For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. -- John 3:16
Is is the time of year we celebrate the birth of Christ, yet it seems that it has become more and more about an arbitrary holiday, one that is about reindeer, elves, eggnog, mistletoe, tree decorating, and frantic shopping for gifts (many to be returned) at the last moment. As I grow older, I care less and less about the trappings and more about faith, hope, and charity -- with a deep gratitude for forgiveness.
At the core, the celebrations should be about healing, the kind of healing that happens from forgiving others and hopefully being forgiven in turn. Whether it be with family, friends, co-workers, or complete strangers, we should be appreciating the good things we have and letting go of the hurts of the world. That is the only way that love can be felt and this holiday is one about the love of God for His children on Earth.
So while I don't feel the "Christmas spirit" this year (or the last few years), I am focusing on what really matters: family, friends, and faith. Those things run deeper than any amount of candy canes or presents can and aren't as easily forgotten.