One of my favorite messages of Christmas is hope. More often than not things do not go the way we planned or wanted, so we have to take life as it comes. We all find this really hard sometimes because everyone wants a sense of security and stability, and when we find ourselves in situations where we have no control it can be overwhelming.
Christmas, as the celebration of Christ's birth, reminds us that God is our only true security. In joy or sorrow, wealth or poverty, sickness and health, God is the one constant in our lives. He alone is unchanging, which is why we need to hold onto Him in difficult times, instead of questioning why He allows things to happen, trusting that all will be well.
The virtue of hope stems from joy. Feelings of happiness come and go, but true joy can remain in the midst of suffering because we are happy with whatever God does. If that is the underlying sentiment in our hearts, it produces hope because we have confidence in God that "all things work together unto good for those who love Him."
Christmas is my favorite holiday because we rejoice and have hope in the Christ Child, Who became a baby for us. God's love is most visible through the Incarnation because it is the event which brings Christ into the world--and ultimately leads to Our Lord's triumph in the Cross and Resurrection.
May we all treasure this holiday time with family and friends, and not let it pass us by year after year. We can all get so absorbed in the cares and frustrations of life that make holidays more difficult, but this Christmas will only come once.