I love Christmas. I love the season, I love the family traditions, I love celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is my favorite time of the year. Be careful though, it's actually possible to miss Christmas.
I remember Christmas when I was a little boy. Christmas Eve always began with a candlelight service at church. Sometimes the service would be late, around midnight! It was cool to stay up so late. Santa Claus always visited my grandparents Christmas Eve party. I still remember all the laughter when grandma sat on Santa's (grandpa's) lap, it was the best night of the year. I remember going to bed sick to my stomach with anticipation of what Santa might leave under the Christmas tree.
As I grew older I worried the excitement, that anticipation, the joy of the season would be lost. Sometimes as we get older we tend to lose our child-like innocence. We become cynical, heck, it's easy these days. We've all had people let us down, we've all experienced disappointment, we all experience struggle. Yet Christmas has always been able to inspire me and push me forward into another year. There's something about Christmas that always gives me hope.
Now with a family of my own, we try to keep those Christmas traditions alive. I want the boys to experience the magic of Christmas without missing the meaning of Christmas. I want them to feel the hope that I feel each Christmas season. Looking back, it's not the gifts I remember from Christmas. I remember the traditions, the laughter and the whole family being together.
It's funny how we'll do the same thing at my house this Christmas that my family has been doing for the past 40 years. We'll go to Christmas Eve service, Santa will drop by Christmas Eve (if we've been good this year), we'll wake up to Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the oven just like grandma always did at her house. We'll share a morning filled with laughter and sometimes a few tears when we think of our family members who are gone. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Please don't miss Christmas. Believe me, there are a lot of things and even people trying to push us to miss Christmas. Stress at work, finances and family issues will all work overtime to steal your joy this season. Take a minute to reflect on your blessings. It may be your health, a special friend, your job, your family. Don't miss Christmas, it's truly the best time of the year.
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