Thanksgiving is over and preparations for Christmas decorations well on the way. As I ride around town, I see the well remembered bright lights warming the cold air and in so many of these outside decorations is the Christian Christmas theme, the birth of the Prince of Peace. And I ponder on what we connect with the teachings of this prince of peace such as "Love your neighbor as yourself,” "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Even the Mosaic law contains a parallel commandment: "Whatever is hurtful to you, do not do to any other person."

Haven't so many of us heard these words all our lives? Isn't this what we believe is the foundation of this country?

So we come to another often said phrase, "Practice what you preach." So comes the test now for us who celebrate this beautiful holiday.

Are we practicing these words in our political life?

Is separating families who seek to find help in the country that preaches the above values, the correct practice?

Is lying to gain advantage, financially or politically, examples of the practices of what we stand for preaching the gospel of this baby whose birth we soon will celebrate?

Is isolating our country from the rest of the world, practicing what we preach of the words of this prince of peace to love one another?

The values of all that Americans stand for as we once again celebrate this birth, are at stake, not a political party loyalty but the teachings so many of us have been brought up on. The consequences of our political decisions today, will be our legacy as a country of people who struggled to practice what they have been preaching. May the teachings of the child whose birth we are about to celebrate determine our decisions.

Barb de Souza

River Falls