It is hard to believe, but once again we are well into the Holiday, Christmas, time to be jolly, Season.  Thanksgiving has past and we have now turned our focus to Christmas trees, decorations, and shopping.  Let me remind you again...."...tis the season to be jolly..."

For many the Holiday Season is not so jolly.  First, the stress of getting the decorations out of the attic, untangling the lights and getting them on the tree during our already busy schedules produces stress.  Stress that sometimes results in anger...."WHY ARE THESE BLASTED LIGHTS BLINKING!!!!"

Second, the Holiday Season often brings depression, disappointment, and despair.   It may be financial, relational, or even spiritual--but often times the Holiday Season is a season of despair.

And finally, but not last, is the concept of misconception that often robs us of our "jolly."  When the commercial aspects of Christmas is all we know it often leads to a sense of emptiness and leaves us unfulfilled.  When the birth of Christ is not our focus there tends to be a lack of meaning and purpose in Christmas.   At one time, the day that we celebrate as Christmas was a pagan, drunken festival celebrated in selfish indulgence.  When Christ became a part of the celebration the focused changed to sharing, giving, helping others, etc.

I believe when Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph both giggled a bit.  They were new parents filled with joy and their "jolly" came out.  I believed the shepherds grinned and maybe even laughed a bit when they found a baby lying in a manger.  They were filled with hope and their "jolly" came out.  I believe that Simeon leaped for joy when the baby Jesus was brought to the Temple on his eighth day.  And old man "leaped" with joy because his "jolly" came out.

Maybe if we are serious about keeping Christ is Christmas we should be filled with joy, no matter the circumstance, and let our "jolly" come out.

This is my story...