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'Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas.'Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009, at 12:28 PM
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
-- Isaiah 9:6 (New International Version)
No matter how much the secular and "non-believing world" would like to detach Christ from Christmas, it just doesn't happen.
I get very annoyed when I hear that it is not politically-correct or proper to simply say "Merry Christmas."
Many prefer "Happy Holidays."
The good news of Christmas is not its date in history, but the true celebration to commemorate the birth of Christ -- the savior of Christians.
The Christmas season for the believer is not a time for selfish feasting, gift-buying and being entrenched with the commercialized things that don't really matter.
Instead, it is a time for spreading good cheer, being with family and sharing the important message, "Unto you is born a Savior."
Friday, the Christmas holiday will be observed again and we are vividly reminded not to forget the true reason for the season.
The true meaning of Christmas cannot be found in Santa Claus, in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," or in Dr. Seuss' memorable story "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
It is not the receiving -- or even the giving -- of gifts, but gifts play a role.
Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ -- the ultimate gift anyone could receive.
It's true meaning has been wonderfully chronicled through the years by many in print.
The late Oren Arnold, an Arizona writer and newspaper editor who died in 1980, offers the following when it comes to Christmas gift suggestions: "To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect."
Another former journalist Burtin Hillis suggests, "The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: The presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
Hillis was actually a columnist and author named William E. ("Bill") Vaughan, who wrote a syndicated column for the Kansas City Star from 1946 until his death in 1977. He was published in Reader's Digest and Better Homes and Gardens under the pseudonym Burton Hillis.
Journalist W.C. Jones says, "The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas."
Famed crooner the late Bing Crosby, who made the song "White Christmas" a long-standing caroling tradition, said, "Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'."
I have to admit there have been years when I just didn't feel in the Christmas mood and my family will attest that I was more like Ebenezer Scrooge than a loving husband, father and grandfather ought to be.
Too often we get caught up in doing our own thing and forget what this day and this season really means.
I hope I've matured and learned from my past mistakes when it comes to Christmas. To me, Christmas is about being with family and spending quality time together and remembering that Christ came to earth as our Redeemer.
I recently came across an anonymous-attributed quote that pretty well sums up what Christmas ought to mean to all of us. It really hit home with me.
"Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display -- so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn't the holly, it isn't the snow. It isn't the tree not the firelight's glow. It's the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again."
As we continue with this Christmas season and prepare for the dawning of a new year, let's not forget the words written by the late Helen Keller, an American author, political activist and lecturer, who was the first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree. Her touching story has become known worldwide through the depictions in the play and film, "The Miracle Worker."
She said, "The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart."
Merry Christmas to everyone and please open your eyes and not be blind. See the beauty of the season this year.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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