Christmas 2011 is days away.
Most of us are busy preparing for the holiday.
All of us this year are receiving a great present – the official end of the war in Iraq.
Nine Christmas celebrations have come and gone since we invaded Iraq.
Thousands of brave Americans died there and tens of thousands were wounded or bloodied and now all the soldiers are nearly out and most have already come home.
At least Saddam Hussein is gone. When the history of our involvement in Iraq is written in the decades to come, Hussein’s death will be noted as that nation’s climactic event that led to its finding of itself no matter what it becomes after we’re gone.
We will have to wait another two Christmas holidays before the war in Afghanistan is history for our brave soldiers who have died or been wounded there.
And again, we won’t know what good we did in that mountainous place except to say we stood against savage people who ban music, who ban education for women, who kill women who have been raped, who live as though Afghanistan might always be a Medieval society.
We fought against folks who blow themselves up at soccer games, funerals, weddings and all kinds of public events – and for what?
To get rid of foreign occupiers?
Christians everywhere celebrating Christmas around the world can take great pride in a holiday that honors the birth of Jesus Christ more than anything else.
The holiday is a yearly reminder of his birth and of his essence and of a holiday devoted to giving rather than taking, to peace, rather than to violence, to good will to man, rather than to poor behavior.
Once again, we are awash in an incredibly commercialized Christmas season.
All the advertising and hype began earlier and was more prevalent than ever before – and so it goes for Western man when Christmas is near.
We are all rushing about preparing the presents for loved ones, the meals for our families, the meals for those who cannot afford them.
We are also readying for Christmas Eve and for Christmas Day when we can all shut out the modern world and the 24/7 news cycle we tend to live in and to pay so much rapt attention to.
For a few short hours on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas Day, we can be ourselves in the quiet of the places where we live.
We can share a great meal and a bit of cheer – and the problems of an often cold, harsh and relentless world are very far away.
We are near that moment of temporary calm and peace.
Enjoy your Christmas. Enjoy your family. Enjoy the faraway away wars finishing up – and when you come out of that temporary respite, let’s get back to work with a renewed vigor to maintain this nation the greatest place in the world.
Merry Christmas to our readers.
Merry Christmas to you all.