By Karen Zizzo

In the dark days of December comes the wonderful holidays of the Judeo-Christian faiths. Gathering with family and friends during the holiday season is a very special time of good cheer and holiday festivities.  Everyone seems to make a concerted effort to gather with loved ones…to visit and share stories, support each other, sing carols and to give and receive gifts. Christmas is a time of joy.  Our carols call us to rejoice.  Our Christmas cards are covered with such cheerful words as “Merry Christmas,” “Joy to the World,” and “Happy Holidays.”  Something about the holiday season stirs up joyful emotions; and the reason that we celebrate causes us to overflow in acts of charity, hospitality, and generosity.

For Christians, Christmas has the religious significance of the birth of Christ. It is a holy and peaceful time of the year, with the miracle of His birth representing love and light. Hanukkah is celebrated in Jewish homes. This holiday was originally known as the “Festival of Lights”, and as part of their rededication ceremony the Jewish people began an 8-day purification rite, only to discover there was barely enough sacred oil to keep the temple menorah – a candelabrum with eight branches lit for one day.  Miraculously, the temple lamp burned continuously for eight days.  Ever since that time (165 B.C.) the Jewish people have observed Hanakkah in remembrance of their struggle for religious freedom and the miracle of restoration, symbolized by the abundance of oil.

For all faiths, this is a time to be even more grateful and appreciative of all of the blessings in our lives.  Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life.

I would like to share some reflections with you for you to ponder over the holiday season:

Scripture Reading:

Give and it will be given to you.  For with the measure you give, it will be measured to you.  Luke 6:38

Christmas Blessing:

“God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ.”   Wilda English

Christmas Prayer:

A prayer for meditating on the light of love……

“Christmas lights shining bright, remind us of the birth of Christ.
Opening hearts wide to love, with brightened light shone from up above.
This family and friends time of year, reminds us each of what is dear.
That caring, sharing from our heart, is true love’s action we impart.
With kindness uppermost in mind, contentment and joy we always find.
Lighting up our lives this way, gives Christmas to us every day!”     Susan Kramer
Here is a prayer of thanks that you might share at your table before your holiday feast:

Dear Gracious and Loving God,

Thank you for the gift of family and friends, may we always be there for one another.
Thank you for this wonderful meal, food to nourish our body for health and strength.
Thank you for all of our gifts and talents, we know that they are gifts from You to be used for others, as we respond in love.
Lord of our heart, give us wisdom to direct us and courage to strengthen us.
Lord, thank you for the many blessings that you have given us…may we always be grateful and remember to show our love and light to each other and to You.    Amen

However you choose to celebrate the holiday season this year, take time to reflect on all of the abundance currently in your life and create a vision for yourself and your loved ones for a peaceful, happy, prosperous, and healthy 2009.

Copyright Karen Zizzo 2008.  All rights reserved.  Karen Zizzo is an Author, Inspirational Speaker and Life Coach.  Karen delivers presentations and writes books to share her knowledge and personal experiences about how to face life’s challenges and obstacles with faith, hope and love.  Karen can be reached at 1-800-538-5194 or .