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All is Calm; All is Bright

If you are like me, sometimes you don't feel like the brightest bulb in the pack. Today, I made a whopper of a mistake. It is so big and dumb, I'm not even going to tell you about it. Well, maybe if you read to the end, I might tell you.

Every year, the holidays hold certain challenges. My church life remains deeply embedded in Virginia. My family spends most of their time in Ohio. It could be stressful, deciding whether to travel and be with family or stay here and fully participate in the great things that church life has to offer for Christmas.

As usual, I'm splitting the baby and doing both. To reduce stress for myself, I'm going to Ohio next week and returning a full two weeks before the big day. My loving sister and other dear relatives have consented to a family dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant. To make sure the younger set knows I'm not doing this solely to avoid buying presents, I've already bought gifts for the few children left in the gift exchange and they are being shipped to the parents to hold until their Christmas family gift-giving.

So, why am I telling you all this? Within each of us rests the possibility of planning and doing our best to execute a Christmas with less stress. We can point our families to materialism and frenetic running around or we can embrace a calmer, saner Christmas.

My Church has a manger build activity this Saturday and a Christmas choir for Christmas Eve. I'm excited that I've been able to plan around these activities and still honor my family in Ohio. Knowing me, this and a couple of Christmas concerts I plan to attend are about all the activities that I need to feel the Spirit of the season. The rest of the time, I plan to write and to concentrate on God's message of love for all of us: Jesus.

"8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:8-14)

In light of God's Gift, who cares about my mistake? It really doesn't matter.

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