I love Christmas.
When you have little children, it is truly a most magical time.
They believe in everything, from flying reindeer, to an elf on a shelf, to a fairly hefty older man fitting down our chimney into a fireplace that doesn’t even burn real fires or have an opening from which he might escape!
It is wonderful to have such traditions, ideals, and the fun that is gift giving, children’s understanding of this time, and how important it is to them.
Sadly, we only have one child left in that phase of belief. He’s still 11. The older teens are now doing their best to play along with how things work around here, and keep the magic alive for the youngest child.
We know the clock is ticking in this special season of life.
The next phase is also just as amazing – watching your children grow into their own people, with perspectives, opinions, and the beliefs they are now forming – we are thankful to have them in our home for these wonderful years together.
Last Christmas I woke up and enjoyed watching the children tear through wrapped presents and excitedly await the reactions of siblings they’d prepared treasures for.
We ate a delicious breakfast, as annually Mommy makes homemade egg casserole, Popeye pancakes with her special syrup, fresh squeezed orange juice, and thick sliced bacon.
Music played in the background, and I may have sung along to Paul McCartney’s lyric “simply having a wonderful Christmas time…” a little too loud and happily.
And then the phone rang.
It was a dear family friend informing me, to my shock, that my best friend had passed away that very hour surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren.
He was 90 years old. I had thankfully visited him a few days prior.
My heart sank.
D. Chris Poulos would now forever define my new feelings of Christmas, having always been a time of joy, gifts, light and fun, mixed now with loss, sorrow, and extreme need to somehow once again talk about “Heavenly Choreography” with my old buddy.
I mourn with you today if you are missing loved ones, lacking in health, or going through a great challenge.
I hope my words bring you comfort through shared empathy in a time that so many people feel sadness, while it seems all the world is celebrating and feeling happiness.
The Pixar movie “Inside Out” gives the most splendid example of how one can feel happiness, sadness, optimism, and sorrow all at once. I recommend you watch it if unfamiliar.
Perhaps movies such as “It’s A Wonderful Life” can bring some comfort in perspective of how important you are, or “A Christmas Story” to relive a favorite memory of the best gift you ever got as a kid on Christmas.
Or you can just glance over at your Christmas tree;
or see the strung together decorations clinging to the rain gutter on your neighbor’s house next door;
or perhaps notice the lamp by your bedside, and remember the most important reminder of hope there is:
Why are there lights everywhere this time of year?
To light the way, to share the hope, to realize The Promise this time of year is about.
A new star shone above that little town of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, with the annunciation of the greatest moment in the history of mankind.
The Savior is born! Jesus The Christ has come to earth to rescue all of humankind.
Collectively, more people in the world don’t believe this story or moment than do, but I am one who does, and I proudly testify I believe!
A season of light everywhere, leading to this very special day, is the greatest symbol of joy we can express – that the light leads us out of darkness, to a place of happiness, purpose, meaning, contribution, and even salvation.
This light also helps us realize what we can do to live better, reach across the aisle to those who oppose our beliefs or political disagreements and love them even more, to forgive any who have done us wrong, or for us to strive and repent of our misgivings.
Christmas is the ultimate day and time of year to strive to be better, smile, give, and love one another – because of His light!
What it comes down to is, of course, The Promise –
The Promise to share your light;
The Promise to honor loved ones passed, by the way we live today;
The Promise to keep the magic shining bright for our little ones, and to proclaim our love of life to all we encounter through our actions, words, and gifts.
Merry Christmas this beautiful day of redemption, hope, and joy.
May your light shine bright, and may you keep The Promise to give your light to all in your life.
~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Promise Legacy Project Coach
- World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
- Author of “The Promise To The One”