Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What Christmas Means to Me



There are times when writer's block and insomnia hit at the same time, which used to create a great deal of stress, but I found a cure ... of course I have a chat with God, but also delve into the wonderful world of Google.  I'll search out a phrase or thought and see what pops up. 

Last night wasn't my typical "insomniatic writer interruptus" (how's that for a new syndrome?),  I was distracted by flu symptoms which, unfortunately, is going through our household.  What better time to play "Google Gander".  (Ever the optimist!)

Since it's the Christmas Season, I googled, Christmas is the perfect time for forgiveness, and the following newsletter article was number one on the search results.  I loved it and I'm sure you will too.




What Christmas Means to Me
Reverend Raymond Decipeda, MMHC
Holy Family Catholic Church

Christmas is the time to celebrate God’s unconditional love and the gift of His Son to us. Jesus is our Savior and raison d’ĂȘtre why we have Christmas.

Christmas is the time for joyous celebration. While the ham, the stockings, the Christmas tree and decorations help to brighten the Christmas spirit, it is ultimately our fellowship that brings the warmth of season.

Christmas is the time to be grateful. As I look back on and recall all the presents and gifts I received in the years past, some in boxes, others with monetary value, and still more that were just priceless, by far, the most important gifts I received were those that came not only on Christmas day but all through out the days of the past years. These were the significant individuals who journeyed with me through life’s winding paths, during my ups and downs and during the times I just didn’t want to make the next step.

Christmas is a time to forgive even if forgiveness is not asked. We forgive because it is the right thing to do. We forgive because we need to be forgiven of our own faults, too. We forgive because it is this that truly brings peace to the heart and soul.

Christmas is a time to say sorry and ask for forgiveness. Letting pride rule in us brings deep anxiety and stress. We can run the gamut of justifications and excuses, but the bottom line is, only in accepting responsibility for our shortcomings and mistakes that we truly learn and grow. Eating lots humble pie is none fattening.

Christmas is a time to share our gifts. Acknowledging first how we have been blessed, it’s a natural instinct God placed in our hearts to share those blessings. Last night, while driving by South Street and Gridley Street right where you find the traffic photo enforcement that causes palpitation to all of us who drive by that spot, all the lanes where stopped from moving by this poor old woman who had difficulty walking and who was crossing the street with both hands holding recyclable bags filled with gifts that need to be wrapped. I prayed in my heart that I would have the same love that woman had in her heart.

Christmas is a time to bring our family together; a time to pray; a time to share stories; a time to accept and respect our differences.

Christmas is a time to remember the poor, the vulnerable, those who are homeless, the forlorn and those gravely affected by natural disasters and wars. We remember them in our prayers. We remember to do something for them on Christmas and the rest of the years to come.

Christmas is a time to look forward to the Lord’s glorious and majestic coming.

Christmas is a time to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. What better way to receive Him than when we receive Jesus worthily in the blessed Sacrament, in the Eucharist.

Finally, Christmas is the time to resolve that the good we initiate on Christmas doesn’t end on Christmas but should extend to the rest of the days of the year. Christmas is not some decoration we bring out during the season and put back in the storage after. Let’s take the path of making everyday of the year a Christmas time.

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