Forever Christmas has been my favorite holiday. From a spiritual standpoint, it’s the reality of Jesus in His divinity entering into our humanity. With who God is, we witness the humility of Jesus coming to this world in a manger. The story of the three kings. The prophecies of Jesus spoken by many, including from the Old Testament. Without Jesus, where would we be? It all begins at Christmas, with celebration of the Mass, one of the most beautiful Liturgies of the year.
While there’s so much to reflect on and be thankful for spiritually, I’ve always loved the human elements of Christmas as well. It’s not about the presents but the joy of the season. All the smiles and well wishes. There is more laughing, hugs, and kisses. It seems people are friendlier at Christmas, more genuine, more loving.
Houses decorated. Lights on trees. Snow on the ground. Christmas cookies in abundance. Family and friends. All the get-togethers and celebrations. It’s a great time.
My Dad’s sister (Aunt Lou) lived right down the street from us. Ten kids in the two families, we saw each other often, us at their house or them at ours’. The annual Christmas tradition took place at theirs’, where my Uncle Pete would have assembled a life-size manger in their front yard. On Christmas Eve, our two families, with dozens and dozens of neighbors, would sing Christmas Carols in their front yard, followed by Christmas cookies and hot chocolate inside. In some years, our family watched theirs’ opening their gifts. We’d often then all go to Midnight Mass.
My parents would then host a party on New Years Day, where the entire extended family (no small number) and friends would come over for the day, filled with food, fellowship and more fun.
Fast forward to when I had kids…I remember purchasing a Santa suit. For several years, my cousins Greg and Mike (Aunt Lou’s sons) would alternate, dressing up and coming over Christmas morning. They’d bring for the kids the gifts Santa supposedly forgot to leave the night before. The kids would light up. All of the above are the best of memories.
I’d invite you to reflect on the good memories from your childhood, your Christmas experiences among them. Think about this time of year as compared to others, then and now. Even the memories you’re making today. If you’re like me, you smile more and are nicer. You’re looking to surprise someone with a gift or nice note. You’re wanting to make someone a little happier, maybe help them with a burden they’re experiencing.
I think that’s what Christmas is all about. It’s what Jesus is all about…LOVE!!! What would the world be like if every week of the year we were all as generous, compassionate, forgiving, and loving as at Christmas? The love of Christ is the answer…yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
As we leave this Christmas season and head into a new year, please understand that Jesus loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done. Let us share that love with as many people as humanly possible….all year long.
I sincerely hope that you and your family had a very Merry Christmas. On behalf of my wife Cyndi and Mary Kate, who does all the creative work, Happy New Year. May God abundantly bless you and your family.
As always, please email me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with questions, concerns, comments, or prayer requests.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!