Welcome Christmas

    As the calendar rolls from November to December, signs of Christmas are everywhere.  The malls have been decked out for weeks by now, beckoning shoppers to think Christmas.  Neighborhoods have begun echoing the same message as house after house is being adorned with holiday regalia.  I tend to be more of a traditionalist – finish Thanksgiving and then move on to the next holiday.  So today while the leftover turkey and dressing are sitting in the fridge, I have carried boxes of Christmas decorations into my living room.  Welcome Christmas!

    Before the weekend is over, I will have decorated the tree, adorned the fireplace mantle, and pulled out my Christmas dishes.  This morning, my husband placed CD’s of Christmas music into the stereo; and the sounds of the season are filling the house as I write this article.  Shopping, baking, wrapping – these activities will find their place in the up and coming weeks.  By the time December 25th arrives, I will have been preparing for the day for an entire month.  Welcome Christmas!

    I am a little surprised as to the positive emotional attachment that I have for Christmas in light of the great amount of work involved in every aspect.  Decorating is laborious; shopping is exhausting; party preparation is demanding; and baking is tiring.  Wrapping packages is painstaking and sending cards is time consuming.  Yet somehow, I am totally up for it all.  Welcome Christmas!

    My favorite holiday tradition is reading the biblical story of the reason for the season – the birth of Christ.  I try to read the Gospels’ accounts of the nativity each morning in the month of December.  Our Heavenly Father spared no amount of preparation to bring us that first Christmas.  Aligning the times and seasons was intricate; decorating the stage of history with each miraculous event was complex; adorning the earth with the light of heaven’s glory was elaborate.  The culmination of all God’s preparation gave to mankind a savior, who is Christ the Lord.  Welcome Christmas!

    Heaven’s gift to mankind began the earth’s celebration of the birth of Jesus.  The first music was Mary’s Magnificat and the angels’ Glory to God in the Highest.  Gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were precisely chosen and arduously delivered by the wise men.  The shepherds adored him and the angels heralded him.  From the lowly abode of a manger, gratitude and praise resounded because of the greatest gift ever given.  Welcome Christmas!

    The passage of time and changes in culture may have added traditions, co-mingled the portrait of Christ with fictitious personalities, and even commercialized the holiday; but the true story of Christmas is the birth of the Jesus.  As for me, the positive emotional attachment that I have for the season does not result from the tree, the presents, or the parties; but it develops from the heart-felt appreciation of the words delivered by the angel so long ago, “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city a David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.”  Welcome Christmas!

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Article of the Week

A Rock Before and a Dream Within

    In 1501, a young sculptor found a huge piece of flawed Carrara marble in a cathedral courtyard in Florence, Italy.  Deemed unusable because of imperfections, the marble had been untouched and unchanged for almost one hundred years.  When asked to do something with the mineral rock, the young man... Read More

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