Friday, December 5, 2008

i love christmas.

I love Christmas. I do. I always have. When we were younger, my sister and I used to itch to listen to Christmas music as early as possible. In my home, of course, there were classic albums that were played over and over during the holidays. Really, the only albums we owned. This may have been because we only bought Christmas music during one era of our lives and never got around to getting upgrades or (the more obvious and likely answer) these are the best Christmas albums to ever exist. Hard to say. Nevertheless, Christmas with the Stars 1996, Philips, Craig and Dean: Repeat the Sounding Joy, and the Dominic the Donkey tape are the songs permanently associated with the holidays in my heart. 

I just love the joy of Christmas. I love the way my heart feels so full when my family is together. There is something about the holiday season in America that just makes whatever really awful stuff is going on seem a little less in the forefront of our minds and brings the simply wonderful things to our attention. And it's not that people don't hurt over Christmas. Because I know they do. I know that for some Christmas is a dreaded time of year. But I also know that people are good. And they care for others. And that Christmas is one of the biggest times of year that people look beyond themselves and give to others. I love that too. 

Tonight I got to hear some pretty remarkable Christmas music and all at once I found myself swept away in the beauty of... well, Christmas. Not the holidays and the activities. Not even my family or our traditions. But the fact that Jesus - my Jesus - was born. It might sound silly or cheesy or naive, but the reason I love Christmas is because a baby boy was born and that same tiny little infant grew up into a man that cared so deeply for people that He died for them. For me.  I love the way that music makes my heart and soul stir. The way that I can feel deep inside me the words of these simple, familiar songs. I don't care that I've heard them thousands of times, a thousand different ways... I resonate with them.-- O holy night! The stars are brightly shining! This is the night of our dear Savior's birth. Fall on your knees! Can you hear the angel's voices? What a divine night! This night, when Christ was born. -- I just can't think of a more beautiful way to rejoice in the birth of Jesus. That's all. 

I love that Christmas reminds us to rejoice. To stop what we're doing and take some time to just say words like, Gloria! and Emmanuel! and Hark! Haha. We don't often allow ourselves or find ourselves in a position where it's comfortable to outwardly exclaim that we are so happy that Jesus was born and that he lived and lives still today. And tonight I just loved being swept away in that glory. Hope that's okay with you. And I don't mean to neglect those who experience less than okay holiday seasons for various reason. Because I know how important it is to be actively reaching out and seeing those people, helping them, and telling them that a baby was born so that they could have life. You know? Yeah. I just want to take some time to revel in the blessings of a time of year set aside to remember. Remember Jesus and family and hope and healing. 

A Blessed Christmas Season to you!