Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Be Your Christmas, Happy Be Your Home, Joyful Be Your Family, Blessed Be Each One

Christmas has finally come upon us and now as I'm spending these last few days wrapping a few final presents, double checking my food shopping lists and tidying up around the house I sometimes stop and think about what this time of year truly means.

The truth is Christmas stands for so much to me. It's the celebration of Jesus's birth symbolizing the greatest gift to Christians around the world, a gift that transcends time for all of mankind. It means Christmas mass filled with joyous singing and packed out pews of parishioners and their families dressed in their Sunday best. It's a celebration of new life, pure unadulterated joy and love amongst family and strangers alike.

While as a Christian the true meaning of Christmas lies in the birth of Jesus and what his coming means to the world. The meaning of Christmas runs much deeper in so many ways. We celebrate Christmas as the year comes to an end and begin our preparations to ring in the new year, to look to those we are celebrating the holidays with and rejoice in all the blessings we have. Thanksgiving reminds us to give thanks for what we have and kick off the holiday season, the new year brings up hope for the year ahead, resolutions and new beginnings and Christmas, well Christmas is a summation of everything for me. I believe Christmas should serve as a time of reflection on the year past, the experiences we went through and most importantly who was by our side during that time.  It's a time to bring families together, let bygones be bygones and let our love carry us into and through the new year.

At Thanksgiving this year I asked my readers to consider giving to those less fortunate which is something I believe we should strive to do all year long. For Christmas give yourself a gift this year and focus on what is most important....the people in your life. Whether it be family or friends, remember why they are in your life and learn to appreciate them and love them for the blessing each and every one of them are to you. Life gets tough at times and we forget to look at what's in front of us and how many blessings we truly have.

And most of all take a moment to enjoy the beauty of the season. Stop to look at houses lit up with glittering lights, admire a Christmas tree, stand outside and just take in the first snow. Watch children enjoying pure, innocent fun as they tumble in the snow or maybe watch a dog frolicking in snow. Appreciate the beauty of daily life around us because so often we miss what is standing right in front of us and could miss out on something amazing. I recently discovered this video of world famous violinist Joshua Bell performing incognito in the Washington DC Metro Station back in 2007. Just days earlier people paid over $100 per ticket to see him perform yet in the 45 minutes he played in the metro station, hardly anyone stopped to listen to the music. Of course most people may have not realized he was a world famous violinist or that he was playing some of the most difficult pieces of music it makes me wonder how many times I passed up the opportunity to enjoy something simple and wonderful.

Think about it next time you have the opportunity to slow down and taken in a moment. You have no idea what you could be missing otherwise.

Merry Christmas to you and your families. My wish is that the joy of the season warms your hearts and homes for you all.

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