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Published:December 16th, 2009 15:12 EST
I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

By Tony Graff

Christmas is a little over a week away, and for the third year in a row, the overwhelming political correctness that comes with the holiday is starting to grate on me. Everywhere you go, you hear Jingle Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, but everywhere is now devoid of the reason we put up with all the trouble to make Christmas such a memorable holiday. 

May I speak candidly with you? I have no reason to call you anything but a friend. My favorite Christmas carol/ hymn is I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. The first verse two verses describe the sentiment I seem to see in public places regarding this most meaningful of hobbies:

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
and wild and sweet the words repeat
of peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I hung my head
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men. 

I`m not saying that public places like the mall or Wal-Mart hate the real reason for Christmas, but a few people take offense at its celebration, and act in hate towards those who do. We escape the horrors we face in the news and around the world by hiding under the tree covered in lights and mistletoe, surrounded by gifts for us and from us. 

Then pealed the bells, more loud and deep
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep. 
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, 
With peace on earth, goodwill to men."

There it is, the reason we celebrate Christmas, regardless of what denomination we align ourselves to. Christmas, as well as most holidays at the end of the year, celebrate redemption in one form or another. Charles Dickens wrote about the personal redemption and second chance Ebenezer Scrooge was given in A Christmas Carol. The Grinch also received a new outlook on life when his heart grew three times its size. Rudolph was saved from the mockery of others by a change of heart, and an orphan trying to do what is right becomes a symbol of hope in the stop-motion animation movie Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Even the movie The Year Without a Santa Claus highlights the capacity for the human heart to be redirected to a greater good. 

Having felt that shift, or change of character, Christmas means something new to me each year, when I can review in my own way how the birth of Jesus Christ has granted me the opportunity to make something of myself that I could never do on my own. 

Till ringing, singing, on my way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on Earth, goodwill to men. 

Merry Christmas, my friend. If you don`t celebrate Christmas, invite me to your celebration, I would like to see what you see better.