Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. Having grown up in a large family, I would join my nine siblings in our traditional tree decorating activity; the old fashioned lights were large, the tinsel real aluminum and we often made hand-made ornaments; usually my father or later an older brother would carefully place our special angel to top our prized tree. As we got older and mischievous, we would engage in the secretive gift “hunt” to see if we could locate our parents hiding place – I recall that the preserves’ cellar was a favorite location. On Christmas morning we would awaken early to check out the array of gifts surrounding the tree – quite the image with such a large family. Gift opening was a progressive process as we watched each family member open their gifts, sharing the joy and surprise together. A hearty brunch would come next, followed by play time before a traditional Christmas dinner. Never did we lose sight of the reason for Christmas, remembering as a family the birth of our Savior, His gift of grace and the hope we have in Him.
A number of years ago, I began a new tradition of writing a Christmas message to share with family, friends and business associates. Those messages have been kept on this website for which it was originally designed. Each year I anticipate writing my message, praying and thinking about the topic and title I would like to communicate. Once I select a topic my message formulates in my mind well before I begin to draft it. I hope you enjoy the message for this year and welcome you to share with others who may appreciate it. All past messages remain available for all to enjoy. I hope they inspire you as you reflect on the meaning of Christmas and experience the hope, joy and peace of the season.