It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” so goes the Christmas song popularized by singer Andy Williams in 1963. According to Wikipedia, the music has continued to make the top 10 list of most favorite Christmas songs every year since Andy Williams crooned it.
Christmas is my most favorite time of the year for many reasons. I’m one of those who waits all year for the traditional Christmas songs and carols and sings them with great joy and nostalgia when they come on the radio or one of the streaming music platforms. I also enjoy the atmosphere of fellowship and goodwill that pervades our lives and is manifested by how people greet each other, gather for holiday social events, and give gifts to one another. And I delight in the colorful lights and decorations, inside and around the community, that add a warm and welcoming glow to our world.
My husband and I added a new tradition this year that we hope our grandchildren will enjoy and savor for years to come. Near our kitchen, we put up a wooden advent calendar on which is painted a scene of a cozy room with a colorfully lit Christmas tree under which gifts have been laid. A fire roars in the fireplace where stockings are hung, and on the mantle sits a Nutcracker, carolers, and a nativity. A chair sits by a window depicting a winter wonderland outside while side a cat sleeps curled on a chair, and a dog sleeps, dreaming on the floor.
Our four-year-old granddaughter comes to our house several times a week to open the doors of the calendar and find what lies behind each. It may be a candy bear, a pair of unicorn socks, or one of the characters from the nativity we are building next to the calendar. I love watching her eyes light up with joy and wonder each time she discovers something new. This year our 23-month-old grandson was too young to participate, but we look forward to next year when he will join in the activity.
Why is Christmas my most favorite time of the year?
The most compelling reason comes from what happened on that silent night of Christmas eve two thousand years ago when a baby was born in a manger and would become the Savior of the World. When all around, darkness and chaos seem to hang over our lives like a menacing cloud, the Christ child’s appearance in history lingers ever brighter above it all, giving us hope, offering refuge from the daily storms we face, cleansing us from the sins we bear. This one event in time inspires us to hold fast to another time when peace on earth and goodwill toward men will be a reality, when “There will be no end to the increase of His [the child’s] government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice” (Isaiah 9:7). There can be nothing more compelling than that.
I wish you a joyous and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Please click on the link here to see an animated card from our house to yours.