It’s all about light. In this season, people decorate their homes with lights, give gifts, and have family holiday meals. It signifies the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.

We’re talking about the Hindu festival of Diwali, right? Prayers to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Or were you thinking that that carpenter from the Middle East was the only one reminding us to love our neighbors? 

Yule (remember the Yule log?) is also a celebration of the return of the light into the darkest, coldest season of the year. The Germanic custom of evergreens symbolizes life everlasting, even in the midst of killing cold.

Hanukah is a celebration of the light signifying the presence of God in the temple lasting for eight days, when there was only enough oil for one day.

Isaiah spoke about light dawning upon the people, and that light should be used, and shared. It is reiterated by Mark, and Matthew quotes the statement, “You are the light of the world.”

In Islam, light is a symbol of knowledge and faith; Allah (God) is the light of the heavens and Earth.

And all this light is celebrated by people like you and me. We are the ones carrying the light forward through the generations, and throughout the nations.

Whatever color your light may be, wherever you let it shine, you may be the only light someone in despair and darkness ever sees. You will never know whether that smile you gave someone, or the can of food in the donation box, might be the only kindness someone receives.

You will never know, and yet it is absolutely essential that you be there to give it. Each of us is the “one little candle,” shining to remind us all that in the midst of fear, want, pain, and darkness in the world, there is light. Happy holidays!

P.S. Do not try to deep-fry the turkey; it takes too much oil, spits like crazy, and the skin is inedible. Let the fire and ambulance people have a day off, too!

Casino trip

Charlotte Fuss got us a grant for transportation, but we have to spend it right away, so she got right to work, and scheduled a casino trip for Tuesday, Dec. 29. It is Senior Day at Club 55 at the Saratoga Casino, so the buffet is only $5.95, and we will also get a bit of free casino money to play with.

Buses will leave the Hilltown Senior Center at 11 a.m., and return around 3:30 p.m. That gives us a nice relaxing ride, some fun food, and a couple of hours to try our luck.

There is a limit of 20 people, so call Charlotte at 861-8960 or Pat Lightbody at 872-9400 right now to reserve your seat. This trip is for any senior over 55, but bring your driver’s license or ID to prove your age. Come join us and see the fun we seniors have in the Hilltowns.

Menu

And amidst all this peripatetic philosophical peregrination, (OK, so go look it up!), we have the lunch menu for next week. If you haven’t been to lunch in the last week or so, you really need to check it out again!

We have a new meal provider, Senior Services of Albany, and they are doing a super job. Fresh-cooked veggies and tasty entrees are now the rule, rather than the exception. We will be having a holiday celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 22, with special games, and music by Russ Pokorny, and maybe a few of his friends. Remember, there is no lunch served on Dec. 25.

— Monday, Dec. 21, lasagna roll-ups with meat sauce, tossed salad with romaine, whole-wheat roll, milk, and a fresh orange;

— Tuesday, Dec. 22, meat loaf with gravy, mashed potatoes, broccoli, whole-wheat bread, milk and peaches; and

 — Friday, Dec. 25, No lunch, holiday.

Please call 24 hours in advance to 872-9400 to reserve lunch. E-mail HYPERLINK "mailto:plightbody@nycap.rr.com"plightbody@nycap.rr.com, or sign up when you come in. Tell us how many are coming, your name, and your telephone number. If you’d just like to come and help out, give Mary Moller a call at 861-6253, or e-mail her at HYPERLINK "mailto:helderbergseniormeals@aol.com"helderbergseniormeals@aol.com, and put volunteer in the subject line.

Lunches are provided by Helderberg Senior Services, the Albany County Department of Aging, and Senior Services of Albany. The Hilltown Senior Center is located at 1360 Helderberg Trail (Route 443) in Berne.