The most wonderful time of the year

A friend on Facebook started complaining about Christmas the day after Halloween. If this year is like last year, his complaints will continue throughout the season.

What’s he mad about? You name it. Christmas is too commercial. Too secular. Too pagan. Too materialistic. Too this and too that.

He’s mad because stores capitalize on the birth of Jesus by displaying Christmas decorations. And then he’s mad that employees say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

He’s mad because no one else (but him, apparently) understands the true reason for the season. Of course, based on his comments, it would appear that the true reason is just to complain.

I really don’t understand that point of view. For me, this is (as the song goes) the most wonderful time of the year. When else can you hear music about Jesus played in shopping centers day after day? When else can families can watch TV together without being subjected to the typical primetime vulgarities? When else do so many people make a sincere effort to embody principles of the Christian faith, such as kindness and generosity?

This is a wonderful time because so many events — the specifically sacred and the seemingly secular — point to the greatest moment in human history: the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So, when I hear Andy Williams sing that song, I think: Andy, you’re exactly right. This is the most wonderful time of the year. The birth of Jesus makes it so.


The gift of humility

Our children will soon head back to school (some already have), and they’ll either ask – or answer – that natural question, “What did you get for Christmas?” Some children don’t get many presents.  Maybe their family can’t afford it.  Or they’ve decided to focus less on the material aspects of the holidays.  Either way, we can use this situation to teach our children a lesson in humility.  First, if they did get a lot of gifts, we can tell them how bragging makes us look bad and others feel worse.  And by not asking the question of their classmates, they might prevent hurt feelings.  Holiday gifts are wonderful… but holiday humility is even better.

A wonderful life

One of the greatest Christmas movies of all time, It’s a Wonderful Life, highlights the life of an ordinary man, George Bailey, and paints of picture of what things would be like if he had never existed.  It completely changed his perspective.  If you’re a little down during this Christmas season, realize how much you mean to your wife, your children, your other family and friends and how much worse off they would be if you were not in the picture.  Your presence is truly their best present this Christmas.

Black Friday is approaching

It is getting very close to Black Friday — the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season. But a great bargain isn’t so great if it means spending the holidays in extra debt.  Instead of getting carried away by all the big sales and promotions, set some limits in writing before you leave the house. If you haven’t already, create a detailed holiday budget for gifts, decorations, and special grocery items—and stick with it. Write down exactly who you are shopping for and what types of gifts you are looking for. Go shopping with a plan . . . and enjoy the holiday season without going into debt.

The real meaning of Christmas

Did you know that more people have heard the Christmas story from Linus, the character in Peanuts, than from anybody else.  If you want to watch it, go to: and notice that he puts aside his ever-present security blanket… the only time in the comic strip he ever does so. 

Merry Christmas!!