Christmas

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by BJ Robinson

In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV

A cabin in the woods. A roaring fire. Hot chocolate. A rocking chair by the fireside. Flames leap and wood crackles. Smoke rises and wisps out the chimney. A cedar tree cut from the woods adorns the picture window. Christmas music fills the air. Peaceful solitude rocking by the fire.

Not so many years ago times were simple and peaceful and joy filled the air with a Christmas spirit of love and gratitude. Christ our savior was born and came to earth to save mankind many years ago, not only the reason for the season, but also the reason for our very existence.

A few short years ago, this time of the year, hearts were filled with love and kindness. Let’s bring it back. People greeted each other with a happy, “Merry Christmas,” in the holiday spirit. Hearts were light and joyful as they shopped and thought of faces bright and eyes glowing as they watched loved ones open their gifts. It was more blessed to give than to receive as the best part of it all was watching those you loved open the gifts you gave and seeing the reaction on their faces, or helping others who were less fortunate.

Christmas hymns filled the air. I lived in a small town where you could shop at the A&P and hear the music playing from the Catholic Church across the road. No, I’m not Catholic, but I loved the way they shared their hymns with the world. It was such a sweet blessing and drew others into the spirit of the season. I can still hear that music playing when I revisit those times in my head. Oh the joy of stepping from the grocery store into nippy air that made it feel like Christmas and hearing those beautiful songs echoing around as people went about their holiday shopping. The world was a beautiful place.

No one worried about terror filling the streets or holiday parties. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t Catholic and that I was Baptist. I still enjoyed the music provided by the Catholic Church. I don’t remember my parents ever putting down on anyone else’s religion though they had their own. We were a mixture with father Methodist, mother Baptist, and after I lost my father on Christmas Day at four, years later my stepfather was Catholic. People truly had religious freedom. No one tried to shove his religion down another’s throat. We all respected each other. Where has that respect gone? As the song goes, why can’t we all just get along? Why must people be categorized and divided by North and South, black, white, or red, etc.? Hearts filled with love and respect for others as part of the human race, the one that God created in His image, should not try to tear what He built apart.

Yet, even as we toast to peace and harmony and long for such sweet, blissful days, we have to stand strong and firm and think of the safety of our loved ones and our country. How has it come to this? How has it gotten so out of hand? Why can’t we just be happy for one another and help each other when we can? None of us alone can solve the world’s problems, but each one of us can make a difference by the way we treat others. Remember to smile a genuine one and greet people with, “Merry Christmas,” or “Happy Holidays,” if that is what you wish, but don’t take offense by the culture and traditions of others. Understand we all have our own traditions and they mean much to us. Why can’t we have them and let others have theirs without ripping each other to shreds? As for me and mine, it’s, “Merry Christmas,” but I have friends who say, “Happy Holidays,” and I smile and say thank you or wish them a “Merry Christmas”. I don’t see what’s so wrong with one person saying, “Happy Holidays,” and another responding, “Merry Christmas.”

I am old school, and I love to hear “Merry Christmas,” but I don’t disrespect those who would rather say “Happy Holidays.” After all, this is America, the land of the free, with freedom of speech, so how about we keep it that way and not try to force our ways upon others? It would make for so much more peace without strife and conflict.

America is like a seafood gumbo of culture and tradition. They say variety is the spice of life. Let’s bring back true freedom of religion and speech by living and let live. Maybe, just maybe those peace-loving hippies of the sixties had something. We don’t have to smoke pot and be flower children, but we can all love peace and contribute our part to it.

From me and mine, “Merry Christmas,” and may yours be blessed. I hope you really hear the music ringing through the air, the beautiful Christmas hymns of old, no matter the church. If we were all carbon copies, the world would be a boring place. There is room for diversity when it doesn’t try to take away the tradition and culture of another group. When it does, it takes away freedom, something America has always been all about, what we are truly known for, the reason so many want to live in America. Keep America free. Do your part. Live and let live. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Be blessed.

Appreciate the simple things in life, because they are the best gifts from God, the things that money can’t buy, the things that you can’t get back once they are gone. Remember the reason for the season and the whole year.

On another note, I thank God for a Thanksgiving this year that brought three of my children to enjoy it with us. It was the first time in many years that we were all together under one roof. Praise the Lord. I truly enjoyed it. 

Bio:

B. J. RobinsonB. J. Robinson pens a variety of genres in hopes of taking readers to another world, one of love and inspiration. From her humble beginnings in Ragdoll Christmas to romantic suspense, inspirational romance, contemporary, historical romance, short stories, and novellas, her writing will take you to another world if you let it. She desires to entertain and show her love for God, but her books do not preach and have even been enjoyed and reviewed by an atheist who said if more historical romance books were like hers, he’d read them. He also said he couldn’t imagine a Civil War book without God in it due to the times, and that her books were realistic. If you haven’t taken a chance on one, he read The Belle and the Officer, but Siege of Azalea Plantation about the siege of Vicksburg in the historical romance category is newer. If you enjoy romance, mystery, and suspense, her latest book is Cypress Backwater Hideaway, and readers say they were immediately hooked in this tale of redemption. Visit her selection and chose your choice of genre at http://www.amazon.com/B.-J.-Robinson/e/B007DNJIKU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1450609336&sr=8-2-ent 

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