Christmas is for children

December 15, 2023 at 1:51 p.m.

Rayanne Bennett, Associate Publisher


From the time that they can walk and talk, most children raised in the Christian faith or no particular faith at all understand that Christmas is a wondrous and joyful time each year. The sights, sounds, scents and sweets experienced at Christmastime are unmatched during any other time of the year.  The stories of the Baby Jesus and the Holy Family build a foundation of awe; the gathering of families inspire life-long memories.  Even as adults, we, ourselves, enjoy vivid and sentimental memories of the Christmases of our childhood.

As Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Letter to Children many years ago, Christmas is not only the feast day of the Christ child; it is the feast day of all children. And as we all find ourselves entering into the period of preparation for Christmas, we too must remember that we cannot love and celebrate the Baby Jesus without loving and caring for all children.

But it seems that the plight of children around the world and here at home often overwhelms us.  The images playing out on the news of children caught up in violence and war are too painful to see. The fact that children’s lives are considered expendable in the execution of a military campaign is unfathomable.

The reports that come out about the isolation and stress our children are facing and the toll they are taking on their mental health rock us to our core.  The intractable dynamics of climate instability and migration leave us questioning what each of us, as one individual, can do.

And most profoundly, the risk to unborn babies in the womb persists despite the reversal of Roe v Wade and the legislative movement to restrict abortion in some parts of the country.  It challenges each of us to find ways to truly walk with pregnant women and help them see that abortion is not the answer.  It requires that we stand with those women who did choose life for their baby, overcoming challenges that might have pushed other women to seek an abortion.

This year, our way of celebrating the birth of Jesus is to take a close look at some of the many ways children today are suffering, are at risk, are getting lost. In the December issue of The Monitor Magazine, we have pulled together in this one special report information on what we as parents, grandparents, or concerned adults should know and can do to help in some small way.  While we spend time enjoying Christmas with the children in our lives, let us remember that the world’s children are our children. Let us be inspired to pray for all children, especially those who are the subjects of our special coverage, “God bless the child.”

As for the children in our families and our homes – who are hopefully blessed with good health, enough food, warmth from the cold, good schools, safety from violence and the many things that make for a full and happy life – perhaps the best gift we can give them this year is awareness of children around the world who do not have as much as they do.  Perhaps we can teach them to keep those children in their prayers and to take small steps that can make the world a better place for every child.

And most importantly, let us recommit ourselves to keeping faith alive in our families so that our children always know that there is a God who loves them and will never leave them.

Yes, the plight of children today can be overwhelming and none of us can protect children from it all. But if each of us can do just one thing -- make a donation; commit to volunteer; pray without ceasing for our children -- then together we can bring about change.

This Christmas issue has been a labor of love for The Monitor team. I am beyond grateful for their dedication to this coverage and the effort that they put into each and every issue of the magazine and post to the website.  I know that they join me in wishing all of our readers a beautiful Advent and Christmastide with your loved ones.


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From the time that they can walk and talk, most children raised in the Christian faith or no particular faith at all understand that Christmas is a wondrous and joyful time each year. The sights, sounds, scents and sweets experienced at Christmastime are unmatched during any other time of the year.  The stories of the Baby Jesus and the Holy Family build a foundation of awe; the gathering of families inspire life-long memories.  Even as adults, we, ourselves, enjoy vivid and sentimental memories of the Christmases of our childhood.

As Pope John Paul II pointed out in his Letter to Children many years ago, Christmas is not only the feast day of the Christ child; it is the feast day of all children. And as we all find ourselves entering into the period of preparation for Christmas, we too must remember that we cannot love and celebrate the Baby Jesus without loving and caring for all children.

But it seems that the plight of children around the world and here at home often overwhelms us.  The images playing out on the news of children caught up in violence and war are too painful to see. The fact that children’s lives are considered expendable in the execution of a military campaign is unfathomable.

The reports that come out about the isolation and stress our children are facing and the toll they are taking on their mental health rock us to our core.  The intractable dynamics of climate instability and migration leave us questioning what each of us, as one individual, can do.

And most profoundly, the risk to unborn babies in the womb persists despite the reversal of Roe v Wade and the legislative movement to restrict abortion in some parts of the country.  It challenges each of us to find ways to truly walk with pregnant women and help them see that abortion is not the answer.  It requires that we stand with those women who did choose life for their baby, overcoming challenges that might have pushed other women to seek an abortion.

This year, our way of celebrating the birth of Jesus is to take a close look at some of the many ways children today are suffering, are at risk, are getting lost. In the December issue of The Monitor Magazine, we have pulled together in this one special report information on what we as parents, grandparents, or concerned adults should know and can do to help in some small way.  While we spend time enjoying Christmas with the children in our lives, let us remember that the world’s children are our children. Let us be inspired to pray for all children, especially those who are the subjects of our special coverage, “God bless the child.”

As for the children in our families and our homes – who are hopefully blessed with good health, enough food, warmth from the cold, good schools, safety from violence and the many things that make for a full and happy life – perhaps the best gift we can give them this year is awareness of children around the world who do not have as much as they do.  Perhaps we can teach them to keep those children in their prayers and to take small steps that can make the world a better place for every child.

And most importantly, let us recommit ourselves to keeping faith alive in our families so that our children always know that there is a God who loves them and will never leave them.

Yes, the plight of children today can be overwhelming and none of us can protect children from it all. But if each of us can do just one thing -- make a donation; commit to volunteer; pray without ceasing for our children -- then together we can bring about change.

This Christmas issue has been a labor of love for The Monitor team. I am beyond grateful for their dedication to this coverage and the effort that they put into each and every issue of the magazine and post to the website.  I know that they join me in wishing all of our readers a beautiful Advent and Christmastide with your loved ones.

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