Welcome all, on this wonderful occasion: Mom, Dad, Aunt Anne and Uncle Gerard, Laura, Verner, and little Robbie! It’s so great to be here, at this Christmas dinner full of delicious things, with the fire burning, the mantelpiece full of Christmas cards, and you, my dearest family, smiling at me.

One of pleasures of the Christmas season is the opportunity to extend cordial greetings to all of you whose love and complete devotion I value so highly. Christmas time is my favorite. Although I live away from home, I know that I will leave all my business behind on a Christmas day to be together with you, to be with you, my beloved family.

Remember, Laura, how we argued in our childhood that Dad might be putting those stockings under our pillows late at night. I was twelve and Laura ten when we decided to make sure that Santa Claus is imagined. We wanted to see Dad putting his Christmas gifts for us. We decided to doze off in turns. I honestly tried to be awake but it seemed to me that Laura, like all girls, would find out the truth better than me. Well, I don’t know how but we missed the moment. In the morning I found a present under my pillow. I bravely came up to Laura’s bed and took her Christmas gifts. With the words “It’s him, Santa Claus” I rushed into the living-room to see a Christmas tree. In the evening, tired but happy, we talked with Laura. She said, “Nick, what makes you think it was not Dad?” My answer was, “We saw neither Dad nor Santa Claus. Dad knew nothing of our being awaken. So, it was Santa Claus.” Mom and Dad! You created the world of wonders to us, your son and daughter. Even if Dad and Santa Claus are the same, that’s for the better. Because it’s so good to have a Christmas spirit all the year round. This year’s Christmas time is very special. I have been promoted to the post of senior manager, and I am grateful to you, my family, because without your support I wouldn’t have been able to fight for my future.

Now, let’s talk of Him whose nativity we are glorifying today.

Baby Jesus, when time came, was born, with angels smiling at Him. His mother carefully wrapped her firstborn in cloths and placed Him in a manger.

“An Angel of the Lord appeared to [the shepherds], and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:9-11)

Each year we celebrate Jesus Christ’s birth, for it has changed the world. We are living in Christ. He is with us when we’re happy and when we’re sad. He enhances our inner forces and directs us on the path of salvation.

When I was a child, I wanted to be like Jesus. I mean, I wanted to help other people, I wanted to love neighbor even when I was hurt and offended. Mom and Dad taught Laura and me to be tolerant to the outside world, and, at the same time, not to be separated from it. When we were kids, our Christmas parties were full of children’s voices. Granny was dead at that time. I remember her sitting at the head of the Christmas table. I remember her loving smile and her embracing spiritual warmth. Dad had curly hair then and Laura wore beautiful ribbons on her plait. The tree was decorated with silver stars and small figurines of the saints. How time flies!

Let’s pray for our happy life here, on earth, with Jesus, our Lord, protecting us from all troubles. We are glorifying our Lord Jesus for he has saved us, sinners on earth, for his sacrifice opened us a road to salvation and redemption. Let’s pray for Mom and Dad’s health, Aunt and Uncle’s moving to a new house, Laura and Verner’s tour to Europe, and Robbie’s many presents throughout the year.

Blessings!