I'd like to nominate the Altoona Mirror for first prize in the "Bah Humbug" category for its editorial on Dec. 27 regarding the trouble UPS had delivering packages by Christmas Eve.
This editorial was offensive on so many levels.
The underlying premise of your remarks was that the joy of Christmas is completely embedded in gifts and material acquisitions. I've been "doing Christmas" for 50 years and have never been so invested in a specific gift, either as a primary, secondary or tertiary recipient or giver, that without that gift, the entire holiday was awash.
You were concerned about the profits of Amazon and other corporations whose bottom lines will "suffer" as a result of the UPS delivery problems. You worried about individual customers who wouldn't receive their much treasured Christmas gifts, though chances are good the missing gift was one of many under the tree.
The pinnacle of incredulity came when you had the audacity to suggest that UPS workers could be at fault for intentionally slowing down the delivery process. Where do you get your editorial ideas? Fox News?
I do not personally know any UPS drivers or personnel, but it never crossed my mind that there was a coordinated and concerted effort by UPS employees to undermine the Christmas of their fellow citizens.
Your lack of faith in your fellow Americans is shameful; or can I assume you talked to 100 UPS employees randomly selected from around the country and were, therefore, able to draw these conclusions based on evidence that they decided, en masse, that slowing down Christmas delivery was a fantastic idea.
Here's an alternative idea: there's about 314 million people in America, of which about 75 percent (235,500,000) are Christians. If 0.1 percent of them decided to order their most important Christmas gifts one, two or three days before Christmas, that's 235,500 deliveries in one or two days.
I feel lucky, and frankly amazed, that the gifts I ordered on Dec. 20 arrived on time. Maybe a more realistic message from the Mirror editors would be to suggest that people focus less on the specific gifts they are giving and getting, and more on the actual spirit of the holiday - joy in being together, opportunities for good food with good friends and family, time to reflect on the important aspects of life as well as the religious meaning the holiday holds for so many people.
In that spirit, I would like to thank Father Gibbons and all those who performed such a warm and spiritually moving 5 p.m. Christmas Eve service at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. (I'm sure the other services around town were also very nice.)
As a non-Catholic Christian who attends Christmas Eve services at the Cathedral every year, I am consistently impressed by the Cathedral experience; it is a true treasure of Blair County.
It is a spectacular space that embodies the essence of something greater than the self, and on Christmas Eve, it is a truly moving experience as the altar flowers, lighted trees, exquisite nativity scene and the accompaniment of an actual pipe organ allows one to really focus on the important aspects of the holiday season.
It also offers a place to look ahead to the new year and consider how we can be better people and take notice when good is around us.