where love is alive 

As I sit here trying to write an article on my assigned week, I am going to be honest with you, I have nothing.  If you are like me at this time of year, our brains are on Christmas overload!  There are programs, parties, food to cook, gifts to purchase, and the list keeps going.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas!   As a matter of fact, I am the person who is ready to begin decorating on November 1st and am so sad when it is time to take it all down after the holidays. 

I do love Christmas.  However, this seems to happen to me each year at this time, the busyness of it all hits and I feel as if my brain shuts down.  I have a sneaky suspicion this happens to some of you, too.  So, while thinking along those lines, I turned to the internet for some Christian focus and found a brief article by Emma Payne on the Paul Anderson Youth Home page that helped confirm what I know in my heart, but just needed as a reminder:

“Of course we know deep down that the true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of our Savior’s birth, but it is far too easy to get wrapped up in the innumerable distractions and stresses of the season that demand our attention and shift our focus off of the newborn King. In and of themselves, there is nothing wrong with most of the secular traditions that accompany the Christmas season; giving gifts our loved ones will enjoy, making gingerbread houses, celebrating with friends and family at parties and over special meals, and watching our favorite Christmas movies are all good things. The danger that we must guard against is letting these practices distract us from Jesus’ birth.”

      Emma goes on to remind us that we must be intentional in keeping the focus of Christmas on Jesus during this time.  Another point she made that resonated with me is trying to avoid distractions by various types of media:

“try eliminating distractions by limiting time on all types of media – social, television, magazines, etc.  You’ll still be exposed to advertisements because they are literally everywhere you go, but this may help drown out some of the noise.  If you intentionally cut back on your media time, you will be less bombarded with the typical distractions of the season and, consequently, better able to remain focused on the true meaning of Christmas.”

      I personally feel that limiting social media can reduce the amount of “envy” we feel during this time of year as well.  The envy of others’ decorations, meals prepared, gifts received, family activities, etc.  It can be extremely easy to get caught up in the “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality when Christmas arrives.  Every family has Christmas traditions and celebrations that are unique to them and should be all about what fits you and your family, not of those around you. 

      I don’t know if my writing this time has been a jumbled mess, or if something was said that actually struck a chord with someone.  If nothing else, my mind has been redirected and refocused!  I love you, church family and wish you all a beautiful, blessed Christmas with your family and friends. 

Merry Christmas,



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