Merry Christmas!

I feel like I have celebrated Christmas every day this month, not just today, Christmas Eve. There have been so many joyous momemts, from the day after Thanksgiving when my husband and I go to The Growing Place for fresh greens to adorn the house, to the ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas exhibit at Naper Settlement. (Complete with “antique” copies of the book I used to read to my classes in third grade.)

There was my son’s birthday on the 7th, when he turned 29, and a luncheon at Knox Presbyterian church where I heard my dear friend Carol present A Reel Meaning of Christmas. I have made cookies, and drunk coffee with my beloved parents, and hosted my husband’s family for Christmas last Saturday, complete with individual meat pies for everyone and a roasted turkey to share.

Every morning I open the Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar, with the theme of the Cotswolds this year, first introduced and given to me by dear Linda at The Task at Hand. And, I read a little book called The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper. (You can read the book of only 98 pages online here.) His words have helped me focus on great truth, instead of ads and panic and the feeling that Christmas ought to be a time when everything is perfect. As if it could be.

Piper starts his book with a chapter entitled, “The Search and Save Mission”. Here is my favorite quote from it:

It’s a season for cherishing and worshiping this characteristic of God – that he is a searching and saving God, that he is a God on a mission, that he is not aloof or passive or indecisive…He is sending pursuing, searching, saving. That’s the meaning of Advent.

Then he reminds us why Jesus came:

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8

Don’t leave Christmas in the abstract. Your sin. Your conflict with the devil. Your victory. He came for this.

More important to me than anything (the cookies, the parties, the celebrations, the presents) is that He came to set us free. That is why we have Christmas.

May your days be bright, your sorrows be diminished, and your joy without bounds today, tomorrow and always.

Merry Christmas,

Meredith

35 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

  1. You’re so right about the pressure to have everything just perfect. It causes so much unnecessary stress. So what if the napkins on the table don’t match or you didn;t make your own cranberry sauce. There are far more important thing to get worked up about….

    Enough of a rant..
    I wish you joy, health and peace

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    • I don’t think you left a rant, I think it’s important to remind one another of how the little things don’t matter at all. And, if I spend too much time listening to the radio or watching tv, I get my priorities all askew. It reminds me of Tolstoy’s “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in it’s own way.” But to look at the media, it would be easy for someone to feel that they were the only unhappy one. We all live in a fallen world, I think, and things are far from perfect.

      Enough of a rant.☺️
      I, too, wish you joy, health and peace this Christmas and in 2020.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I thought of you when I placed your origami star on my tree this year. I wish you and all you love a merry Christmas, and a new year filled with peace, joy — and a lot of wonderful books!

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    • An origami star, how wonderful! We did not put up a big tree this year, but I always put up a crèche and a table top tree with origami ornaments I made several years ago. I even hung a small red, and a small brass, bead on each one. Now my hands feel like they can hardly put on my earring backs!☺️

      Thank you fo all you add to my life, from Advent calendars to wonderful insights in your writing. Merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful to read post, I will look into that book as well. Pipet surely inspires.
    I too have been loving the advent calendar. Thanks for it.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We will stay in touch through here.

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    • Piper’s words were one of the best parts of December for me. Even though I have believed all of my life, they refreshed me with reminders of the great truths we know. Each chapter was just the right length, too. If a devotional gets too verbose I get too weary of plowing through it.

      So glad you love the advent calendar. I suspect it charms the child within us. And yes, we will stay in touch through both of our blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Iliana. I did not put I a big tree this year as we had several big family parties, and there would not have been room. But, red always brings great festivity anywhere it goes, I think, from my living room to my lips. 💄☺️

      Merry Christmas to you, and many blessings on your new year.

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  4. What an inspiring blog for this busy time. I intentionally read an advent devotional after Christmas in order to extend the season into the quieter month of January. and will look forward to Piper’s writing because that snippet that you shared spoke a lot to me already. It was such a nice surprise to see you at the Knox lunch and now count it as one of my favorite Christmas memories also.

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    • I never knew that, that you read an Advent devotional into January! What a great idea! Piper’s book is truly special; I’ll tell Santa to bring you one next year so that you don’t have to sort through a pdf on line.

      It was so nice to be with you at Knox and be inspired by your meaningful presentation. What a lovely Christmas we have had.

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  5. I tried to celebrate every day as well but I wasn’t off of work until 12/20 and then I felt a little overwhelmed. I bought the She Reads Truth Advent study and fell behind by days. However, I am piecing things together now and slowly easing into my time off. Gosh! It took a week for me to decompress.

    Sounds like you had a lovely month of December!

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    • It is very challenging to work until the 20th of December. How well I remember we those days, only two years past. It was impossible to bake cookies and decorate the house and send cards and host parties and go shopping and keep peace. Things will get better for you; now is the time to focus on Him and rest.

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    • I think it is easiest when I approach it with no expectations. Or, at least as few as possible. To be grateful for each day is an acquired trait, one that I didn’t quite achieve until this current decade.

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  6. Your Christmastide does sound wonderful! Merry Christmas, Dear Meredith! God is with us!

    This year “Christmas” at my house was a more chaotic, messy, slapdash event than anything I’d ever imagined could happen here! But it was most glorious, because: God is with us!

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