The true gifts of Christmas, a joyous celebration of the birth of Our Lord and Savior, are not found under the tree.
Christmas is first and foremost a profoundly spiritual time of year. Catholics around the globe pause as one faith community to humbly and with deep appreciation commemorate the arrival of Jesus Christ on this earth. What greater gift is there?
The "Christmas Spirit" is palpable in the days before Dec. 25. It is a busy but happy time of year when the faithful are reminded of what really matters-their Catholic faith, family and friends.
Throughout the Archdiocese of Newark parishes are working hard to ensure that Christmas is just as special for the forgotten, neglected and poverty-stricken. Through clothing and food drives, visiting the sick and imprisoned and simply remembering the lonely, Christmas will be a fulfilling experience for all of God's children.
Gift giving has its place on Christmas Day. It is hard to equal the joy of a youngster who rips open a present to discover that "must-have" gift he or she wanted. Still such material things are fleeting. What really matters is God's love for us manifest in His Son's birth.
The Catholic Advocate wishes its readers a happy and holy Christmas and blessed New Year.