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He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree. Roy L. Smith

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The spirit of Christmas is often lost in the constant drive to defend our own religious and spiritual views. The argument over whether to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" has reared its ugly head and the season has barely begun.

I'd like to urge you all to practice tolerance and compassion this year and simply say whichever you want and let others do the same. For me, the season will always be Christmas. If you subscribe to a different belief, that's fine with me. But, I do hope you find the season filled with love and compassion.

To me, the heart of Christmas is love and compassion for others, whether we agree with their views or not. When we stoop to arguing over silly things, like how to greet each other during the season, we give up the heart of Christmas.

If you find yourself in the battle of semantics or arguing with another human being because his beliefs differ from your, take a step back. Channel that energy into something positive to improve the lives of others and the spirit of Christmas will grow in both your heart and the heart of others. Instead of trying to prove that your view is the correct view, let your heart lead the way and stand as testament of your beliefs.

Today, I am grateful for family who fills my life with joy, for pets that make the home warm and comforting, and for winter clouds that will soon drop blankets of snow.

I am grateful for the beauty of trees, for the balsam fir that adorns homes across the world at Christmas time, and for wreaths that welcome visitors to the home. I am grateful for the blue jay in his bright coat, for the deer that nibbles on grass, and for the mighty bear that enters his long winter's sleep.

I am grateful for blue-black skies that display winter stars, for the round full moon that glows above the world, and for the sparkle of snow in the moonlight.

And, I am grateful for you, dear reader, as you stop to share my day. May  love and compassion fill your heart this season, as you go forward in the direction of your dreams.


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