I’m an elderly man now, and although Christmas is no longer the enchanting, carefree day it was when I was young, I still manage to get caught up in the spirit of Christmas, and think that of all our holidays, Christmas remains nonpareil.

Maybe this is because Christmas humanizes the Almighty in such a marvelously tactile way that this hallowed feast ought to be the envy of all the world’s great religions. Even so, there are always drawbacks that distort the essential meaning of Christmas.

To give a few well-known examples, often there is an overindulgence in food and drink and, of course, the giving of lavish and unnecessary presents are things that frequently put people in debt for months after Christmas is one.

Sadly, many times Christmas seems to have only the trappings of a noisy, self-centered birthday party for ourselves, friends and relatives, with nary a thought of what the celebration really is all about.

However, for the multitudes who still retain a traditional Christian faith, the main reason for all this unparalleled jubilation is not hard to fathom. For as true believers have been saying for over 2,000 years, the great Lord of creation came down to Earth at Christmas to die for sins, and to teach us all how to live better lives. Truthfully, after our Lord’s astonishing encounter with humanity so long ago, the world has never been the same again.

Joe Dacovich