Christmas brings joy to many

By Joan Clayton: Religion Columnist

Here we go again! Will it ever stop? Excuse me, but I’m getting weary of those who want to take Christmas away from me. A news commentator has called it the “War on Christmas.” So we don’t know the exact date our Savior was born. I’m thankful we have one day to celebrate his birth. It is the greatest event in the history of mankind. No other single event has affected the world as much as this man called Jesus!

Centuries foretold about the coming of Jesus in the Old Testament and the prophecies concerning Jesus fulfilled in the New Testament. A few of them are stated here:

“So I rejoice and am glad. Even my body has hope, because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your holy one rot” (Psalm 16:9-10 NCV Old Testament)

“He has risen from the dead as he said he would. Come and see the place where his body was. And go quickly and tell his followers, ‘Jesus has risen from the dead. He is going into Galilee ahead of you, and you will see him there.’ Then the angel said, ‘Now I have told you’” (Matthew 28:6-7 NCV).

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9 NIV Old Testament).

“They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them” (Matthew 21:7 NIV New Testament).

No other brings hope and abundance for this earthly journey. None other brings peace like the “Prince of Peace.” None other want the highest good for its converts, and certainly no other gives life abundantly here and an eternal home in the hereafter.

Yet with these wonderful truths, hostility arouses. Animosity is stirred up resulting in the removal of Nativity scenes, the banning of Christmas plays and even the prohibition of the singing of Christmas carols.

I had an aunt who said she “didn’t keep Christmas.” How do you not keep Christmas? Do you put it in a box? Yet Aunt Mary would bring candy, popcorn balls and goodies to our house at Christmas.

I love to walk in a store and hear those carols playing. It fills my heart with cheer.
Again, I will seek out the manager and express my appreciation for honoring the birth of Jesus with those carols. I love to shop where people say, “Merry Christmas!” “Happy Holidays” doesn’t cut it for me; neither does “Winter Holiday.”

To say the least, this one time a year, the world hears a message of hope. I pray for the soldiers who yearn to be home again.

Home! The very word makes us joyful to be in a house with love in it. Just to be home again, if only for a little while … to hear the laughter, taste mom’s cooking and see the faces of those you love.

Without Jesus, there is no purpose in life, only emptiness, loneliness and frustration. He is what Christmas is all about. How many people are all wrapped up in pretty ribbons and shiny paper on the outside, but on the inside just hurting little empty boxes? Christmas is a celebration of life because of the one who gave his life.

My husband says I have Christmas every day. Well, why not? I say, “Let’s have Christmas every day!” I get excited and become a kid again. My tree has been up a month already. I’ve been baking for weeks. My divinity is great. I don’t have to make “Boo Boo Balls’ this Christmas with gooey divinity. I found a new recipe and I will gladly share it.

Christmas is in my heart and no one can take it from me. I’m going for it! We will read the story in Luke and we’ll sing Christmas carols. Then we’ll gather around the fireplace and have punch and cookies, talking about what Jesus means to us.
They can’t take Christmas away from me!