EDITORIAL: Sign of hope

There may be hope for the world yet. Or at least for British Columbians

There may be hope for the world yet. Or at least for British Columbians.

A recent poll by Insights West shows that the most important thing for people through the holiday season is not the shopping, the tree, getting gifts or any of the usual trappings of the season.

No, according to the poll, people regard time with friends and family as the most positive aspect of the holiday season. That goes for Albertans too, though slightly less so (85 per cent) than for the warm-hearted B.C.’ers (87 per cent).

And that is something pretty nice to hear, what with all the bad news we hear from around the world, the rampant commercialism at this time of year and arguments over whether or not it’s Christmas or the Holiday Season.

The spirit of giving is alive and well, too, according to the poll. Buying gifts for friends and family, not receiving them, took second place on the list with 84 per cent of the respondents checking it off as an important part of the season.

One area that could use some more work, however, is helping those less fortunate. Only about 60 per cent of the people responding, in both B.C. and Alberta, marked that as an important part of the season. Still, 60 per cent isn’t bad either.

Don’t get us wrong. Bad news isn’t going to stop happening just because we want to feel good for a couple of weeks, and the money spent at this time of year is important -— there are many small businesses that rely on the Christmas season for nearly half their yearly sales. That’s a lot of people employed, and that’s a good thing too.

It would be a mistake to think that a few weeks of good feelings, gestures of generosity and thankfulness around Dec. 25 is the solution to making the world a better place. But hearing that most people value friends and family above everything else is a sign of hope.