Christmas has been so dear to my heart as far back as I can remember. As a child the secular and the sacred parts mixed together into a homogenous blend.
In Sunday School we sang "Away In A Manger" and listened again to the beautiful Christmas story. In the stores I sat on Santa's lap and asked for some special little thing that my heart desired. We put up the nativity scene and the Christmas tree. My dad made a wooden moving silhouette scene for the window of the Wise Men enroute while also putting up multi-color lights. Smells of cinnamon wafted out of the kitchen as mother made her famous filled cookies and then later the smells of my dad's Christmas candies filled the house. It all seemed to go together.
Today there are those who want to take the Christmas experience apart and dissect it and cut out Jesus. What a strange idea that Jesus might offend someone. A baby born who came to teach us to love and forgiveness and God's Love for us and oneness and spiritual understanding is now controversial. Who did that? Was it the media desperate for a story who magnified the delicateness of the atheist or people of other religions? Was it the ACLU wanting to control everything? Was it the Madison Avenue advertising geniuses who wanted to make it a commercial venture? Was it our lack of courage when we didn't say "ENOUGH ALREADY!"?
For me Christmas is a sacred time, even with Santa and elves and trees decorated. It has changed in my life. My parents are not on earth any longer. My family is scattered. There are painful memories of the Christmas when the father of my children had an aneurysm and died. There are current painful moments due to some family crises. But, the child WAS born. The child grew up. The child died. And the child LIVES again.
My hope and prayer is that The Child will be born in the cradle of millions of hearts this Christmas and a great spiritual awakening will ignite a wave of love and peace. Let us call forth this awakening together, first by being a welcoming place for the Christ Child in our own hearts and lives, and then in the hearts and lives of millions, even billions of others. Let us call forth a Christmas miracle together.