Just in case the commercialism of Christmas has convinced you that having all of the presents you want under the tree will bring you lasting happiness, Pope Benedict reminds us of the true meaning of life and happiness.
I don't know about you, but I remember being a child and opening my presents on Christmas morning, only to find that everything I had asked for was not there. I remember at times, in spite of all of the other gifts that I received, being disappointed. Disappointed. After being given so many things, and after all of the hard work of my parents, I was disappointed. Something is seriously wrong with that attitude.
I think that's one of the things that Jesus came to save us from. He came to save us from illusive happiness and empty promises. He came to bring true and lasting happiness. He makes promises that last and that never fade.
God gives so many gifts during this season of Advent and Christmas. He has gifts for us. Unlike the ones that are under the tree, the ones that satisfy us for a short time and then quickly lose their luster, the gifts that God give truly satisfy. They are eternal. The peace and happiness that He gives, no one else can give and no one can take away. Those gifts are given to the soul and they come from within. Those are the gifts that make us truly happy. They bring us closer to God and closer to the people we were created to be. They bring an abundant life, a full life.
So, the next time you are tempted to turn to "things" (including people) to make you happy, turn to Christ in your heart and ask Him to make you happy. Ask Him to give you the good things from above, things that really last.
You may be surprised at what you'll find in your soul.