Merry Christmas

I’ve been saying “Merry Christmas” with purpose this year.

My faith is rooted in the birthday of Jesus. I determined this year to not default to a cursory Merry Christmas, a seasonal substitute for “have a good day” as I move on. Instead, I’ve been striving for a bit more connection. This year, when I tell someone Merry Christmas, I want them to feel like they’ve been engaged.

First, I’ve been looking at them when I say it. This particularly with people I encounter as I travel. I pause, capture their attention, and wish them “Merry Christmas.” Without exception, I get a smile. I might be imagining it, but the purposeful effort seems to resonate with others. I can tell it has been an exception.

It goes a little deeper if I know you.

When I say Merry Christmas, I’m hoping to brighten your day. When Jesus was born, it is said that the dark night was suddenly filled with light. Christmas reminds me to be a light.

When I say Merry Christmas, I hope you feel my affection for you. When Jesus was born, it was said to be a “love letter” from God. Christmas reminds me to be grateful for the place where I am and being surrounded by the people who are in my life: family, friends and colleagues. Christmas reminds me that I’ve been given a lot and the best way to express my gratitude is by caring for and honoring the special folks around me.

When I say Merry Christmas, I hope you will be tapping into the spirit of the season. I hope there is reconciliation where reconciliation is needed. I hope there is peace where fear can often reside. I hope there is joy which comes from a generous heart.

So, with that understanding, I wish you a heartfelt Merry Christmas. May peace, joy and goodwill abound as you celebrate the day.

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