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From Our House To Yours - Merry Christmas

Ivy Contributor: Jim Kearney

"Silent Night:.., "Jingle Bells"...,"White Christmas"..., "All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" or, "All I want for Christmas is You!". All these Christmas songs demonstrate the ways we celebrate Christmas; none are exclusive to the other.

Christmas is a widely celebrated holiday around the world in just about all languages. Except for a few disturbing corners of society, people are not judged as to how they enjoy Christmas; that is as it should be.

  • For me and my family it is a Holy Time marking the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ.

  • For other people it is solely a time for their family to come together and exchange gifts, attend office parties and overindulge in food and drinks.

  • For many it's a commercial time for their business to make their profit for the year.

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph that it is possible to embrace all of the above and I have done so over my many years.

Sadly in some cases it is also a time to take advantage of people of good will and their generosity. I'm not going to go into that in this article only to say for you to be very careful and check any person or organization before committing to their support.

I say, "Merry Christmas", some won't but will say, "Happy Holidays" and that's fine. I trust and believe in the basic goodness within my family and friends as I do for most in other communities. That all good people approach Christmas with that good will towards all attitude.

One example is a special custom, long ago established, that is enjoyed by just about The Three Wise Men Stampeveryone and is derived from the actual event, is the giving of gifts to one another. It comes from the gifts given by the Three Wise Men to Jesus in acknowledgment of the fulfillment of the many prophecies surrounding the birth of The Son of God.

Christmas in My Home:

It starts four weeks before the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It's a time of preparation, for the coming of Christ, and it is called Advent. When we say to celebrate His coming it not only means the birth of Christ but in anticipation of His Second Coming.

Advent starts on Advent Sunday; the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day.

The traditions within the Mass such as the lighting of the Advent Candles, specific readings and songs , all help in our preparation.

Important, beyond the traditional Christmas tree, Manger and decorations, is that we do a Christmas Novena that helps us prepare at home or as we travel.

There are several variations of the prayer but ultimately the prayer hails the Birth of Jesus, his blessed Mother the Virgin Mary and the conditions in which He was born in Bethlehem. We then ask God to receive our petition and to hear our prayers. It's a short prayer that's said fifteen times, at one sitting, every day during Advent.

We do, happily, share in the social festivities running up to Christmas. The dinners, parties, good food, seasonal songs and Christmas movies all help to get us into the holiday Spirit.

But we try not to let all that merriment overshadow the true meaning of Christmas for us.

His Birth, His life, His sacrifice for us and His promise to come again.


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