Letters to the Editor

Readers write about reform in Palestine, English in the elections, the future of Starbucks, and a stress-free Christmas.

Will reform in Palestinian territories ever begin?

In response to the Dec. 19 article, "Global donors exceed Palestinian expectations at Paris conference": "Support for Palestinian reform" was shown at the Paris global donors conference, but will Palestinian reform actually ever start?

Will, instead, this turn out to be just the latest installment of the longest-running international shell game?

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Time and again, cash has been tossed to the Palestinians, but oft-promised reforms haven't materialized.

Blaming Israel, instead of themselves, for their economic plight, moreover, has remained a depressing constant.

However, were the Palestinian Authority actually to condemn and contain terrorism, then freedom of movement surely would quite swiftly follow.

Richard Wilkins
Syracuse, N.Y.

US elections should be in English

Regarding the article, "Explaining 'el caucus' to Spanish-speakers": If anyone in this country wants to vote, either in a caucus or anything else related to elections, then why aren't they required to speak and read English?

If a United States resident moves to Mexico, will Mexicans allow the US citizen the same privileges when voting time comes there?

Graves Lewis
Lake Waccamaw, N.C.

Starbucks has a bright future

In response to the Dec. 18 book review, "It's a Starbucks World. (We only sip in it.)": Starbucks may be in a status quo, even in decline in North America, but it's surely on the way to becoming a major player in South America and Asia.

When I was in Bangkok recently, I saw so many Starbucks. And although I don't really like the espresso that it serves, at least there's a certain consistency that you can find when abroad.

In emerging countries, Starbucks represents wealth, since only rich people can afford those $3 to $5 coffees. It is those newly wealthy who will keep Starbucks afloat for years to come.

Maxime Dupont-Demers
Montreal

Keep things simple this Christmas

In response to Ralph Keyes's Dec.18 Opinion piece, "This Christmas, put first things first," I am so tired of everyone complaining about how stressful the holiday season is.

If you think that people in the 21st century put too much emphasis on shopping and giving gifts, then don't do it.

If you think the most important thing about the holiday is spending time with your loved ones, then make that your sole purpose for the season. It's that simple.

If you feel that your time is being eaten up by numerous party invitations and other social obligations, then all you have to do is call and send your regrets. If you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on gifts and deal with the shopping mall, then keep things simple and give a gift of yourself.

If you have some artistic talent and can create something that a person might enjoy, make something for them. If you don't have any such talent, then give them a special, personalized certificate redeemable for a piece of your time and attention on a future date. For example, you could offer to baby-sit for an evening, offer to clean or do yardwork, take them out to dinner and/or a movie, or a day together at a spa.

If people feel overwhelmed with obligations and expectations during the holidays, it's their own fault.

Kathleen Greer
New Castle, Del.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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