I love Christmas. It is easy to get distracted by all the shopping and sales and extreme commercialism of it all, but I love Christmas for a different reason. It began with a simple tradition that my parents initiated.
I come from a very large family. I am the fifth of nine children and seven of us are boys. Perhaps my parents felt a sense of increasing competition and rowdiness among us, or maybe there were other factors, but when I was a young child, we began the tradition of writing Christmas letters to each other. Each family member would write one letter to every other family member, and we would sit in a circle in the living room on Christmas Eve, distribute our letters, and then read them silently. The glow of the Christmas tree and the gentle sound of Christmas carols playing softly in the background completed the mood. I shed many tears while reading those letters, and at least at that moment of the year felt truly connected with my whole family.
The purpose of these letters was to communicate our love and appreciation to each other. We were not a family that openly shared affection, so this was a great opportunity to communicate how we really felt about each other. Some letters were very brief, and some were long, but I appreciated them all, and I have kept them safe over these many years. I will occasionally read through them and I can’t help but smile as I am instantly taken back to those wonderful memories.
I chose to continue this tradition with my own children, and it has always been the highlight of my Christmas season. It helps to remind me of what is most important in life. The relationships that we build are some of the few things that have any staying power in this busy, frantic world, and it is nice to take some time to appreciate what we have.
In my opinion, Christmas really is all about love anyway. God loves us so He sent His Son. Jesus showed us how to love and told us to love one another. May your hearts be full of love now, and always. I hope you can take time in your Christmas season to appreciate the loved ones in your life!