Even the early Yuletides, before I knew Christ, remain unforgettable. For Santa Claus emerged each Christmas Eve, armed with a broom, demanding that we eight youngsters confess our misdemeanors; then, forgiving all, he stuffed our stockings with holiday treats.

My circle of Christmas widened quickly when as a young newspaperman I found Christ. College and seminary days brought into that circle many now serving him in worldwide vocational commitments. Then faculty-student years multiplied friendships with young intellectuals who today fill many posts of spiritual leadership.

Christmas Eve is the time for sharing gifts in our home. But the first hour is set aside for reading greetings that come from near and far. Life, after all, has few higher treasures than loyal friends. In recent years the size of the CHRISTIANITY TODAY family has made it quite impossible to reciprocate every greeting personally. So to the twice-born family of God, here is my heartfelt wish: May the incarnate Lord’s birthday signal for each one the profoundest of personal joys.

Memorable is a Christmas my wife Helga and I spent in the old city of Jerusalem several years ago. Worshiping in Bethlehem’s Shepherds’ Fields and in the beautiful Jordan YMCA (now scarred by war damage), hearing jubilant midnight chimes from St. George’s, and strolling through the Holy City on Christmas Day left indelible entries in this editor’s notebook of Christmas experiences.

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