It is definitely that time of year where people smile, bell-ringers grace their red kettles, and well-wishers beam, "Merry Christmas!"

I've been thinking about this phrase and the question popped into my head.  "Can there be a merry in 'Merry Christmas' for me?

Memories of Christmases past haunt me.  I remember Philip's first Christmas, where I propped him with pillows and laid all his gifts around him, relishing in the 'love' that he received.  He was only 5 months old and did not know or care about gifts.  I was 24 years old and did not have much better understanding of Christmas than him.  Our last Christmas together, Philip and I were both recovering from surgery.  He insisted that I complete the family tradition and put the star on the Christmas tree.  These memories come spontaneously or are triggered with songs,events, pictures, words and thoughts that I'm overwhelmed sometimes.  

So, what is the answer?  Is it to avoid all memories?  Avoid all conversations with people? Avoid the name, Philip?  

No, these won't help me at all.  I crave to hear stories about Philip.  I yearn to hear people speak about him, and never forget him.  I treasure the pictures and videos with him.  

Why is it that the memories seem to help me through the sorrow?  I think it boils down to one word.. H O P E.  

There is Hope, I will see my son again.  I will hold him again, even cuddle him close in my lap as he used to do.  

And the reason there is hope, is why there is a Merry to Merry Christmas.  The Word says it so simply: God so loved the world, He loved you and me, that HE sent his only Son to this earth to live and die for me, that whoever believes in His name will not perish but have eternal life. Because he paid the price, we have HOPE, a blessed Hope that we will not perish, but be with him forever in heaven. Philip went home with that Hope and we live on this earth with that Hope. 

And so with complete love and peace in my heart, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!!