I often express pure joy in my life, especially around Christmastime, because I love God, and I love Life. I make it a goal to uplift those around me through my joyfulness.
One Christmas, as our family’s traditional activities commenced, I began feeling a lack of joy, and instead, I felt sad. The sadness seemed to stem from feeling as though I wasn’t seeing the real, spiritual meaning of Christmas around me on that special day. The more I believed that I was missing my usual joy, the more I felt as if I wasn’t going to be able to find it and would ultimately end up wasting Christmas Day.
I thought back to a talk I’d had with some friends when we were reading the prophet Joel’s book in the Bible, and how we had discussed this verse: “The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth;… because joy is withered away from the sons of men” (Joel 1:12). I didn’t want to overlook the “fruits”—the true, spiritual gifts of Christmas—because of a lack of joy, but I didn’t know how to bring joy to the day without seeing the spiritual reason for the joy we express.