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Christmas…..what’s your first thought when this word enters your mind, say around October when the stores discount all the Halloween stuff and display the lights, trees, and shiny ornaments of Christmas?  Or when you see the first Christmas commercial of the season and the Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t even been bought or defrosted!

My first thought is, “What will Christmas look like this year?”  My children are grown and out of the house.  Will everyone be able to come home to celebrate on Christmas Day?  Will they be happy with their gifts?  Will I be able to share them with their in-laws? What will I cook? Will I receive that special something that I have hinted about for the last few months?  How will we ever fit in a trip to the parents who are 3-5 hours away??   Mix in my work here at The Mill House, Ron’s other full time job, church, and other family issues and you have a formula for total anxiety, frustration and stress!! 

Whoa!  Hold on now!  Was this really the way Christmas was supposed to be?  What is this “Christmas” anyway?  Who made it so hectic, so busy, so stressful, and even sad as some of us are grieving for a loss at this time of year? 

It reminds me of the story of a green ugly grinch with a heart two sizes too small. He didn’t love Christmas at all!  So, I ask myself this question..” Who or What is my Grinch?”  Is it the stress of trying to please the family,  a financial stress that the busy gift giving season brings, the grieving of a loved one you will miss over the season, or just being tired, overworked, and feeling HumBug!

Movies, commercials, Christmas Television Specials, and Christmas Music keep telling us this is the happiest time of the year….. But all the hype and anticipation never lives up to the actual day.  The gifts are given and the food is eaten and then what?

I wish we could stop and think, think of the small baby born in a stable, foretold by prophets long ago. 

 Micah 5:2,4,5  But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, are only a small village among all the people of Judah.  Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past.  And He will stand to lead his flock with the Lord’s strength, in the majesty of the Lord his God.  Then his people will live there undisturbed, for he will be highly honored around the world.  And he will be the source of peace. 

The Grinch thought he took everything that was Christmas from Who-Ville, the Who- gifts, the Who-pudding, and the roast beast! 

 The next morning instead of boohooing, “Every Who in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing! Without any presents at all! He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!  Somehow or other it came just the same”  “It came without ribbons, it came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!  Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!”*

I sure hope that if we woke up Christmas morning and all the glitz and gifts were gone that we could sing like the folks in WhoVille!  We should be singing at the top of our lungs for the greatest gift ever given. Our savior, Jesus Christ. He came as a baby born a humble son of a carpenter to carry out God’s plan and give us the gift of salvation!

Welcome Christmas, Christmas Day!

* Thank you Dr Seuss


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