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A Christmas message from Master Instructor Don Harradine
   

I am sure that like me you always have a love/hate relationship with the Christmas season: parties; presents; old friends visiting; good food; expense; relatives; lots of jobs that need to be done; etc etc. Well I suspect you can work-out which you love of these things and which you hate or perhaps some of them you are just are not sure which category they fit into. Most of us would agree that whatever the drawbacks Christmas is a very good thing and what really distinguishes it from other holidays and festivals is that we are encouraged to give in many different ways and that this act helps us to be better people, whatever may be our belief system.

The arts we study are in many important aspects just like Christmas: we receive many fantastic gifts, but we must never forget that the biggest lesson of our arts is that we understand that giving is a big part of the learning process. We need to give to progress. We need to give: time, commitment; energy; sensitivity; our intellectual abilities; to follow others; to invest in loss; love and respect to our friends, brothers and sisters; attention to new ideas; to new philosophies; and our gratitude for what we have been taught. You probably can add considerably to this list. Without giving we only get a small part of what Christmas can offer and I suggest that this is even more so with regard the study of our arts.

So I guess that I should give something! - So I raise my sherry glass and give a toast - Have a very merry Christmas and may 2009 be a year of progress, happiness and giving.

Love and best wishes - Don