Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Greatest Time of the Year

All my life I have loved this time of year. I truly believe the last 40 days of the year bring out the best in people. In a world that has become a never ending pace of chaos, this time of the year gives us a brief period of time to slow down and spend time with family and friends. It’s easy to watch the news or listen to the problems that disrupt our community and develop a negative outlook. But we still have our freedom, we still have opportunity, and we still have each other. We also have the ability to help others. I really believe that we are more generous around the holidays than we are throughout the rest of the year, and we should be. Although most of us can complain about something, the reality is that you know someone else that is having a much harder time than you. I think Christmas allows us be a little more open minded, have a little more heart, and see the needs of others as a higher priority.

When we think about significant moments, we often think of monumental occurrences while we have been alive. However, one of the most significant times in all of our lives occurred over 2000 years ago on December 25th. To think of our Lord and Savior being born in a stable, a star indicating his birth, and three wise men traveling great distances to bow before him is magnificent. The birth of Jesus is truly a beautiful story that I believe in with all my heart.

One of the joys of Christmas is doing good for others. I had much rather give somebody a gift than get one. Expect for some people who have been bad, I don’t give them anything. Not even a lump of coal. However, I can forgive a little more at Christmas.

Most of us get to spend time with our families. That is one of the best attributes of Christmas to me. It's always good to just sit around and talk, discuss the world, laugh and have some good conversation. Christmas would just not be the same to me without “Uncle Boyd’s Christmas Party.” Many families don’t get together much during the year but make a special effort to get together over the holidays. Some families get together several times. I always feel sorry for people that can’t be home; soldiers that are deployed, doctors, nurses, police officers and EMT’s that must be on call no matter what. Those people deserve an extra merit for being committed to the life they have chosen.

Christmas also gives us cause to stop and think about how grateful we are for what we do have. Some of our fondest memories are made at Christmas and although most things don’t last forever, memories do. The world even looks better in a lot of ways during Christmas. Towns, churches, stores, malls and homes are decorated with trees, lights, flowers, and other decorations everywhere you turn. We used to start decorating our yard around Halloween and we worked on it until Thanksgiving. That is certainly a part of my life that I miss. Small towns all across America host parades where families can take their children and watch local marching bands, firetrucks, old tractors, clowns, and of course, Santa Claus roll through on decorated floats. There are Christmas programs on television constantly with “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” highlighting the season. Choirs and music groups host programs that are not only beautiful to listen to but spiritually uplifting.

There is just not another holiday as wonderful as Christmas. It brings out the best in most of us. It gives us cause to care more about others, to appreciate our family and friends, and to be grateful for what we do have. Christmas always brings back fond memories of the loved ones that have passed on before us. Although we regret that they are not here with us, it’s consoling to think about how extraordinary Christmas must be in Heaven. Although I have mentioned the decorations and festivities of the holidays, it’s imperative to remember the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The beginning of a life sent here to save us all. To contemplate that the destiny of the entire world rested on the shoulders of one little baby is very humbling. That gives us more reason than any to be grateful during Christmas.

I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas season. I hope you all take some time to relax, fellowship, and genuinely let people know just how much you love them. Consider doing something charitable during Christmas for a family, group, or any worthy cause. Above all, take time to pray and thank God for Christmas. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

May you all find peace, love, and happiness during this holiday season and may your families be blessed with the grace of God.

No comments: