It’s that time of year once again.
Okay, so it has been for a while now. This post is probably a little late to comment on the “arrival” of the season, seeing as Christmas Eve is tomorrow, and Christmas Day—Well, it comes right after Christmas Eve. That’s kind of a given.
The season isn’t “coming.” It’s here. And I’ll be honest, it’s one of my favorite seasons. For a lot of reasons. Like hot chocolate. The wondrous drink known as eggnog (non-alcoholic, just to be clear). Upbeat music about finding happiness and joy in family, faith, or even just the most ordinary things (I mean, think about it, what other season gets music that urges us to look at the weather and enjoy it so wholeheartedly?).
But those are all … elements. Things. And to be fair, I can enjoy them any time of the year. So while they’re part the pieces that make up the Christmas holiday … they’re not Christmas itself. They’re not integral. They’re signs of Christmas. By-products.
Because Christmas is about more than just hot chocolate, pretty lights, music, or snow. Thankfully, since I don’t even have that last one at the moment. Or the lights. But I don’t have to, because Christmas isn’t about those things. They add to it, but only because we let it.
Christmas is built, not on those, but on something grander.
For many of us, Christmas is the time of year when we think about those around us most and what they need as we hunt for gifts and presents to give out. Christmas season is the time of year when we seem to take a fresh look at the things around us, from family, to relationships, to the small things we have that matter so much to them, and acknowledge them. We hold them tight. We sing carols. We forget about all the unhappiness in the world for a few weeks, give up our dwelling on it, and go out giving out cookies friends and neighbors. We greet old friends. We put up lights with family. We share and give of ourselves until we’re almost worn out … and the whole time, we’re grateful for it. We look at the positive.
And, for many in the world, this mood, this idea of joy and merriment, all stems back to the original joy and merriment that came to the world on a small, cold night in Bethlehem over two-thousand years ago. At a birth so monumental it changed the course of the world. So important that it had been spoken of and hoped for in the thousands of years that had led up to it, and so vast that it’s been spoken of ever since.
The birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and Savior of All Mankind. Heralded by angels, but born into a manger. A King brought forth in the humblest of circumstances.
That birth, and all that came after it, resonated throughout history. So much so that to this day, we still celebrate it—regardless of the actual day—every winter season. We come together with those that we love—whether in person or in spirit—and, for a brief time, give of ourselves to others and work to remember that maybe, just maybe, everything’s not so bad. We remember the words spoken by angels recorded in the Book of Luke, proclaiming “… on Earth peace, good will toward men” and, just for a little while, do our best to emulate it.
So this Christmas, may you gather with those that matter most to you, be that in person, or in spirit. May you let those you love know you love them. Laugh, cry, enjoy your Christmas traditions, and give of yourself. Even if you’re not religious, try to bring that same joy into the lives of those around you that that small, seemingly insignificant birth did so many years ago.
And may you this holiday season, in your life, find peace and good will.
Merry Christmas to all of you.