Hello, dear readers,

As we dive headlong into the second half of November, some of you may have Christmas party plans coming up. For us, my work Christmas party is this weekend and kicks off a series of five work and family parties (not including celebrations during Christmas Eve/Christmas/Boxing Day). Nearly every week between now and Christmas we will have the opportunity to join with friends, family, and coworkers to share food, drink, and a bit of fun.

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But, I’ve found it can be difficult, with all the schedule juggling, babysitter seeking, and budget balancing, to keep in mind why we celebrate this time of year. Even though Christmas is over a month away, we must remember that He is the reason for the season. Even if the season seems to get longer every year.

This is more a reminder for me, but I feel others may need to think about how we approach the Christmas season. I have a habit of filling December so full that I don’t have time to slow down and think about the coming of Jesus Christ, both 2000 years ago in Bethlehem and His future return some day. The church has celebrated Advent for hundreds of years to give us time to focus on Jesus, but we seem to have lost the habit. We spend more time thinking about parties, gifts, ice skating, caroling, shopping, lights, and mistletoe than about the One who came. None of these are bad, by any means, but when the celebrations become more important than the reason for celebration, we need to check ourselves.

So, this year, as you prepare for any parties, celebrations, or get-togethers, take a little time to think about that little baby Jesus. As you toast the end of another year, lift a glass to the Son of God.  Remember that those Christmas lights shine in the evening to represent the light of Christ coming into the world.

Go, celebrate heartily. Make merry and sing joyously. Just remember why we do so.

Blessings

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