Christmas celebration for our children

Christmas day

Christmas and Family

Christmas is celebrated throughout the world and for the children it is a very special time. To believe and hold on to a dream is a truly wonderful thing and at Christmastime all children have a special charm when they write their wish list for Santa and have an innocence and a belief that we all should have in our heart. We look forward to seeing our children eagerly await the annual visit from none other than Santa Claus.The best part of Christmas is celebrating with our family and seeing the smiles on our children's faces when they open their presents Santa left them under the tree. I treasure this moment and wish it could last a lot longer. We all are touched by the innocence and beauty of childhood and for parents we get to experience this through our children's eyes. We can think back to our childhood and remember the excitement and joys of the season but it is a distant memory so when we can enjoy it as a parent for our children we are blessed because we are able to share in their joy which makes us all happy.

One of the best parts of the Christmas season is putting up the family Christmas tree. As children we love to help decorate and share in helping mom and dad with putting the ornaments on the tree. We are all excited when we see the colorful lights shine so bright and see the tree adorned in garland, tinsel, beautiful ornaments and wrapped with a Christmas skirt and topped with an Angel. This is a wonderful memory for most of us and it is what I enjoy most of all when I think back to those days. My happiest memories as a child was our celebrations of Christmas and the anticipation of what we would find underneath the tree. As I reflect back on these wonderful moments I can't help but tear up as I think of my mom and dad and how special they were to my 2 sisters and I and how special they made us feel. I also remember fondly our visits to our grandparents and our cousins homes and the festive celebrations we had and the wonderful dinners and the unwrapping of presents underneath the trees.

As a father I also have wonderful memories of celebrating Christmas with my wife and son. Our first Christmas as a family was in December 1998 and the very first time we captured our son by the family Christmas tree in his little baby suit was very special and that too brought a tear to my eyes. A tear of joy, hope and promise for our son. You see we all are touched by the true meaning of Christmas which beats strong in our heart and keeps us close to God and our family. The story of Mary and Joseph and their seeking a safe place for the birth of their baby Jesus, having been denied room at the inn find it among animals at a stable in a manger. The Nativity scene is one of the most beautiful images I have of Christmas and it is very special to see the lives of Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the shepherds and all the animals portrayed to commemorate the special occasion of Jesus's birth which is what Christmas is really all about. It's not about the presents we receive, It's not about Santa Claus or Rudolph, It's not about Bing Crosby and snow, It's not about the tree, the lights or the fancy decorations. It has a deeper meaning that rests within our heart and embodies our human spirit. It is about faith, hope, forgiveness, joy, celebration and wonder. It's about the birth of the baby Jesus and the love we have in our heart for our family and our devotion and belief in Jesus, our savior.

With that said we still love the part of Christmas where we tell our kids to leave milk and cookies out for Santa and water for his reindeer on Christmas Eve. We still love decorating the family Christmas tree. We still love singing Christmas Carols. We still love running down the stairs to see what Santa left for us underneath the tree. We still love to see our child's eyes light up as they open up their presents. We still love to hope to see snow fall on Christmas day. We still love to visit the houses in the neighborhood adorned with fancy lights and decorations. As we remember the true meaning the most important thing we need to remember on Christmas day is to teach our children about Jesus and to celebrate the special occasion in church with our family.

In keeping with the Christmas spirit we also should realize that it is very important to remember the needy and those less fortunate. Just imagine what it is like for a child who hopes to receive a present from Santa and is sadly disappointed as the family desperately tries to put food on the table. We have to try to restore hope for these children and their families and show them that there is a Santa Claus and we need to bring a smile to the child's face and provide the family with food, shelter and love. That essentially is what Christmas is all about. It is about giving and helping out those in need in honor of Jesus.

I sense within my son who is now approaching 13 years old a special quality of wanting to help and comfort others. He is very empathetic and always tries to calm a crying baby or talk to a young child who is upset to assure them that everything will be ok. To me that is a sign of having the Christmas spirit. For him this is an everyday thing so I have learned the beauty that rests in my son as he wants to help others each and everyday. For him that spirit remains with him every day. I wish we all were blessed with this beautiful spirit as the world would be a much nicer place.

I have taught my son some things in life and I want to always be there for him and my wife and I realize as young as he is he has taught me as well and I am truly grateful for that. Another wonderful gift my son has is his childlike innocence. We love that he believes and gets all excited on Christmas day when he opens his Christmas presents left by Santa and his excitement when he sees that Santa and his reindeer ate and drank all that he left for them. He has such joy and that to me is a memory I wish to hold in my heart forever.

Merry Christmas to All!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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O Holy Night - Josh Grobin

That Spirit of Christmas - Ray Charles

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