There was probably a time in each of our lives, when we were aware of the true meaning of Christmas. Rather than numbing ourselves into unconsciousness with endless preparations for the holiday celebration, we were able to "see" clearly what was important to us in this season of celebrating "perfect love made human". Often, as children, before we began to look at life as hard, heavy, or evil, we saw the world as the most abundant place, filled with all we needed and more. Christmas was filled with anticipation, magic, simple joy. As we have grown older, we became aware of dreams not fulfilled, suffering surrounding our lives and those we love, evil and lack which is a part of many of our brother's and sister's daily existance. We lost the magic and wonder of Christmas. Thus, we now numb ourselves to the greater truth that is with us not only on Christmas, but throughout the year: The world is no less a magical place than it was when we were children. The manner in which the universe operates has not changed. It is our beliefs and expectations which have shifted, causing us to behave in such a way through our overindulgence and excess that we become numb to what we knew as children.
How do we gain back our childhood wonder and magic? The Grinch thought that he could end the magic of Christmas by stealing the superficial trimmings of the celebration. What he found was that for the Whos, Christmas still came with all its wonder and joy because they still believed in the goodness of those around them and the world in general. We must trust that all is right with the world and we are right where we are meant to be providing love and service to those in our family, our neighborhood, our community. It is a universe of infinite possibilities and limitless abundance. Chosing to believe in the inherent goodness all around us, we must be vigilant and committed to our conscious choice to believe in the wonder and magic of Christmas. Allowing our hearts to grow three sizes larger as the Grinch did when he became conscious of the truth of Christmas, we will know that truth as well. Christmas is not about wants and needs. It is not about how many Christmas trees are beautifully displayed with hundreds of twinkling lights in our homes. It is not about finding the endless list of gifts our loved ones feel we need to purchase and wrap and give to each of them. No, the wonder and magic of Christmas is best known through our reaching out in love to our family, friends, neighbors, community, the world. Allowing God to love others through our deeds, words, thoughts... And like the "simple shepherds, we hear the angel and find the Lamb; like the wise men, we see the Light of a star and find our wisdom." (Fulton J Sheen)
So I close with a blessing from Fra Giovanni in 1513 A.D. "And so at this Christmas time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away."
May you find gratitude and peace during this most holy of Christmas seasons,
Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. Calvin Coolidge
I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year. Charles Dickens
Christmas is the time when you get homesick-even when you're home. Carol Nelson
Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most. Ruth Carter Stapleton
Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don't quite know how to put our love into words. Harlan Miller
To perceive Christmas through its wrapping becomes more difficult with every year. E B White
Wretched excess is an unfortunate human trait that turns a perfectly good idea such Chritmas into a frenzy of last minute shopping. Jon Anderson
It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you...Yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Consider Christmas-could Satan in his most malignant mood have devised a worse combination of graft plus bunkum than the system whereby several hundred million people get a billion or so gifts for which they have no use, and some thousands of shop clerks die of exhaustion while selling them, and every child in the Western world is made ill from overeating-all in the name of the lowly Jesus. Upton Sinclair
The simple shepherds heard the voice of an angel and found their Lamb; the wise men saw the light of a star and found their wisdom. Fulton Sheen
And so at this Christmas time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.