I had to smile. It made me feel good.

Within the past 10 days, I’ve driven for several hours to watch some holiday programs that featured my 7- and 11-year-old grandchildren. One program was performed in an ice rink, while the other in a high school gymnasium.

At each, I couldn’t stop looking into the faces of those children, a feeling that has lasted for days. Making it all the more special was that one of my adult daughters also danced, reminding me of watching her 30 years ago in dance recitals.

As much as I love looking into those young faces, I can’t help but worry about what kind of a world is waiting for them. I also worry about what kind of future those refugee children and their parents face as they flee their respective homelands. Will they be welcomed and embraced by the rest of the world?

“Peace on Earth and goodwill to men” or similar thoughts are printed on many of the Christmas cards I’ve mailed out for far longer than I can remember.

When will that (Peace on Earth) happen?

The year I was born, World War II was breaking out in Europe.

When I was in grammar school, we were fighting in Korea.

By the time the ’60s rolled around, I was attending college and soon found myself in the U.S. Navy.

Then terrorists piloted four airplanes into targets right here in the United States.

The world is being attacked by people who hate the rest of us just because we don’t believe the same as they do. It is a hatred that most of the world can’t understand, let alone know how to deal with.

So I thank all those innocent faces, some I know and the many I don’t, for putting a smile on my face and in my heart this Christmas season.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades, and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.