The above title greeted me on the American Airlines home page today (you may have to click on the side arrows for this exact photo). They expanded their thought with:
“Nothing beats the feeling of connecting with loved ones over the holidays.
It’s our honor to take travelers like you to the people and places that matter most.
And we hope that once you’re there, you’re able to unplug and make the most of your time together.
Best wishes for a holiday season full of joy.”
Nicely stated. Let’s dissect the title a bit further.
WE — In my case, it’s just me (and my dog, Toby) wishing you the Joy of Presence. Since we are likely to not be physically present together, we can be connected by cyberspace and enjoy camaraderie. I also wish you the presence of others in your life during this holiday season as I will host others and be hosted.
WISH — meaning to hope for or long for. At Christmas time, wishes can be selfish or generous. We ask those on our gift-giving list what they wish for. Giving gifts, especially desired gifts, helps to accomplish the Christmas cheer goal of spreading love and happiness.
JOY — a beautiful Christmas term! Even its synonyms ring of Christmas gladness: bliss, cheer, delight, glee, wonder, happiness, jubilance, merriment, mirth, rejoicing. Though not synonymous, joy brings peace and contentment. The angels said to the shepherds on the hillside, “Fear not, for behold I bring you good news of great joy.” Luke 2:10. The happiness at any birth overwhelms us, but this wondrous birth, like no other before or since, brought the plausibility for the gift of salvation! The Holy Son of God came to be the miraculous Savior of the world.
PRESENCE — Another presence even more powerful than friends is the Presence of the Holy Spirit living within to comfort, guide, direct, bring peace, grant a contented life, help in times of trouble or despair, and solve the multiple issues of life. And then, there is the verbal pun on “presence” spoken, also meaning presents! Jesus was the greatest gift ever given to mankind. Gift giving at Christmas, meaning Jesus’s birthday, came from God himself. Then a devout priest, St. Nicholas, recognized the value of gift giving. The credit for the tradition of presenting presents comes from him. Stay tuned for his day — December 6 — when we will delve into more about this man who brought a new dimension of merriment to Christmas.
Today I began my annual mission of deliberately cheerily wishing “Merry Christmas” to all whom I encounter. Have you?
American Airlines also has this heart-warming video.