Christmas Eve -- 2012

100_9914 I love and equally hate shopping. Before you think I'm completely oxymoronic-(the word isn't in my Webster's, but it ought to be)-let me explain. I love shopping at my leisure, poking in little shops, being delighted with a perfect gift for a beloved friend or family member. I dislike crowds and 'shopping for the sake of shopping', as it were.

I have to go out to the store today, right past the mall, which will be so insanely busy it will make my head spin. Traffic will be horrendous. I loathe going shopping on Christmas Eve, more than hitting the stores on black Friday.

Why am I venturing out on this so-hated day of shopping, you may very well ask?

Quite simply, because my son needs clothes while he's here, visiting.

Sigh.

You see, I'm one of those people who have all of their shopping done by...say, June. This tradition started when my son was small, and I simply couldn't afford to shell out a large amount of money at the end of the year. So, I would be on the lookout for unique, interesting items all the year through. This year was no different.

However...

My son is coming home for Christmas; he will arrive late afternoon on Christmas Eve (for his quick 36 hour visit), and he has casually informed me he is not checking a bag and won't be bringing many clothes with him--hence the last minute shopping trip.

We'll do almost anything for our kids, won't we? That sounds like another Parent I know.

A Parent we are told to cry "Abba Father!" to...(Romans 8:15 (NIV) (A Parent some of my friends call "Papa".) A Parent Who gave His only Begotten Son to die for my sins...(John 3:16 (NIV)

Christmas Eve has always stood out for me as the time to ponder with Mary, Jesus' mother, the miraculous birth--the Reason for this season. I doubt if I will see much of that in the crowds today.

But I do know, as I do this for my son, my son will be grateful.

And my Father in Heaven will see, and be pleased.

Make a point to ponder His birth this Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas!

Christmas RUSH -- Only 4 Days Left!

Are you pulling your hair out yet? Are you checking off items from your to-do list? Is your credit card about ready to melt from all of the activity it's seen? Have you fallen into the retailer's trap of, "Oh, don't forget about So-&-So's gift!" Or the ever popular, "Do we have enough? Better to have too much than not enough!" No, we want to be the ones with the seemingly endless larder; the "hostess-with-the-mostess" or "You can always count on the (insert-name-here) to put on a great showing".

How often do we spent so much time rushing about, with our arms full, checking and rechecking every last detail, until it all becomes too much and we simply collapse in the chair? We run ourselves ragged, with all our doing and doing.

When do we take the time to just be?

To just be in fellowship with friends we pass by quickly?

To just be sitting next to our spouse, watching a silly Christmas movie we've seen at least once every year?

To just be quiet, with God, His book open in our lap.

To just be?

To accept His Grace, His Son, His Gift to each and every one of us?

God cannot pour His Riches of His Presence into hands already full.

Christmas Card Blessings

I recieved a Christmas card today from an old friend who never misses a year. We attended her church from 1990 until 1996 and she has been faithful in sending a Christmas card to us since the beginning of that time. This year's really touched me and I'd like to share it with you--

"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him." --Ephesians 1:17

The Older I Get... the simpler my holiday preparations become... the closer I feel to old friends as I write my Christmas cards... the more I cherish the oldest ornaments... the more fondly I remember Christmases past... the longer I hold on to a holiday hug... the more I realize Christmas is a matter of the heart... the tighter my throat gets when I sing "Silent Night"... the more I enjoy giving than recieving... the more I try to see Christmas through the eyes of a child... the longer I sit at night in the glow of the Christmas tree... the more wonderously beautiful the Christmas story is... the deeper my awe at God's infinite love... the more I love Christmas!

My wish for you, dear reader, is that you are able to take a moment in your busy holiday schedule, to reflect on the meaning of Christmas in your own heart. For unto us a child was born, a Saviour was given!