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Pody's column: Remember the reason for the holiday season

When our families and friends gather during this holy season, let us pause for a few moments and reflect on that special gift over 2000 years ago. God sent his son who is the reason for the season. He was born in a manger but honored by kings, shepherds and commoners alike. He didn't travel far in his lifetime but to this day is referred to as the "greatest salesman in the world."

Maybe your family attends church Christmas Eve or maybe on Christmas Day, has a birthday cake for Baby Jesus, reads the Christmas story from the Bible, sings Christmas carols around the piano or organ, or reflects back on memories.

Whatever your tradition is, make it special with your family. Share with them the story that has given hope and encouragement to generations and civilizations and comfort to those in distress. That is the true meaning of the season.

One tradition we celebrate in our family is the birthday cake on Christmas Eve. When the children were young, their eyes would light up when we brought the cake to the table and they would blow out the candles. We have a round white cake. White represents purity and the round cake symbolizes the world.

The cake is decorated with bits of candied fruit representing the gifts the wise men brought baby Jesus. We also place 21 green candles and an angel on the top.  The angel who announced his birth and the candles represent one for each century since our first Christmas. Green candles are lit for the everlasting Christ.

When the candles are lit we remember He is the light of the world and the reason for the season.

In our dysfunctional world it is so easy to lament what we don't have rather than giving thanks for what we have. It may be a healthy family, friends, food, clothing, a home, a free country and freedom to worship. It's so easy to overlook our blessings.

We wish you a holy and happy holiday season to all our readers.