CHRIS RICE COOPER is a newspaper writer, feature stories writer, poet, fiction writer, photographer, and painter. She maintains a blog at www.chrisricecooper.blogspot.com. She has a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice and completed all of her poetry and fiction workshops required for her Master’s in Creative Writing with a focus on poetry. She, her husband Wayne, sons Nicholas and Caleb, cats Nation and Alaska reside in the St. Louis area.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Patricia Chiappa , Author of 72 Inspirational Books, Reflects on "What Christmas Means To Me!"
up, we always said Merry Christmas
not Happy Holidays in my household.
Christmas was a time that my family got together and not only exchanged gifts
but memories. You see, we didn't always have the money to buy each other gifts.
We didn't always have a six-foot perfectly trimmed tree. If I have to be honest,
most years, when I was growing up, we celebrated around a Charlie Brown
Christmas tree with one or maybe two gifts. We ate a turkey donated by the
Goodwill and we were Happy!
because as we sat around the table on mismatched chairs we had each other. We
had an unlimited supply of love. We had faith that no matter how hard life was
at the time, that God walked by our side.
had that special kind of Christmas magic in our hearts, the kind that makes you
see every stranger that passes you on the street as a friend, the kind that
made my little brother Brian and I believe in flying reindeer, a jolly old ST.
Nick , and that a man named Scrooge was transformed by God's love.
had a hope that war would end and that the world would forever live in peace.
We had gratefulness also. We were grateful to be alive, we were grateful to be
with each other, we were grateful for the little blessings we had.
what does it mean to me? Well Christmas to me means love. We have a traditional
thing we do on Midnight Christmas Eve. My grandfather started this tradition.
Every year he would buy a small birthday cake for Jesus. At midnight, we would
light one candle on the cake and sing "Happy Birthday." That small
candle would remind us that Jesus was the light that came into this dark world;
that the very first gift of Christmas was love.
to me has always meant love. It is the one time of the year that the whole
world stops. In silence we look into our heart and souls and embrace the rest
of the world. We reach out to those who are hurting, lonely, sad, ill,
homeless, poor, cold and weak.
who stand on the front lines fighting in wars take that one day of the year to
call a truce and forget about what they are fighting about for a while.
maybe some family members who don't talk all year long, come together on that day
out of the year to say "I love you."
to me also means Hope. Hope that the little Baby in the manger will save all
souls from the darkness; that those who not yet know Him will find him as I
did. Hope that all of the world will remember how to love not just that Baby
but love one another as that Baby loved us.
to me means forgiveness. There are many times a Christmas song will come on the
radio, and the lyrics of that song will make you think of a person, maybe
someone that you had a fight with or haven't talk to in a while. Maybe that
song moves you enough to make you pick up the phone and call that person. Or
drop by to see them. Maybe the spirit that embraces the season, the spirit of
love moves your soul to be a little softer , kinder, and more gentle.
to me means kindness, faith, charity, love, laughter, dreams, family, friends,
love and light.To be honest it's hard
for me to just pick one thing about Christmas that means the most to me because
Christmas is the season of all those things and more.
to sum it all up, as an adult I celebrate the real reason for the season and
the reason for celebrating His birth. The Bible says we are lost and separated
from God, but Jesus Christ came to bring us back. Everyone has sinned against
God and is far away from His presence. But by profiting from the gift of God’s
grace, all of us would be saved.Ephesians
2:8 says, ``For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of ourselves;
it is the gift of God``.
Christmas to me is restoring the peace of the world. It brings hope and gives a
new lease of life. It means a time to reconcile and submit ourselves completely
to Jesus. It means a time to help the poor and needy, share the joys and pains
of loved ones. Let’s forget everything else this season and bring Jesus and His
teachings at the center, so that this Christmas turns out to be the most joyous
Chiappa hs written 72 inspirational books; her most recent Now That’s A Spicy Meatball –
Recipes And Stories From My Grandmother’s Kitchen
Christmas song Stille Nacht, autograph (ca. 1860) by Franz Xaver Gruber
(1787–1863). Photographed by de:Benutzer:Mezzofortist.
painting of a family celebrating Christmas
The Birth of Christ, Federico Barocci, 1597
the new mother, is unable to drag her gaze away from the miracle that is her
baby; Joseph, the elated father, pulling visitors in to see his child, surely
the most wonderful thing in the universe; and the calm ox and donkey, who look
as if they have seen it all before.
cover of Now That’s A Spicy Meatball:Recipes And Stories From My Grandma’s Kitchen