• Karen Heckman Stork

And so it Begins….Christmaspalooza

Or does the Christmas Season now begin along with Halloween? To see the stores for the past month or more, you’d certainly think so. But I do look forward to and totally enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday for its emphasis on family, food and gratitude. And this year I had a wonderful family celebration in Virginia with my daughter, son-in-law and both grandkids.

But then (seemingly without any time to even catch our breath) it’s time to turn to the magical, beautiful story of Christmas. And of course, “Christmas Palooza”. Shopping for the perfect gift for family, friends, teachers, mailmen, and on and on, Santa Claus, wrapping and hiding presents, decorating the house, finding and decorating the perfect tree, baking cookies. It seems unending and overwhelming! All these expectations of what it takes to have the “perfect” family holiday. But all these activities are only the extraneous trappings, and not the reason for the season.

If you’re a Christian, of course, Christmas is really a celebration of the wondrous birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. If you are not Christian, Christmas still is a holiday of celebrating family and helping those less fortunate than ourselves.

Following are some of my favorite quotes about Christmas that emphasize the reason for the season:

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God…Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Christian Bible, Luke 2:11-2:14.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy is to have the real spirit of Christmas. — Calvin Coolidge

Christmas, my child, is love in action. — Dale Evans

And it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us. Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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