THE VIEW FROM RIZAL
By DR. JUN YNARES
For the eighth straight year, I am sharing with our readers a letter I wrote to my eldest daughter, Cassandra.
It will be recalled that for the past eight years, at about this time, I publish this letter in our column.
Again, here’s the little story behind this letter.
In 2011, I decided to write that letter to my daughter because she had started to ask the “Why” questions. Questions like, “Why do we have a Christmas tree?” “Why are there stars and glitters on the tree?” “Why are there gifts under the tree?” Why, why, why.
My daughter’s question had made me realize that the first thing children learned to ask their dads is “why.” Not “what.” Not “who.” Not “how.”
And especially not “how much.”
The first question they learned to ask their dads is “why”.
So, I wrote this letter.
I told myself that I will shall retrieve the letter one day and give it to Cassandra at the appropriate time – once she asks me the question, “Dad, why is there Christmas?”
So, following requests from readers and friends, let me share with you my eight-year-old Christmas Letter to my daughter.
The questions you ask me have not always been easy. They’re usually tough. And sometimes, I felt I might not be able to satisfy your “Why.” My heart would break the day I see a disappointed look in your face because you felt my answer to your “why” had not been wise.
So, I decided to write in advance my answer to an important question I knew you would ask me someday.
Now that you’ve asked, “Why is there Christmas,” I have come prepared for a Dad-answer.
You remember the many times I told you that, as your dad, I will make sure you have everything you need? And that the reason I do that is because I love you so much?
Well, there is another “Dad” – a much bigger “Dad” – who feels much the same way about you. You call Him God. Yes, the One you prayed to with your mom just before you went to bed every night as you were growing up.
You remember the many times I told you that you must never, never forget that I love you? Well, God wants the very same thing. He wants you to never forget how much He loves you.
To make sure you never forget, He gave you One gift. The gift is Jesus. Yes, Jesus, the baby in the manger in the mini-Bethlehem which you used to place under our Christmas Tree. Jesus was born because God went out of His way to make sure you never forget you are loved by the biggest Dad of all.
God gave you Jesus because you need Him. We ALL need Him. We need Him because Life is too tough to live by ourselves. There’ll be problems. There’ll be people who won’t be good to you. There’ll be big disappointments. Frustrations. Sometimes, these will make you angry. Very angry.
Sometimes, these will break your heart. And, sometimes, no one, even Mom and Dad, could help you feel better. Sometimes, we won’t be there for you. That’s why God gave you Jesus. You can always talk to Him. All you have to do is believe He is with you. Jesus promised something – that He will never leave you nor let you go through tough times all by yourself. It’s a promise you can always count on. I know.
There’s Christmas so you’ll never forget this – that Jesus was born for you.
But there’s another “why” to Christmas. Christmas reminds us that Jesus also has to be born in your heart. In you. So you can also be Jesus to others.
I know you’ll ask “why” you have to be Jesus to others. Here’s what I think.
It is because there are people in your life who will go through tough times. Through disappointments. Heartbreaks. Frustrations. They’ll be sad, sometimes very angry. And they won’t know what to do and they would feel so alone with their hurts and pains.
Someday, you will learn how to help them. How to lend them your hand. How to feel what they feel and to tell them that they have the strength within them which they need to move on. You will make them feel that they are not alone. That they have a friend in you.
When you do so, that’s being Jesus to them.
My daughter, your heart is like the manger in Bethlehem.
You will have to let Jesus lay there – for people in your life to feel his presence.
When you let that happen, the people in your life would also know what Christmas really means. Why there is Christmas.
May it always be Christmas for you.
A blessed Christmas, everyone.
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Tags: Dr. Jun Ynares