If anything marks the Christmas season in the words of Pope Francis, it’s simplicity, smallness, and humility. He rejoices in the gifts of lights and Christmas trees, carols and crèches, and the happy faces of children who gather to be blessed. Joy is always part of his Christmas message. But it’s a joy that comes from the heart rather than from the external trappings that we sometimes mistake for essentials.
— from Diane M. Houdek’s The Peace of Christmas: Quiet Reflections from Pope Francis