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Dear friends and loved ones:

In a few days it will be Christmas 2013. What a special time of the year. A little boy was born over 2000 years ago and His name was Jesus. The world has not been the same since.

Just think of it: Because of Jesus there is Santa Claus, another special man who has brought joy to children and their parents. Parents have memories of seeing their children telling Santa what they want for Christmas. Christmas morning would not be the same without young children getting up early, running down the stairs to see the gifts that Santa brought. All parents cherish those memories and most wish they could relive those unbelievable moments. I know I do. All because of the special gift to all humankind: Jesus.

Without Jesus many of the traditions we look forward to would not occur. No Christmas trees, parades, cookies and all those Christmas songs we listen to each year: “Silent Night”, “O Holy Night” and “White Christmas”. All because of Jesus.

Most, whether they believe in Jesus or not, have time off from school and even work around December 25th. There would be no Christmas parties and all those Christmas cards from our friends without Jesus.

I remember growing up in the Vietnam War era. Even the fighting stopped for twenty-four hours starting on Christmas Eve. Just because of Jesus.

No one person has changed the world as profoundly as the little baby who was born on Christmas day.

So whether one believes the story or not, there must be something to it for one person to make such a great impression on the world, an impression that has lasted over 2000 years.

There is, however, so much more to the story than all the traditions I just mentioned.

First, think of Joseph and Mary and what they must have gone through. How Joseph did not believe her, and what was Mary going to do being pregnant out of wedlock. But yet they believed: They believed in the messages that were coming from God. Even though it seemed impossible, they knew God could do all things if they just believed. I also believe, but I at times am not sure what I would have done if I had been Joseph. What about you?

Why did God choose for Jesus to be born in a stable in Bethlehem? Why couldn’t the King of Kings at least have been born in a house—not in a barn with animals? God was trying to teach all of us that material things are not important. How many people do you know who have everything, yet still are unhappy? Wealth, job titles, degrees and so many other things we seek cannot make us happy unless God is in our hearts.

Finally, God wanted to show all that there are miracles because of Him. We as humans always try to find answers to all our concerns. But nobody could explain how Mary—a virgin—could be pregnant. It is impossible. But because of God there are miracles. There are no coincidences in life.

So my friends, I hope you will enjoy Christmas with all its traditions—Santa Claus, Christmas songs, Christmas cookies and time off from school or work. Remember, however, as you get up on Christmas morning to watch your children or grandchildren open those special presents, that the real gift to us is Jesus. This gift will not grow old. It will give you a lifetime of inner peace, and it will give you eternal life. All because of a little baby boy in a manger in Bethlehem.

I hope you will enjoy this video (click here to watch video). It is about a little boy with his mother at a shopping center. He saw the long line to talk with Santa Claus. He asked his mother where the line was to wish Jesus a happy birthday.

Merry Christmas!!