Brody: Christmas words to live by

How does one get into the Christmas mood?

When there were children in the house, it was easy. All I had to do was look at their faces, so full of anticipation and simple joy. My heart would overflow even if I had spent too much money and my body ached from shopping.

As I got older and the kids made magic for their own children, I realized if I wanted a new kind of Christmas to fill up my heart, I was going to have to start all over again.

But how? After thinking about this, I decided to make a list of words to try to live by in the next 12 months.

Then, I started asking people if they could choose one word to live by and I researched quotes from well-known people who tried to live by the same word.

I chose the word kindness. It costs so little yet means so much to me as well as the receiver of my kindness.

Charles Kingsley said, “Make a rule, and pray to God to help you keep it, never, if possible to lie down at night without being able to say, ‘I have made a human being a little happier, or their day a little better.’”

A male friend chose compassion. Robert Frost said, “There never was any heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate.”

My best friend Judy said her word was faith. She has passed on now but she was my living example of a woman of great faith. It stood her well all during her battle with cancer. John Whittier said, “The steps of faith fall on the seeming void but find the rock beneath.”

A life-long Kentucky friend said her word was hope. The writer S. Smith said, “Hope is like the sun which as we journey toward it, casts a shadow of our burden behind us.”

My friend whose journey has been hard and brittle all her adult life lives already by hope every day that things will get better.

Humility was a word I heard several times. One young lady, in spite of a life of being knocked down too often, remains humble. Confucius said, “Humility is the solid foundation of all the virtues.”

There is a woman in Kentucky whose word was humor. She was born funny. I don’t care what she says, she says it with humor and she makes people laugh. Her presence is coveted because of it. Abraham Lincoln said, “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh daily I should die.”

Love was the most often used word. I believe this. We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.

William Shakespeare said, “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”

Other words included bliss, simplicity, understanding, sensitivity, a perfect friend and peace.

What would your word be to make your own motto? Maybe I’ve named it, maybe not.

Hopefully we can wake up on Christmas morning with eyes wide open and a full heart sure of honoring your most important word.

I close with my other word: light. I end letters with the word light and I’ve written about its meaning.

To me, light is the source from God for illumination and strength to be the best messenger for Him as we live our life on this earth.

Along with each of these words, live them all with joy because Christmas is the very essence of joy.

The view from the mountain is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in the Sun for more than 25 years.