Finding Christmas Joy Throughout the Year

Anyone who follows me on FaceBook knows I love Christmas.Hope Tree - GW

Starting in January, I begin the holiday countdown. On the 25th of the month I proudly proclaim how many more months we have until Christmas. Those who share my joy quickly “like” the posts; others are tempted to block me.

Perhaps my love of Christmas is due, in part, to my December birthday. As a young child the 355-day wait to open presents seemed like an eternity. While my parents always maintained a separate birthday celebration from the Christmas holiday, the two are still intertwined.

And I now rejoice in sharing the same birth month as my Savior.

Or perhaps my love of Christmas is due to the temporary transformation of the ordinary. As the popular Christmas song, Silver Bells, states, common everyday street lights become holiday decorations with their green and red lights glowing at the intersection.

In residential neighborhoods, twinkling white lights decorate otherwise drab winter streets. Evergreen wreaths and bright red bows greet weary shoppers.

I can’t help but smile and feel joy at this time of year.

Perhaps it is because Christmas is steeped in family traditions. We break out the eggnog, carols, and holiday decorations the Friday after Thanksgiving and deck the halls with trees and holly.

We build Gingerbread Houses in December and then eat them on New Years. We bake our favorite Christmas cookies and enjoy sharing them with co-workers and friends.

We dust off the holiday movies and watch them throughout the season: White Christmas, Preacher’s Wife, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Miracle on 34th Street. The Italian vigil on Christmas Eve is the climax of the season.

My eldest, who shares my love of the holiday, told me recently, “Mom, you always made Christmas magical.”

She was referring to the individually wrapped stocking gifts for each and person. And Santa always visits our house, leaving something special for adults and children alike. Some may argue this is placing an improper emphasis on the holiday, but I disagree.

Christmas is magical. A young virgin was selected by God Almighty to carry His son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  From the time He was born in a Bethlehem stable until his crucifixion and resurrection, over 300 Old Testament scriptures were fulfilled.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  – Luke 2:8-14

The Christmas Story is indeed a magical fairy tale, and as JRR Tokien once said, “It is the greatest myth ever told because it is TRUE.”

Christ came to abolish the law so we might live free of its tyranny. Love, forgiveness and acceptance of others are the only rules to govern us today. Christmas Joy is indeed worthy of celebration every day of the year.

©2015 Molly Totoro for GateWay of Hope

Molly Totoro is a writer who has a heart and passion for authentic living. She firmly believes “Everyone has a story to share.” Molly helps others write their stories to impact future generations. Follow Molly’s new blog series, “How to Journal” at Revising Life after 50.