Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about?

There is something that is greatly different about this holiday season. It seems as though the events that took place in Newtown, CT are still having a rippling effect that I just can’t seem to shake.

Last night, as I was getting ready to wrap up a pile of Christmas gifts, I was almost filled with a sense of guilt. Clearly there has to be more to this holiday season than this.

For the past five years, I have hosted Christmas Eve at my home. I always go out of my way to make sure that every bulb is perfectly placed, that my Grandmothers’ Christmas china is properly displayed, and that we are dressed impeccably for the occasion.

I spend so much time on dinner and clean up, that I often rob myself of the opportunity to fully enjoy my family.

When I stop and think of the victims in Newtown, CT, their families would gladly forfeit all of the Christmas glitz and glamour to be able to hold their family close just one more time.

This year, my family has decided that our time together will be the primary focus of our Christmas Eve dinner. This year, things are going to be different.

On Christmas Eve we will be embarking on a new tradition; each family member will show up in their ugliest sweater. We will be eating pizza and salad on paper plates. We will sit, talk, and laugh together. We will allow ourselves the time to truly enjoy one another.

We will remember what the true meaning of Christmas is all about:

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men. That’s what Christmas is all about. – Linus

What I’m quickly remembering is that I don’t need all the excess to make this time perfect, all I really need are the people who mean the most to me in my life. All I need is to get back to the basics of Christmas.

We don’t know what next year is going to bring but I do know that this year we are all together and that is really our greatest blessing.

That my friends, is what Christmas is all about.


PS. How do you plan to spend your holidays?