As I sit here, in front of the Christmas tree that I have become so familiar with, I can hear Christmas music playing in the living room and my parents and little sister talking. It's amazing how the simple things during the holidays can bring a smile to my face. Little things, like handmade ornaments on the tree, that any other time of the year just look shabby and childish, are endearing and invaluable this time of year. And my favorite ornament, my Christmas Barbie, that I've had for longer than I can remember, seems infinitely more beautiful in the glow of tree lights. Maybe I'm just overly sentimental, but I can't think of a time when I'm happier than during Christmas. Though it seems that over the years, the reasons behind my happiness have changed. In the beginning, it was the excitement of getting a visit from Santa Clause. It was that barely controlled excited getting into bed on Christmas eve at my grandparent's house, the snow coming down outside the window, and the electric candle burning on the sill. I sometimes wish I could go back to one of those nights, and freeze frame it. How picturesque I must have looked in all of my childlike joy, snuggled up with my little sister, trying so hard to hear Santa's jingle bells on the roof. Sadly, I had to let go of my belief in Santa, but still I had the excitement of presents and family. So though some of the magic dissolved, there was still that excitement and happiness. Over the next few years however, it became clear that something was missing. And that's when I grasped on to the true meaning of Christmas. I've found that the only way to experience true joy over Christmas is to celebrate it's true meaning, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (please note that I originally, accidentally typed Jesus Christmas, how appropriate.) This realization is not something that came to me (or anyone else) overnight. It doesn't matter how many times you hear the Christmas story in church, or in a book, until you allow it to sink into your heart you can't ever truly know Christmas. I have found true FAITH. And thanks to that, you could take away all of the beautifully wrapped presents, and even the special familiar ornaments hanging from the lit tree, but my faith will remain. My joy, my happiness, and my love will remain (que Who's signing Fahoo Forays.)
I am so thankful for the beautiful childhood memories of Santa, snow, and barbie ornaments, but I am even more thankful for my faith and the true happiness that Christmas brings me. And of course for my beautiful, Christ-filled family that I can share my faith with in the true spirit of CHRISTmas.