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By Steve Jalsevac
  LifeSiteNews.com Managing Director

This past year has been a trying one for those who love life and family. However, there has also been much good news, although often harder to recognize and appreciate.

The best good news time of the year for me is always Christmas. We take a break from the world controversies and frenetic pace and focus on the bigger picture of why we are really here and what really matters for each one of us.

Last week one son came home from Rome. Yesterday another came home from seminary in Ottawa. Today, my wife and I were wonderfully surprised when our Michigan law school son and his wife and our first grandchild arrived unexpectedly a day earlier than planned.

The Steve Jalsevac Family

Everyone is here. The stress of exams and heavy assignments are over for the other five children at home. There is peace and there is joy. We have time to just be with each other and later also with the grandparents, aunts, uncles and dear friends.

Throughout childhood, youth, adulthood – that has been the pattern – Christmas is a precious family time. But the enjoyment of that family time has always been in proportion to the recognition that the celebration is first and foremost about the birth of Jesus Christ. That is the unity and the grace that transforms the event into far more than just another family get together. Without the presence of that true Christmas spirit I have found Christmas can descend into a time of grasping materialism, bickering or intense loneliness.

The best part about Christmas is that it is a gift to all, Christian and non-Christian, even non-believers – if they are open to receive and to give. Everyone can benefit from the peace and joy of the celebration of the birth of the Child in the manger.

Some of the most precious memories have been when our children were very young. Children seem to naturally soak up the love and the wonder about every aspect of Christmas. They love the family get togethers, running down early in the morning of Dec. 6 to see what is in their St. Nicholas shoes, the special conversations and laughter with visitors, the marvelous Christmas liturgy, the sharing of Christmas presents after that and then the Christmas meals which are unlike any others throughout the year.

To all of our readers and their families, I extend to you the warmest wishes for peace, joy and special blessings this Christmas season.

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