Thursday, December 14, 2006

Joy To The World!

Warning... Erika is in a mood!!! I just shared with my family that I am practically giddy right now. My family and I have just been so blessed... I have always loved Christmas. But this year... I don't have a good way to describe it. This year is different for some reason. Usually everyone complains about the Christmas decorations being out early. Not me. Because every house I drive by that is lit up is a reminder to me that it is Christmas! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year! I love giving gifts. I have so much fun putting together a gift for someone dear to me. Something that I have spent time thinking about that person and choosing just the right things. Wish Lists are useless for me, I like to wander the aisles (or and think about someone specific, and wait until I see something that screams to me. I love sharing a piece of me with someone else with a gift. This year I've been a madwoman in the kitchen, pouring love into each piece of chocolate I touch.

We put up our Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving. They come down sometime after the New Year, so for us, that is over a month of daily reflection on Christmas, and what it means to us. I love watching my precious children light up every day when they turn on the lights, and move the calendar counter one day closer to Christmas. And I especially love it when I take them shopping for a gift. Yesterday I took them to buy something for Daddy. And they both were so thoughtful, picking out just the right things for Daddy- it wasn't a random, pull it off the shelf, there was thought behind both pairs of eyes as they wandered around looking for something for their Daddy. You can see the love in their eyes as they hand a gift to the cashier, and get to walk out of the store with it in their hands. And the smiles as they wrap it and set it under the tree, and you know how excited they are going to be to have Daddy open up those gifts.

Christmas through the eyes of a child is a wondrous thing. One of the traditions that I'm still glad to see on TV is the Charlie Brown Christmas. What a better way to show a child the importance of Christmas, than through these silly little kids putting on a Christmas play. Every time I hear Luke 2:8-14, I think of Linus, reciting the verse for the play. So today I read the Christmas story, and I thought I'd just post that here today.

"1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

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