Christmas is my favorite time of the year for a myriad of reasons: I have some great memories as a child and I love to give and show my love via gifts and the thought that goes behind them. However, the most incredible part of this time of year – this year – is that I get the chance to tell my 4-yr. old son about why we celebrate Christmas.

Sure, he’ll struggle to put some of the concepts together when all he really wants to do is ramp his trucks off the living room ottoman and watch the Thomas video for the 1000th time, but I persist regardless. I’m confident some of it is getting in there and next year more will make it in and every year it will get more and more comprehensible.

For me, this time of year is about hope – actually Hope. There was a time in my life when things looked like they would remain mundane – the days would be “normal” regardless of the activity. At some point in college, I started wondering if this was all there was…was there any hope for anything better – even supernatural?

Growing up in the south, God is talked about as commonly as baseball and apple pie, but this does not make a faith. Did I believe God existed. Sure. Did I believe he was interested in me? Nope. Was He relevant to me day in and day-out? Not in the least. After all, I was in control and managed to keep it between the ditches for all these years – I’m wasn’t sure I NEEDED God.

At some point, I started wondering about eternity. What happened after I died? Who was right about that? Would I come back as a cricket or go to heaven or, worse yet, cease to exist. The only one worth examination seemed to be heaven, so I started asking some questions and found out that, not only is this scenario plausible, it is possible – FOR ME.

There was more! In my research, I discovered that not only could heaven be my destination, but my daily life could have true meaning. A relationship with Jesus Christ promised eternal life starting NOW!!!

Eighteen years later, I still marvel at the wonder of my salvation. The story is absurd from a human perspective – nonetheless, it is true and I believe it to the core. The birth of my Savior put in motion God’s plan to restore hope to humanity. His death and resurrection thirty three years later finalized it.

So, for me, hope was restored during this time of year when Hope was born. Someday, my son will understand the Hope that can be found in this time of year and I pray that it doesn’t take him as long to “get it” as it did me.