As children anticipate the coming of Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer and pray for a winter wonderland, many parents and guardians quietly suffer, because they know it really is going to be a blue Christmas. But hope does spring eternal. Joy in your own world can be found. And although you may not deck or decorate your hall or your wall, you need only look in your mirror to find a reason to have hope and faith. What you see looking back at you is YOU! And you, dear friend, are the reason hope is still alive.
You can have yourself a merry little Christmas filled with faith, joy, love and hope of better days to come. Remarkably, none of these things can be bought or given as gifts, for they are all intrinsic and can only come with deep introspection and self-reflection.
Faith is the foundation. It believes in the impossible, even when you can't see it. Hope is faith in action. It is not wishful thinking or dreaming. It is not mindless yearning and longing. It is not even the ever-popular "positive thinking." Hope is a confident expectation and firm assurance regarding those things you have faith in. As long as you have life and health, you have reason to hope.
Joy is that unspeakable, untouchable intangible and something we all long for and earnestly seek. Joy is more than happiness -- it is long lasting. Happiness on the other hand, is fleeting. It is that euphoric feeling that puts butterflies in our belly. We get happy over a new car, a dream vacation, a new dress or toy. Once your faith is activated and your hope shines through, joy becomes an undeniable force in your life that leads to love. Love is not the infatuation. Love constrains us and abounds in us. Love is the binder, which holds all other graces in place.
So we encourage you to live a life filled with love. Love everyday you're given. Love the little things. Love the laughter of a child. Love the beauty of glistening, fresh-fallen snow. Love the sweet and fragrant smell of roses blooming in the spring. Above all, love yourself. In this season of celebration and expressions of love and joy, search your heart for the thing that makes you feel worthy and alive.
As we gather this holiday season, whether it is to celebrate the birth of Christ or simply to spend time with friends and family, let us reflect on all the endless possibilities that a life overflowing with faith, hope, joy and love can bring.
So, while your jingle bells may not rock and you have less than 12 days to Christmas, what you do have is love, joy, faith and hope, which are freely given. And yes, baby, though it is cold outside, it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.