For some, it's a time of giving and getting, a time to spend more money than should be spent to buy things that nobody really needs. For others, it's a time of quiet religious reflection.
For some, Christmas is a special, family time, sharing precious hours with those that we care about. For others, it's a time of loneliness and hurt.
For some, Christmas is a deeply significant time to remember the birth of Jesus and reflect on the meaning of his coming to earth. For others, it is merely another day, sharing space in the holiday season with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and New Year's Day.
For some, Christmas is a desperately needed time to sell goods and make one last bit of profit in a difficult year. For others, it's a time to protest the religious misconceptions that abound in this celebration.
With sentiments like these vying with one another for the place of prominence in our thinking, it's easy for us to feel more than a bit overwhelmed. If you're feeling swept away, let me offer some ancient words of wisdom:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:6-9).
May there be peace on earth during these coming days and months, and may there be peace in your life. If I can help you find peace, don't hesitate to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment at http://www.hopeforlife.org .