12 Days of Christmas Journey: Finding JOY


Christmas at Rockefeller Center, NYC. From CNN.

By now, you’ve not doubt heard this tune at least a dozen times … “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

And if you’re like me, you might be wondering, ‘Andy Williams, what in the world were you thinking when you first sang these lyrics?!

For some, the days between the Friday after Thanksgiving until the late hours of December 25th really do comprise the best time of the year.

I’m guessing the majority of those who give this answer are children. Christmastime, through the eyes of a child. seems to be automatically blissful. Do you remember waking up on Christmas morning, stumbling over your sheets as you rubbed your eyes and made a dash to the living room, staring wide-eyed at the tree, sparkling with what had to have been thousands of twinkling lights? … True magic, right?

But for others, this time of the year is like a baked potato loaded with STRESS, slathered with an extra dose of ANXIETY, with a few twists of fresh ground DEPRESSION on top.

If that’s what this time of the year usually feels like, it’s not too appetizing.


Bear likes Christmas, I think…

Maybe that’s why I hear some say, “Why are people so fake this time of year? I can’t take it!

You’re right. This time of the year can be really fake. Why?

For starters, when did Santa and his bag of toys take over the desire of children’s hearts? When did inflatable snowmen and door-buster holiday sales grip our attention with such force?

What happened to the reason why we celebrate Christmas? When did the songs of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” begin to drown in sticky, sugary syrup the notes of “O Come All Ye Faithful”?

Why do we search for gifts to bring us joy, when the real Joy we are receiving is a new hope that came in the birth of Christ – God sending His son so that we may have everlasting life?

Where is that JOY?

Well folks, that’s what I’m in search of – that real Joy that makes this time of the year so wonderful, as that Christmas song so proudly proclaims. Join me for the next 12 days on my journey to find the moments that bring elation to our hearts, the treasures that make comfort triumph over complaints.

Portland, we’re going to find the Christ in Christmas! Are you with me?


The first Christmas. From John Walker.

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