This Christmas marks 20 years since the best Christmas ever. I was 6 years old and my brother (who was 4) wanted the exact same present I did. It was an awesome super soaker gun. Think was huge, but it was also expensive. My parents unfortunately could only afford one, and they decided, since I was older, to get it for me. I noticed that my parents had got me it and it was the biggest box under the tree (my parents were always sure to say some presents were from them).
"Santa" brought us a lot of awesome stuff, but didn't bring my brother a super soaker of his own. So while my brother wasn't looking I took the tag off that my parents had put there for me and switched it with another present that was for him. I gave him the super soaker and when he opened it he was SO happy.
It was then I realized how meaningful it can be to sacrifice something for someone else's happiness. We both shared the super soaker, but he always kept it on his side of the room and whenever I saw it there leaning up against his toy chest, it made me feel just like when I gave it to him the first time.
My brother and I have been through a lot together and we've had our differences, but the one thing that always gets us through is when we bring up that super soaker and how awesome it was. I'm so glad I was able to make such a great memory.
Well I hope this story inspired you. It isn't true. I don't even have a brother.
I have posted this in the past, but it seemed like a good time of the year to remind everyone about it.
I can't tell you how many times I have heard people complain about Xmas - "Don't take Christ out of Christmas!" In reality, that is not what is happening. Xmas is what is known as a Nomina Sacra, an ancient way of shortening the name of Christ out of respect. Christ is in the "X," the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter used to spell "Christ" in Greek. It is an abbreviation, one used quite often by early Christians.
Another example is to the right. The early church used the first two Greek letters in the word Christ, chi (C) andrho ( R), a symbol that later became part of the official standard of the emperor Constantine.
Another example is the symbol of the fish, one of the earliest symbols of Christians that has been found on the walls of the catacombs of Rome. It originated from using the first letter of several titles of Jesus (Jesus Christ Son of God Savior). When combined these initial letters together spelled the Greek word for fish
So the next time you see Xmas in a store don't tell them "hey, put Christ back in Christmas." Instead you might thank them for partaking in an ancient Christian tradition of referring to Christ with a Greek letter. I doubt many will know what you are talking about.
If your brothers in Christ were to describe you in one word, what would it be?
In many old letters, I noticed several friends wrote down that when they think of me, they get the word: “happy”. Warmed my soul.
It reminded me of a statement that an old roommate made about me last year: “I can’t ever imagine you depressed.” It floored me, because I wasn’t always like this. I spent a lot of my youth just generally bummed out about life. And then in my 20s, I was always lamenting whatever I didn’t have.
However, something about my 30s has filled me optimism. I wish I could tell you what it is, but I simply determined to enjoy my life. I want to be happy. I seek out happy things, and miraculously happiness seems to find me.
Pastor and author Joel Osteen is famous for speaking up for happiness and the importance to practice it every day. You can’t wait for circumstances to get better. You have to create your own good fortune. So look for ways to be happy every day.