Here we are --the long Christmas weekend is upon us.  We begin to understand why so many holidays are now celebrated on Monday instead of the traditional date---a LONG weekend.  For all of you who are still in the world of employment, I have not forgotten how I looked forward to a string of three  days in a row off from work.  Some employers will graciously tack on another day---and four days is almost an entire week!  WHAT A TREAT!  BUT Christmas is one of the holidays we do not  use rotating dates in order to have a long weekend. 

My gift--to all you long range planners~

The primary reason we celebrate Christmas is remembering the gift of the babe long ago.  Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season, but there are quite a few secondary reasons which co-exist and perhaps even feed off the primary reason.  Today --  my final post before the two remaining posts which focus on  the Advent Wreath---I have purposefully chosen--family to mull over.  What holiday says "Family" any clearer than Christmas?  Now, I am not insensitive to the fact that many are alone at Christmas and some are not able to be together (my family is all together for Thanksgiving-not Christmas and this year we are spread from Central America to across Texas on Christmas day).   There are those who are missing from our midst---gone on ahead of us and Christmas without them leaves a void.  Christmas can be extremely difficult for many.  My reminder to all of you---and I have lived this truth--it is only one day and it will pass quickly.  We put a lot of pressure on ourselves which is reinforced by the world  to have the perfect holiday--but is there any real perfection in this world, especially when humans are involved?  For all of you--family or not---perhaps alone---remembering those we have lost---striving for perfection or perhaps just giving up---I promise the Christmas message is all about hope and love.  We make a choice as to how we will spend the day---in deep despair or reflecting on those Christmases which were great blessings.  I have wonderful memories of Christmas until my father died when I was 14.  I can either remember those wonderful years or relive the sadness which came with Christmas after he left us.  The years when Christmas was just another day.   It is my choice---and I choose the good years.  As my sweet friend who is a counselor tells me, "All families are a mess at best."  So when we come together do we revisit past failures or laugh over the really good times?  We are given the free will to determine our attitude toward life.  I do not want to be remembered for how angry or disappointed I was, but instead how much I laughed and loved.  So today---as you prepare to celebrate---spend some time in reflection of what you want Christmas to look like over the next two days.  Primarily we want to celebrate the gift of Jesus---the perfect love of our God who provided for our redemption so that we might be family with Him.  Secondarily we want to remember the gift of our earthly family--the good parts of being a family.  For those of you who have had devastating family histories---remember you have those who have shared memories and take strength from each other.   I have seen a lot of Christmases now that I am half way through my seventh decade and the vast majority have been on the positive side and only a handful sad.  SO--if Christmas is all about hope and love---then treat everyone in your path with love and claim the hope Jesus brought to  us all those years ago.  

And if all else fails, remember that little family that welcomed a baby on that first Christmas.  The baby who brought A Great Hope for our future which was sealed by His Perfect Love.


"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,

which is Christ the Lord."

Luke 2:11

1 comment

Your comments keep my writing and often cause me to think. A written form of a hug or a pat on the back and an occasional slap into reality---I treasure them all!