The Best Christmas Is Yet to Come!

Several years ago, my parents sold their home in Texas to be closer to their grandchildren. The first Christmas with the family together was glorious; we ate, played, and shopped nearly every day. One afternoon, I picked up my five-year-old daughter Elise after a fun day with Grandpa and Grandma.

I noticed she was looking out the minivan window, a sad expression on her face. “What is it, hon?” I asked.

“It’s Grandpa and Grandma. I just feel really sorry for them,” she whispered.

“Why?”

Elise sighed. “I was just wondering, aren’t they ever going to have kids of their own?”

I chuckled all the way home.

Children can know the facts without understanding them. Sure, Elise knew that her grandparents are also my parents, but she was not yet able to comprehend the full meaning of that fact.

She had a shadowy understanding that children grow up to become adults and one day have kids of their own. Of course, my daughter will know, just as her grandmother and I do, that childhood is only the beginning of a great adventure, and the sweetest surprises—not to mention the deepest sorrows—in life come with time.

I do wonder if I’m like Elise in my understanding of Christmas. Every year, I set out the same crèche. I bake the same cookies. I sing old hymns and carols, light white candles, and wrap presents. I understand Christmas so very well…or do I? Do I know the facts but lack the ability to grasp the greater implications?

What if Christmas is a mystery we will only truly comprehend much, much later? What if this Christmas here on earth is only a dress rehearsal for something far more wonderful?

Are the deepest joys still to come? I believe so, though I cannot comprehend them yet.

One day we will wake up in our Father’s House and discover that the real Christmas morning has arrived. We’ll be surrounded by family and friends, feasts and laughter. I believe I’ll also be awash in dog hair and slobbery kisses. There’ll probably be a horse sharing my hot cocoa and peppermint stick, too, but I won’t mind. In heaven, my horses will have impeccable table manners.

I cannot comprehend the mystery of Christmas, but there is one thing I’m sure of: the best is yet to come.

Christmas peace

Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. Luke 10:40

Martha and I have a lot in common right now! Christmas is not only the busiest month of the year for many of us, it can also be intensely emotional. At Christmas, we get sandwiched in between a huge to-do list, and the coming of a new year.

It’s hard to process that a whole year has passed, and we must now begin to think about the new one head. We might need to take time out to grieve a loss, or acknowledge that some dreams have yet to come to pass. We need to replenish our strength, but that’s hard to do when there is so much work to be done.

Christmas can be bittersweet sometimes, but this year, I want more sweet than bitter.

Which is why Jesus’ words in Luke 19 have had such a profound impact on me lately: “If you… had only known on this day, what would bring you peace.” Every day this month, we’ll all face an endless to-do list. Often, our expectations for ourselves exceed our abilities. So I pray Jesus’ words daily: help me know what will bring me peace today.

Peace is the foundation for joy. We want to feel the joy of Christmas this year, don’t we? Peace is strength, too, and in December, we need our strength! The good news is, we don’t have to manufacture our good feelings. We don’t have to force a good mood or fake the holiday spirit. We don’t have to rely on our own, limited strength. We can pray to recognize what will lead to peace and then take action. The end result?

A slightly imperfect, but perfectly wonderful, Christmas season.

So I am praying for you, that you will choose the things that will bring you peace. And if you have a moment, drop me a line and tell me what those choices were for you. I’d love to know how you chose peace this month.

All His best to you,

Ginger