Every season has its traditional holidays that we all love and look forward to each year, and fall and winter are especially generous in producing some of our most enjoyable ones.

These end-of-the-year holidays really start on the last day of October with Halloween and then are followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Nevertheless, of all these numerous end-of-the-year holidays, Christmas is unique. It has long been the season to be jolly, and much of its enduring charm may be found in the traditional merriment and family gatherings and in all those seemingly endless carols about the infant Jesus cooing in the crib that are so appealing to almost everyone.

However, these seasonal appurtenances, as delightful as they are, don’t always pinpoint the real reason for the shepherds’ great happiness in St. Luke’s gospel and the angels’ Gloria and tidings of peace and goodwill toward mankind that followed it.

In truth, both shepherds and angels were joyfully proclaiming the remarkable birth of a divine child who would someday be the savior of the world, and this miracle has always been the greatest Christmas message anyone would ever want to hear.

And so, as Tiny Tim exclaimed so famously in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” that most beloved of all Christmas stories, “God bless us everyone.”

Joe Dacovich