This is an appropriate month to focus on the characteristic of joyfulness. There are so many cultural and religious celebrations during December, and each one centers on a basic principle of that culture or faith that brings joy to its people.

Some might wonder why we selected the word “Joyfulness” over “Joy.” The definitions will make it very clear, I think:

Joy (noun) – a) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune : DELIGHT; b) the expression or exhibition of such emotion : GAIETY

Joyfulness (noun) – experiencing, causing, or showing joy: HAPPY (Source:

Although both words are nouns, joyfulness is what we feel as we participate in an event that brings happiness to ourselves or to others. It is long-lasting and, sometimes, life changing.

When I was raising my children, I must admit, that I wasn't joyful much of the time. I was overwhelmed with meals, diapers, messes, sibling rivalries, and the rest. I appreciated those times when my children played well together, or when an older daughter engaged the younger children in playing house or school. I enjoyed watching them interact and show love to one another, and this truly made me joyful.

Remember the feelings you had when you were married? Or when you held your newborn baby? Or when you helped a neighbor through a rough time? There was something deeper than the feelings of delight or gaiety. You felt warmth, satisfaction and happiness – lasting feelings that you can remember and relive daily.

December is a wonderful time to celebrate with your family and friends and feel the joyfulness of the events and the traditions. Take time to help your children understand the feelings of joyfulness so they can recognize this great characteristic in their lives.