A different kind of Christmas warmth…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… or not.

In my corner of the world—northeastern Indiana—while we don’t always have snow for Christmas, we’re accustomed to cold weather as the days close in on the yuletide celebration. This December, however, has been unseasonably warm—almost ridiculously so—leaving us with absolutely no chance of a white Christmas.


Many moons ago as we celebrated our first December 25 as a married couple, the mercury hit a record high of 64 degrees accompanied by a very high “low” of only 55. I was incredibly bummed as I tip-toed around mud holes in the foggy, rainy/drizzly conditions. I felt cheated of the joy of my favorite time of year.

I guess I’ve matured over the years because, while I’ve oft repeated in the last couple weeks how “it doesn’t seem like Christmas time with the weather being so warm!”, I’m not bummed. Actually today as I hit the grocery store and begin to cook and rearrange the furniture to accommodate 40 people in my living/dining room area, the weather is the least of my concerns. I’m bustling with fun ideas for entertaining each age group, with special attention to how to fit in each of the looked-forward-to traditions as our time together this Christmas Eve will be a bit short due to work schedules. As family from out of state are unable to make the trip this year, we’re hoping to include them in the festivities via an online connection. Better than not “being” with them at all. So, yeah, there’s much more important things to conDSCF6702sider than the weather.

Oh, I love the look  of freshly-fallen snow blanketing the ground, and a chill in the air does make it feel more like Christmas. Should we wake up on Thursday and/or Friday to find the weather predictors got it all wrong, I wouldn’t complain. To be greeted with a white Christmas would be very nice. But I’m not counting on it. Nor am I wasting even a second on wishing for snow or cold.winter snow scene

And once the group arrives on Christmas  Eve, I’ll forgot about the spots on the family room carpet that refused to disappear despite repeated scrubbings or the even-shabbier-than-last-year kitchen cabinets that we’d hoped to have replaced by now. Nothing will matter except being together to celebrate GOD’s greatest gift to mankind—HIS son born in a manager, destined to be the Saviour of the world. Our hearts will be filled to overflowing with the warmth and joy of CHRISTMAS. Oh, I can hardly wait…

What about you? What are you most looking forward to about CHRISTMAS this year?



“Where is Baby Jesus?”

My nearly three-year-old grandson raced through the house in a panic. “Mom! Where is Baby Jesus? He disappeared! I can’t find Him anywhere!”Dylan's nativity

For several weeks he’d played with a 3 piece nativity his parents had found in his grandpa’s belongings. The young lad had latched on to the miniature, clear glass figurines, with a special fondness for the wee babe in the manager.

With the help of his mom, the lost child was found. The relieved youngster resumed toting around the tiny infant. And all was well.

I’m afraid Baby Jesus is in danger of disappearing from Christmas—the holiday created to celebrate HIS extraordinary birth and continued presence in the lives of boys and girls, men and women.

Oh, that this “disappearance” could be solved as easily. Consumed with shopping and gifts and parties and fun and food and traditions, how easy it is to neglect… to disregard… to overlook the significance of why we celebrate, of why we give gifts and share Christmas cheer and goodwill.

As each of us make the necessary preparations to celebrate this holiday meant to commemorate the greatest gift ever given, I challenge you to make Baby Jesus an integral part of your family’s Christmas.

In your corner of the world, make sure friends and family and neighbors and acquaintances and yes, even strangers know why you celebrate Christmas.

         Give gifts. Spread Christmas cheer. Make memories.  Treasure traditions.                                                       Have fun. Indulge in tasty treats.                                                        Celebrate. Celebrate. Celebrate.        

     And do it all with the remembrance that … 


jesus is the reason 

 What is you family’s favorite way to celebrate that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”? 


My Christmas Favorites

christmas tree  I can still hear their groans years later. As December 1 neared each year, my anticipation for all things Christmas multiplied by the hour. Oh, the kids didn’t mind my enthusiasm for decorating the house, baking dozens of cookies, indulging in an assortment of holiday shaped and colored candy, and shopping for Christmas presents—especially those from their detailed lists.file8521285682176

What they moaned endlessly about was my love of TV Christmas movies and specials including Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and any of the many Walton’s or Little House on the Prairie episodes. Even better—or worse for them—the nightly programming a particular network aired as “The 25 Days of Christmas” each evening at the same time throughout December.

I love Christmas music, too, from the golden oldies to the newest tunes. But my announcements of “let’s listen to Christmas music”  aren’t met with the appropriate enthusiasm. I don’t know what’s wrong with everyone. It’s not like I pop in the Christmas CDs every week.


In fact, we reserve all things Christmas until after Thanksgiving, not only to promote the importance of Thanksgiving but also to preserve the specialness of Christmas. Even I would get tired of all the trimmings and the merriment if the celebration stretched too long, say beginning in early October. This lover of all things Christmas knows that too much of a good thing—even an amazingly great thing—is never good.

For your listening and viewing pleasure, I’ve noted some of my favorite songs of the season along with a Youtube link.

“This is Christmas” by Kutless (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20HoJZecNqM),

“How Many Kings”  by Downwhere (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYe9sWYKdo)

“Christmas This Year” by Tobymac (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jouVQsRS4SI)

“The Gift Goes On” by Sandy Patti http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNgEzpmZtjI&list=PLA48020D0D3A6E938

“Come on Ring Those Bells” by Evie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1nFX8Qaq_U&list=PLA48020D0D3A6E938)

“The First Noel” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCbyIBNXs5k&list=PLAFE88FA446CC31A5)

I’m hoping my hectic schedule slows down enough for me to watch at least a couple sappy… oh, I mean, touching Christmas specials. I’ll have to announce my viewing plans a couple hours in advance to scare away the nay-sayers. Then I’ll be able to snuggle under a warm blanket and watch in the peace and tranquility that all great Christmas specials deserve.

What’s your favorite Christmas song, movie or TV special?