I like the word "joy." I mean, it conveys joyfulness, doesn't it? Pure, unadulterated happiness and exuberance. That's my definition of it, anyway. And it's only three letters, but it means all that. I think the first place I ever heard the word "joy" was in the holiday carol "Joy to World." And that carol, when properly performed, epitomizes joy.
Joy is also the way a little kid feels on Christmas morning. After all the weeks of anticipation, the joy of wrapping paper flying, new gifts to discover, the excitement of what's inside the box... that's joy. Joy is also knowing you made your family happy. And it's the delight you take in your own little pile of presents. And it's the fun you have with your family for the rest of the day, sharing gifts, reminiscing, laughing at the geeky antics of your dad. It's the meal your mom spent days planning, and hours cooking, because it's her way of telling you she loves you to pieces. It's the rousing game of Trivial Pursuit, if you can convince everyone to play.
Joy is the sound of my favorite Christmas music, the way it lifts my soul. It's the lights. It's the peppermint candy canes. It's the cup of hot tea sipped as I sit in front of my lit up tree.
Joy is the light in the dark that leads us out of the cold.