2Christmas is certainly a special time of year if we don't forget the reason for the season. How do you celebrate Christmas? Is it with lots of presents under the tree, homemade cookies and candies, nuts and other good foods to eat? Is it by going to church on Christmas morning or joining others at midnight Mass? Or is it a time to enjoy Christmas with family or friends? Perhaps it's a time of giving to others in need, sharing yourself and your abundance so others can have a better Christmas. Giving of our time, talents and money seems like a good way to end the year and begin a new year. Sharing self to serve others makes our lives richer by far. Think of ways you can help others, whether it's by writing a check to provide a few meals for a family or to pay their rent because times are tough since Dad lost his job. Praying for others, all others, even if they aren't in need, brings great happiness to you. Peace and happiness are your reward.

Don't you just enjoy listening to beautiful Christmas songs, such as "Silent Night," "Child in the Manger" or "Joy to the World?" There are so many songs we can sing to make the season brighter. I've said before music lifts our spirits, puts us in a happier mood, and a hymn of praise is a wonderful prayer to our Creator.

There's a song titled "Santa Baby" that is full of selfish desire, such as give me this and give me that and finally give me everything on my list and do it all by coming down my chimney tonight. I hope that's not what Christmas is about for you. Instead let's wrap our presents that are filled with love for those who will receive a gift from you.

I especially enjoy Christmas movies on Hallmark and Lifetime channels on television. These movies have something in common. I bet you can guess what it is. They have heart-warming themes. There is no sex, no cursing and always a happy ending. Movies filled with filthy words, sex and violence don't bring me joy. These types of movies don't do anything to fill me with love. So let's not get hooked on evil of any sort. We see plenty of that on the TV news programs or read about it in the daily newspapers.

What can we do to make the holiday season memorable? I pray a miracle will occur in your heart beginning right now and continue through 2015. My prayer is you will first and foremost love the Lord your God with your whole heart, and secondly that you will love your neighbor as yourself. These might seem like good ideas, but they are actually commandments Christ spoke to us approximately 2,000 years ago. Christ condensed the Ten Commandments into simple language. It's all about love for God and love for neighbor. If you want joy and true happiness in your life, keep these commandments of love.

Christmas will be a sad but also happy time for me. Since my husband died in January, I've strived to move forward, appreciate every day God gives me and thank Him for the time my husband and I had together. I celebrate Christmas with my daughter and granddaughter who live in Hays. We notice Bob is not with us. There's an empty chair at the table and a hole in our hearts that is mending. Our get-together at Christmas is now small, but we thank God for the blessings He bestows upon us and praise Him for His love. It is indeed a wonderful time of year. We ring out the old and bring in the new with a song in our heart.

Merry Christmas and happy new year to you. May you be blessed as you include God in your lives.

Alberta Klaus is a member of the Generations Advisory Group.