What Is It About Christmas?


It’s that time of year again. Every year, I question how it has come around again so quickly. Christmas continues to creep into our lives earlier and earlier every year with stores putting out holiday merchandise before Halloween and radio stations playing Christmas music on November 1. 

What is it about Christmas that makes us accept it, welcome it, and even love it two or more months before its time? What is so special about Christmas? 

Magic & Memories

There’s something magical about Christmas. Whether we’re talking flying reindeer or elves who make toys, it’s a season of wonder for many children. I remember how special and magical it was to me as a girl. I knew from an early age that Santa was an idea rather than a real man, but it didn’t dampen my sense of joy and wonder as the day grew closer. The twinkle of the lights on the tree, the smell of my mother’s bayberry candle, and the sound of Bing Crosby crooning still make me feel like a little girl filled with anticipation. All it takes is one bite of a cathedral cookie to transport me to the past. 

Me in 1985, age 7.

What was I so excited for? I was excited to make sugar cookies with my mom and sister. I was waiting to hold the candle at church and sing “Silent Night” on Christmas Eve. And of course, I could hardly wait to open gifts. 

What memories will you share with your children? What do you hope they will remember when they are adults? 

Hope & Happiness

I cherish the hope of Christmas. It seems like at this time of year, you never know what may happen or what miracles may occur. I’ve heard stories of groceries showing up on the porch of a hungry family, coats arriving in just the right size for children, and love being shared between unlikely people who become friends. 

This is the season to learn to live in hope. The opposite of hope is despair, and I see too many people living in that. How do we change this for others? Be hope for them. Meet a need for someone so that they know that good things still happen in this world. In doing so, you find that it has brought you the very thing you, too, have been longing for. 

What are you hoping for right now? 

Goodwill & Giving

At the very heart of Christmas is giving. Find me someone who doesn’t love to give good gifts to others! Many of us love the process of thinking of the perfect gift for someone, looking for just the right one and presenting it to our loved one. Watching someone open a gift that you have selected for them is one of my favorite moments of Christmas. It makes my heart swell with joy when I see their happiness and surprise. 

But the best gifts are not wrapped in beautiful boxes with shiny bows. Perhaps this is the Christmas to give those we love and who love us the gifts they truly desire: our time and attention, a heartfelt apology, a hug, a measure of forgiveness, or true acceptance. Spread goodwill, and be generous. 

Who will you and your family share gifts with this year? 

To Those Who Don’t Love Christmas…

I know that the holiday season can be a time of grief and pain for some. If you struggle with this holiday, I see you. This may not be the magical, exciting and cozy time that many think it is. Please be gentle with yourself and lean into the things that make you feel peace during this hard time. I hope for better days ahead for you and yours.

Peace be with each of you, dear friends, as we enjoy this holiday season!