• Published
  • By Chaplain Lt. Col. Bob Meissner
  • 452 AMW Chaplians Corps

It seems to happen every year. Thanksgiving sneaks up on us and right behind it comes Christmas. Whether it’s your tradition to celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, another faith tradition or simply to celebrate the holiday season, it seems like just yesterday when we were celebrating this special season and welcoming a new year. Now the ghost of Christmas past has taken last year’s Christmas and we have all committed it to memory.


So, what will Christmas present look like for you?  In our consumeristic culture there is a lot of pressure to find that “perfect gift,”  and we sometimes find ourselves distracted or discouraged by limited funds.  This can be a harsh reminder of what we wish we had and don’t. Whatever situation you find yourself in this year, I’d like to encourage you to recall your past, celebrate your present and look to your future.


Christmas is a time to celebrate our faith traditions and gather together with our friends and families. Let no one forget why it is that we celebrate Christmas.  We look to the future with the hope that the new year will bring us all health, happiness, and perhaps most of all, peace. Peace in our personal lives and peace on Earth.


 A scene from Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” can help us look beyond ourselves and seek out ways to give that can bring a measure of joy and peace to others.  The Ghost of Christmas present opens his robe and beneath it are two starving children with sunken eyes, looking as if they are on the doorstep of death. 


The scene unfolds thus: 

Ghost of Christmas Present: “Look upon these!”

Ebenezer Scrooge: [Withdrawing in horror] “What are they?”

Ghost of Christmas Present: “They are your children! They are the children of all who walk the earth unseen! Their names are Ignorance and Want! Beware of them! For upon their brow is written the word “doom!” They spell the downfall of you and all who deny their existence!”

Ebenezer Scrooge: “Have they no refuge, no resource?”

Ghost of Christmas Present: [smiles, mocking him from an earlier conversation] “Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons?”

Ebenezer Scrooge looking down at the children, “Cover them. I do not wish to see them.”

Ghost of Christmas Present: “I thought as much.”
( The Ghost of Christmas Present closes his robe to conceal the children.)

Ghost of Christmas Present: “They are hidden… but they live… oh, they live.”


In a world full of hurt, ignorance and want, may we look for ways to help those less fortunate. There are many on this Earth for whom Christmas is another day of struggle.

In our celebration let us remember Christmas past, be present with our loved ones and count our blessings. And look for ways to bring peace to others for the future.  Remember that love is the greatest gift of all – this Christmas make the biggest gift you give, the gift of love.