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Christmas

Christmas Night

The packages had all been opened. The Christmas dinner was history. Presents had been played with and put away. And one tired 10-year-old was headed to bed — in tears. As she laid her head on the pillow, I heard the words “Christmas is over. I don’t want it to be over.” At first, I … Continue reading »

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When Christmas Disappoints

We exchanged gifts with my parents last night, and my older daughter was a little disappointed. She’s at that tough age where she’s outgrown toys, but she isn’t yet excited by clothes and she’s not much into video games. She didn’t ask for much, so I kept most of the things she asked for to … Continue reading »

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From Party to Serving Others

Today is my favorite day of the Christmas season. It’s cookie party day. The girls have eight friends coming over this morning for our annual cookie party. We’re going to go serve others by sorting books for a local charity followed by a pizza lunch and some cookie decorating. As my girls have gotten older … Continue reading »

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Find the Manger and Ignore the Mess

My older daughter hurt her shoulder at soccer practice on Tuesday night. We’re no stranger to injury in this house. With two kids playing sports, injuries happen. We own a brace for almost all appendages. But we’ve never injured a shoulder before. I knew we were in trouble when I took her to the doctor … Continue reading »

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Don’t Miss the Wonder

My younger daughter played a hockey game on her rink’s outdoor sheet of ice on Sunday. The weather was gorgeous — 45 degrees with a brilliant sunset for a background. Most of us quit watching the game simply to watch the sunset. The kids were awestruck as well, turning around on the bench to take … Continue reading »

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The Perfect Christmas

The nativity scene that sits on my hearth is a mess. Someone has moved all the people around. The stable is leaning against the fireplace. Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus are out in the field with the shepherds, and the only person in the stable is a wise man. It looks less like the … Continue reading »

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Love’s Pure Light

I like to tell my kids that Christmas shouldn’t be all about the getting. It should be about the giving. It sounds good, right? Christmas is about giving to others. It’s a noble idea. And it’s not wrong. Christmas is about giving to others, about being a picture of Jesus to others. But that’s not … Continue reading »

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Sharing the Good News

I started this month off by talking about our tradition of ding-dong ditching the neighbors. Well, tonight’s the night we start our 12 Days of Christmas with the neighbors. This year’s theme is Simple Reminders of Jesus. We do this every year for a couple of reasons. First, it’s fun. How often do my kids … Continue reading »

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Finding Quiet Moments

At this time of year, I love to sit in the dark. Well, not the dark, exactly. I turn the Christmas tree on, turn off the lights and simply enjoy the glow. I know that Christmas trees don’t really have anything to do with Jesus’ birth. They’re a pagan tradition that we have co-opted for … Continue reading »

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Don’t Miss the Blessing

I listened last night as my husband and my younger daughter turned my back door into a nerf-gun shooting range. A dry-erase marker, two nerf pistols and some suction-cup bullets were all it took. As I listened to them laugh and argue over a nerf bullet that sat on the line between two point ranges, … Continue reading »

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