Embracing the Season

Christmas is upon us and I am embracing the season and all that goes with it. Yesterday, my husband and I shared a lovely Christmas lunch out with friends where we joked and laughed – enjoying the gift of togetherness. Today, my cousin stopped in for a visit with her craft bag to entertain my grandchildren. She also delivered our favorite Christmas dinner rolls (that can only be purchased in Sarnia, Ontario) that we’ve enjoyed on many Christmas days for the past 25 years! Tomorrow, my daughter Hannah and I will visit friends – sharing shortbread snowflakes that took Hannah a few hours to decorate. Thursday, my parents will arrive to spend Christmas with us and then it all begins…

Up until now, the shopping, the crowds, the lights, the tree, the food, and the gatherings of family and friends have all been part of the experience and the tradition that I’ve come to love and expect over the years. I’ve heard a few “bah humbug” comments about how commercialized and costly Christmas has become. And I suppose if that is what one is looking at – that is what one will notice. But for me, the celebration of Christmas is a symbol of God’s great love for us and it certainly cost him a lot more than it ever costs us!

In a world where so much is changing quickly, I am inclined to simply appreciate the fact that some traditions never change, and Christmas is definitely one of them!

Long lines – think of all the great conversations you’ve had with perfect strangers:)

Gifts – gifts are wonderful, especially when we are more excited about the ones we give, than the ones we receive. I love seeing the faces of my adult children that still light up when they open their yearly Hallmark ornaments that I started collecting for them when they were little – now these ornaments grace their own trees.

Decorations – it is just fun to change the “look” of your home for a month – shiny gold balls, twinkling lights and the old fashioned Santa’s hanging on my tree remind me of my dear aunt Penny who started my collection over 20 years ago.

Concerts – every year we look forward to the festive Christmas concert at church where we gather to rejoice at the Savior’s birth – never tiring of the carols or the marvelous story.

Delicacies – preparation of the foods that we usually only make at Christmas – tangy meatballs, my mother-in-law’s fudge, baked brie, my mom’s pie, colossal shrimp, ham, turkey, scallops, shortbread and more…

Amidst the hustle and bustle of these next few days, take a moment to notice the meaningful traditions you have started for your family. They will be carried on long after you and I are gone. Yes, ‘tis the season to be busy but ‘tis also the season to be still and know that one starry night long ago – He came near.

I can’t wait to gather my family together later this week to do what we’ve always done through the sharing of love, the giving of gifts, and the realization that many babies have become kings but only one King became a baby!

Because God so loved us – He gave His only Son to quiet our hearts, to calm our spirits and to guide our steps. As you embrace this Christmas season, may His perfect peace and matchless love abound to you and yours!

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