calendar numbersTwenty-four days until Christmas.

When you were a child, these words brought you great excitement!

As an adult, they cause you to PANIC.

So many presents to buy!  The house must be decorated!  The lines at the store are so long!  We’re sick and we have to travel! 

Instead of welcoming Christmas, we can dread it.

But my friend, that is missing the point entirely.

Before Christ came to earth, our sins weren’t forgiven.  We walked around in darkness.  We had no way to get to God.

But the baby born in Bethlehem changed all that.  Christmas is our time to commemorate the Light of the World coming to earth.  The Son of God becoming one of us, so that we could know fellowship with God.

Wow, that is a reason to celebrate, not to stress out.

Why not simplify the holidays?  Shop early, gift wrap simply, say no to a few Christmas party invitations, skip practice for one week.

Make space in your calendar to pause and give thanks.  The Bible tells us that when the shepherds came to see the Christ child, “Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

She didn’t post photos on Facebook or tweet #messiahborn.  She pondered.  To ponder means “to think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.”

Hmm…before you reach the conclusion that Christmas is a stressful event that has been taken over by smart marketers, ponder what Christmas really means.  How does the entrance of Christ into the world, into your life, change you?  How does it change how you will live your life in the New Year?  Change the words you speak and the things your heart dwells upon?

Twenty-four days until Christmas.  I can hardly wait!

Can you?


Arlene Pellicane

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