WEST: Merry Christmas? You better believe it!

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By MIKE WEST/ Courier Editor

Merry Christmas …

There I've said it and meant it as well.

Call me politically incorrect, but Christmas is an event worth celebrating for a multitude of reasons. That doesn't mean I am belittling the other holidays that happen around this time of year.

I'm with state Rep. Mark Pody on this issue, who sent me a Christmas newsletter by email this week. Included in his email was the electronic version of a traditional Christmas card with the baby in the manger and the message:

"From my house to yours, I pray for safety during this Christmas season, but more than that, I pray that we all would realize the true meaning of Christmas. The true gift is not wrapped in bows and wrappings, but the true gift is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. May you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year. "

To me, that sentiment is perfect and touching during these days of political correctness.

It doesn't push aside the beliefs of others. People are entitled to that freedom in America. Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and Bodhi Day (a Buddhist celebration) are worth learning about, and if you are so inspired, worth celebrating.

But that doesn't mean Christians have to surrender.

The Bill of Rights, which some people celebrate during December, provides for freedom of religion. These first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution include the liberties that make America special.

So, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…

That's what I say and what I believe.

As for Christmas, I can't help but think back to the days of my youth.

Christmas was a great adventure. It was joyful and delightful and so full of excitement.

The adventure came from the search for beautiful Christmas lights that even led our family to Parthenon in Nashville for the glorious light show provided by the Harvey's Nativity Scene back in the 1950s and 60s.

That didn't surpass the great excitement of going to the family farm near Short Mountain to find a beautiful cedar tree to chop down and mistletoe to shoot out of the tree tops.

Let us not forget the mysterious Christmas Eve knocking at the front window. We would peer out to catch a quick glimpse of Santa Claus, who would disappear in a flash. That sudden visit prompted all sorts of questions.

And perhaps, most of all, I remember the holiday glory at our church  and hearing the hymns.

Silent night, holy night,

Wondrous star, lend your light

With the angels let us sing

Alleluia to our King

Christ the Savior is born,

Christ the Savior is born!

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Merry Christmas, Mike West
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