My Christmas Letter

Christmas Greetings in 2012!  It seems like just last month, I was penning last year’s Christmas letter. As I sat down to write this year, I was really at a loss of what to say. Another year older. Another year wiser. Another year realizing how smart my Dad was, and how much life has changed.

Christmas celebrations are pretty much the same year after year. I always think of Christmas beginning with The Hanging of the Green as we recall why we decorate with the evergreen, why we place the beautiful poinsettias in our homes and the churches, and the advent candles of Promise, Hope, Light, and Love. An added touch the past two years in my church, the Poinsettia Tree and the Colors of Christmas, made the service even more elegant.  The parades, the plays, and the cantatas are fun exciting ways of sharing the joy and love of Christ with others. Although all these events can seem frustrating because so many are trying to see how they can “work” these events into the worldly activities of parties, cookie exchanges, ornament exchanges, tree trimmings, school plays, dinners,and Santa.

Shouldn’t we try to fit the worldly activities into the activities of the “reason for the season”?

I really enjoyed the play I directed, “Christmas in Cricket County” because amidst the humor of the clash of the cousins lifestyles and the humbleness of the nativity, there was time to reflect on which character’s personality we sometimes fall guilty of ourselves.. If we’re all honest with ourselves (God is still working on each of us), at different times in our daily life we can find ourselves like all the characters to some degree. As the city cousins realized, Uncle Zeke really had them pegged (God knows each of us) and as the country cousins stated, they truly didn’t deserve all the blessings they were given.

A Christmas letter would not be complete without mentioning Missions. A “thank you” to everyone who took part in missions wherever you served the Lord in 2012. Missions is not only about doing ministry projects for others; it’s about providing the gospel & the love of Jesus Christ through song, word, prayer, and action through the daily activities of our life.

As some families are celebrating the “birth” of a beautiful child, others are experiencing the “loss” of a loved one. Sometimes we question, why? Especially, “why” during the holidays? God doesn’t mind us asking “why”, He sorta expects it I believe because we are ‘human”.  The heart aches because of  an empty chair or two empty chairs at the table this year. Christmas is shadowed by grief & sadness.  Although the Christmas Season and the Day of Our Lord’s Birth will come regardless of the sadness, we can still find ways to keep it meaningful, joyful, and “holy”  if we make the effort. We have to remember, He will carry us when we cannot walk. True joy comes from within, and although we are not happy “with” the circumstances or events in our lives, we can be happy “in” our circumstances because we know He is “with” us and our faith, joy, & the source of ALL love comes from Him, the Father of Lights.

We can fill the empty chair(s) with someone who will sit home alone this Christmas. If the big dinner isn’t possible financially or isn’t practical, prepare a nice simple meal. Perhaps each person coming can bring their favorite two dishes, not an assigned dish. I’ve never attended a “potluck” meal, to find all the dishes were the same.  You could also lavish attention on someone else’s child, individual and/or adopt a family for Christmas.

There is always a way to celebrate. So much of it is “attitude”. Our attitude reflects our altitude.  If we seek to be a blessing, we will find ourselves blessed. 

If we look around, we can see so many around us who need our help or simply, “our presence” Christmas is not about traditions, & the wrapped gifts; it’s about “love.  Christmas Caroling and visiting the nursing homes or shut-ins with songs, the reading of the Christmas story, the viewing of the recorded Christmas play on DVD, giving manicures, or simple gifts are inexpensive ways of Celebrating Christ’s Birth!  Giving to Lottie Moon, the Christmas Offering allowing missionaries to serve and share the “good news” in other parts of the world or adopting families in need, or surprising someone with a token of love expressing your gratitude, a simple note of encouragement or “paying it forward” in a fast food drive thru or restaurant and/or attending the local Christmas Eve Candle Lighting Service.

As we continue to move into the New Year, let’s not forget why we are celebrating. Remember WHO the birthday person really is! Bake HIM a cake & sing “Happy Birthday, Jesus”.  As you blow out the candles or as you travel through your community looking at lights or viewing the many luminaries, remember Christ’s Light never goes out–like the “evergreen”, His light is forever!  He is the Light of the World!  Let His love shine through you not only during the season we celebrate His birth, but throughout the coming year in your daily activities. The “True love” in the season is “the love that God gave to us, His only Son“, to bear our sins so we could have eternal life. The peace of Christ will last a life time, not for a short time as worldly things that disappear with empty results.   He lives within each of us as the Holy Spirit, as He has promised. 

2013 & All its “Mysteries” will soon be knocking on our doors; but for now, I am  living  by faith and “savoring the miracles of this Christmas season”.

“May the God of Hope, fill you with all the Joy and Peace in believing, that you may abound in HOPE by the Power of the Holy Spirit.”

My wish for you and your family in 2013:  “A New Year of Hope, Peace & Love!”

 

Treasure life,

Yvonne Deatherage, 12/2012

 

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