Christmas cheer lifts spirits

What is it about this time of the year that makes it so different from any other? Why are our spirits lifted to the strains of “Silent Night” and “Joy to the World?” Why do friends and family’s thoughts turn toward home?

Could it just be the Christ Child brings light and hope to a darkened world? Could it be “Christmas” softens even the hardest heart? And why is that? Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: He that believeth in me though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:24).

Christmas happens in the human heart.

Christmas puts a sparkle in the eyes of a resident in the rest home.

Christmas brings hope and love to a lonely soldier far from home.

“The most wonderful time of the year” reminds even the worst “Scrooge” that a Savior is born. Truly it is “Joy to the World, the Lord is come!” He came to save mankind from the ravages of sin and to save them from themselves.

No matter how hard people try, Christmas can never be taken away from the human heart. Because of Christmas, we have hope and a purpose. John 3:16 rings in hearts, and we rejoice as we think of the Babe of Bethlehem born in a lowly stable and laid in a manager.

Several years ago four of our grandchildren were visiting us at the time, and they wrote down for me what Christmas meant to them. What they told me thrilled my heart, and with permission I share with you:

Jody, age 16: “Jesus Christ is a gift I never get tired of receiving. Please don’t limit this celebration to one day of the year. Let every day be Christmas. Don’t forget why we celebrate this wonderful time of the year. After all, had there been no Jesus, there would be no Christmas. Imagine that. In essence, the meaning of Christmas is as simple as the manger in which he was laid to sleep. Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus. Let us wish him a Happy birthday today, tomorrow and all the days to come!”

Cody, age 15: “I have parents who have taught me the real meaning and joy of Christmas. These special people in my life have shown me the importance of family and sharing. Christmas is so special because of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am filled with joy because he is so alive in me!”

Joe Mark, age 15: “Most people in the world today think Christmas is a time for gifts and family. They don’t take the time to look at what Christmas really is because they are so wrapped up in the material part of Christmas. I strongly believe that Christmas should be used to celebrate Jesus’ birth. This is what Christmas means to me!”

Traci, 7: “I think Christmas is the warm feeling inside of you. Most people think it’s the goodies that make Christmas Christmas, but it’s not. Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, of course. So keep Christmas in your heart!”

May I add my thoughts? Let Christmas happen Allow the joy of the season to flood your being and then, as my Traci said, keep Christmas always in your heart all year long. Christmas is all about love, and love is the only thing that lasts forever.

Christmas is a time of cheer,

A time for loved ones to be near.

The Christmas tree … the stockings hung.

It’s time for carols to be sung.

For at this time we celebrate.

All year long we eagerly wait

To observe that birth so long ago

That saves mankind from all its woe.

Let every heart be glad and sing

Our praises to the newborn King.”

“Merry Christmas,” everyone.