I have well over 40 CDs worth of Christmas music I have acquired over the years. Everything from Bing Crosby to the Tabernacle Choir to Garth Brooks to Trans Siberian Orchestra.
However, my favorite part of Christmas is the stories. My mom has a Christmas movie collection that includes several versions of A Christmas Carol. My favorite version stars the Muppets. Scrooged is another favorite. Other movies include It's a Wonderful life, and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
But my favorite stories are not just in movies. Christmas feels empty without my dad reading The Night Before Christmas. Another personal favorite is The Grinch.
We as a family used to gather on Christmas Eve at my maternal grandmother's for dinner and a program featuring the reading of many stories. It always concluded with my grandfather reading a story called The Christmas Rose, which was sent to my grandparents as a Christmas Card for their first Christmas as a married couple in 1949.
We still get together, though it now happens a Sunday or two before Christmas at my parents' house.
Just before Papa reads The Christmas Rose, someone reads my all time favorite Christmas Story -- The Original, found in the Bible. I had the opportunity to read it this year, holding my barely one-year old nephew Lennon on my lap. I was going to share my thoughts on the event but it got too personal. So, I'll move on.
I find the end of the story my favorite.
"Peace on Earth. Goodwill Toward Men."
To Quote Longfellow:
And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”
I want to wish all of you a most Merry Christmas. May Peace orvail, and may we all have goodwill toward men.