Christmas! It is music, memories and traditions. The message is timeless. Christmas Day will come and go but the meanings can stay with us always, and should, particularly, this year. There have been unparalleled tragedies and challenges that impact our being but at Christmas the meaning can sustain us and above all, keep hope alive.
Often we work up to the holiday as an event. We spend our time shopping and preparing for the day. It really isn’t all about the stress. Kids usually expect less than we believe we must buy. Families long just for moments together. It is in these special times memories are made. Then the day is here and gone and we ask, is that all there was? Yet it is so much more than that if we pause to experience its message. It will go on and on if we let it. It is a season of beautiful music and of song in the essence of heartfelt love and traditions. We have favorite carols and the melodies that take us away to Christmases past. And we smile, if only for moment.
Christmas is the message of joy, love, peace and hope for a struggling world — the same as centuries ago. On a clear Christmas night, when the world lays still, you can hear the angels’ chorus in your heart. We seek Currier & Ives picture perfect Christmas. Sleighs jingle through beautiful new fallen snow. Bing Crosby sings “White Christmas,” George Bailey gets his life back, Clarence gets his wings and children excitedly await Santa’s visit. This is how it should be. That is how we dream it to be. That is how it could be if we choose to hold Christmas in our hearts year-round. Together we can make this a better world. We so desperately need each other this year. We need to live the Christmas story. The New Year will bring challenges enough. Life is truly a process and Christmas can be as well. Finding peace this Christmas and giving someone renewed hope is the best gift of all. With the Christ child we have received the most important of gifts, unseen but profound for our life journeys.
Look through the tinsel and glitter to visit the quiet places of your soul. The light of the Christ child is there. Find the beauty next to you in the hearts of those around you. So many times we fail to look deep enough to see it. We judge books by their cover and fail to see what is most beautiful near us at all. When Susan Boyle stepped on the stage the audience snickered at her frumpy appearance and cynically wondered why would she even bother? Then she sang. They listened in awe to an incredible and beautiful voice: from the most unlikely appearance. Yes, beauty of the soul does exit. Look deeply at those near with gratitude and know. Beauty within is so much more powerful than the shallow glimpses of what we see with our eyes. True beauty of the soul is what we see with our hearts. Discover it this Christmas.
The Christmas story is remarkable because God chose to bring us priceless gifts of hope and love through the life of a baby born in a stable: Timeless gifts for us all. The wise men brought worldly gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, yet these gifts did not last. The love for and of the Christ child endures because it is ours to permanently accept. Sing joyously this Christmas. See the beauty of Christmas in others and be thankful. Pray that we create miracles of peace, joy, love and hope for a broken world year-round. Make memories, music and listen. You might just hear angels singing.
PHIL G. BUSEY SR., an Edmond resident, is chairman and CEO of The Busey Group of Companies.