This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Take a listen.

Cloverton’s Christmas version of Hallelujah


I’m spending the day in my pajamas wrapping Christmas presents and making cookies. AND, to make sure I keep the reason for the season forefront in my mind, I will watch the movie The Nativity Story later today or tomorrow.

Michael Bublé – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

“Creativity is the hallmark of Christmas. Think of the originality that went into the first Christmas. Every feature was a surprise, for nothing seemed to follow the natural scheme of things. The eternal God in a manger. No room in the inn. Visitors on camels. Shepherds in their fields. The star. No one but the Creator Himself would have scripted it that way. …

Truly creative people derive their creativity from the Creator, so it’s important to ask God how He’d have you celebrate Christmas. He alone can create out of nothing. We’re only creative in a secondary sense, taking what He has already made and “fiddling” with it. Ask Him to show you fresh and meaningful ways to celebrate Jesus in your heart, in your family, and in your church.” (David Jeremiah, The 12 Ways of Christmas)


Excerpt from my Christmas reading:

“… the heart of the Christmas story: sacrificial love…love and sacrifice are synonyms, the deeper the cost of giving, the deeper the experience of love and joy. Sacrifice, of course, is what the true Christmas story is all about. It is not so much about giving as it is about sacrificing. (All sacrifice is giving, but not all giving is sacrifice.) … Sacrifice means to give to another person something we could have kept for ourselves. It means to choose, to deny, to love, to give, and to find the deepest pleasure in another’s joy. …

There is no shortage of opportunities to sacrifice. All we have to do is look for the need. That’s what God did when He sent His Son into the world at the first Christmas. The need was twofold: for the human race to see what had been lost in the Garden of Eden–perfect humanity; and to restore what was lost–fellowship with God through the forgiveness of sins. Once the need is identified, the gift becomes obvious. The challenge is to be willing to provide a gift as big as the need. Sometimes the need is bigger than what we can comfortably give in terms of time or treasure. And that’s where sacrifice comes in. Giving becomes sacrificial when we take something we might normally have channeled toward ourselves and dedicate it to increasing the joy of another.” (David Jeremiah, The 12 Ways of Christmas)

I started reading Nouwen’s book. Though I liked some of his other books very much, this one was just not doing it for me. So, I put it away and picked up David Jeremiah’s book, The 12 Ways of Christmas. Am liking this one very much sooooooooooooo, this will be my Advent reading this year.

The last few years I have chosen a book to read in December to keep me focused on the real reason for the season. This year I am reading Advent and Christmas Wisdom by Henri J.M. Nouwen. If you would like to read along with me, here’s the link to purchase the book:

I’m de-Christmasing the house. As much as I love Christmas (and believe me I do LOVE Christmas), I am looking forward to putting the busyness of the holidays behind me and returning to my regular routine. Even though all the outside trappings of Christmas will no longer be visible, I hope the spirit of Christmas will be visible all year long through my regular routine. How? You might ask, well …

As we know, Christmas is really about celebrating the birth of God’s Son, the long awaited Messiah, Jesus Christ. God sent His Son to bring light to a dark world. We celebrate His birthday one day a year on Christmas Day. Those of us who are Christ followers, however, can make Christmas last all 365 days per year. How?

Individuals who have experienced spiritual rebirth carry God’s Spirit, His light, inside us. That light comes with marching orders. We are to let His light shine in us and through us so we can light up a dark world. We allow God’s light to shine through us when we choose to love/give regardless of how we feel. Real love is a verb. It is a choice. It is selfless. It is choosing to do something for someone else regardless of the cost to self. It is not a feeling. It is an action. It is this love that brings light to a dark world. When we do that Christmas can last 365 days a year.

Chris Rice sings about this in his song Go Light your World. Here’s the link: