How do I prepare for Christmas?

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December is nearly here. This year I have been blessed with five different opportunities to tell Christmas stories. Now that many of our grandchildren are teenagers, the emphasis on gifts has receded into the background. Today, many people don’t know the Christian Christmas story. Without the religious celebration and the gifts, what is left of our Christmas tradition?

Many understand Christmas as a celebration of family. That is good and in many ways, fits with our faith story. We love to gather family, enjoying conversation, playing games, eating. This year all of my side will be together. Grandsons are coming from Vancouver, Thunder Bay, London and St. Catharines, Son Dave and his family are flying from South Africa. I can hardly wait.

What do I need to do to prepare? This year, I’ve decided to use my big Lynn Johnston calendar that hangs in my kitchen to record at least one blessing for each day in December. Writing those blessings will be so easy. Between us, Tom and I have five children and nine grandchildren. I think I’ll give each one a day. I’ll write in their names and some of the things that make each one special. I think it would be fun and affirming at our family Christmas gathering to take down that calendar and share it with the group as a gift of love to our family. What better way to celebrate Christmas than a to remind our family that God has created us all precious, marvelous, and unique.

I recommend this as one of the ways you prepare for Christmas. You can include family, friends, your minister, teacher, all the people and the pets who are special in your lives. If you won’t see them over the holidays, send them a hand-written letter, maybe in a Christmas card. You will be giving the joy of Christmas to those you love. As you do this, the Spirit of Christmas will grow stronger within you.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had. (Romans 15:5)

by Rev. Janet Stobie

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