that lasts a lifetime and beyond reflected by my wife and me. If you want a magical holiday season, give yourself in love beyond what you traditional are willing to surrender. Seize the opportunity and have the courage to tell those around you how much you care and appreciate them.
In today's rushed society this holiday we should make every effort and encourage our friends and family as well as ourselves to reduce the many unnecessary obligations, pervasive card writing, never-ending baking, excessive decorating and needless overspending. Sharing quality time with family and friends is unmistakably more important than finding yourself severely exhausted, unable to appreciate those you love or even missing the true meaning of Christmas.
Maybe this explains why so many people have difficulty getting into the "spirit of Christmas." The self-imposed exhaustion, coupled with the fact that merchants have now extended the holiday season to well before Thanksgiving probably leads to Christmas fatigue and loss of spiritual significance. This also means another holiday has lost meaning, of course maybe it is my heart that is in the wrong place.
The brave men and women who so eagerly wait for peace in the battles they fight for our security yearn for the peace at home, and peace on earth. Let's begin by bringing peace to our homes. Peace on earth, which man throughout the ages has so longed for and sought after, can never be established, never guaranteed, except by the diligent adherence to the divinely established order.
We are reminiscent of the Prophet Isaiah who wrote centuries ago: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6). It is true that Christmas, the day in which we celebrate the birth of Christ, probably is not an accurate reflection of the birthday of our savior. But anyone who seeks the true peace and lasting joy needs to reflect on the babe of Bethlehem and the sacrifice for sinners he was to become.
I am now more determined than ever to celebrate Christmas, appreciate my family and friends and remember those that risked their lives, fortunes and honor so that I could do those things. For those that are angry year round, let this holiday season be an exception. If you need to reconcile with anybody, friend or foe, make this Christmas an opportunity to do so. As Charles Spurgeon preached many years ago: "May God give you peace with yourselves; may he give you good will towards all your friends, your enemies, and your neighbors; and may he give you grace to give glory to God in the highest."
I wish you the happiest Christmas you ever had. I hope that you have a memorable holiday and a wonderful time with those you love. I also wish you have a safe and happy and prosperous New Year's in 2005 as well.
We should strive to be kind and affectionate to others. If we always lived everyday at peace with God, it would be the merriest Christmas we ever experience in all our lives everyday in our heart. As my wise mother, Linda Bowman Lawhorn used to remind me "he who has no Christmas in his heart will never find Christmas under a tree." Jesus is the reason for the season. But really he is the reason for every season.
--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached by email at: