It’s game time, friends! This is the week that, depending on your holiday tradition, Santa comes to town, that Rudolph shines his nose so bright, that every mother’s child is gonna spy to see if reindeer really know how to fly.
And it’s also the time that the world takes a pause and reflects on the birth of a baby, an event that would change the course of the world and eternity.
In all the preparation, travel, cleaning, cooking, shopping, and frenzy, it can be all too easy to skid into the celebration and find that you haven’t had the time or brainpower to focus on the central reason for the season. But taking a few minutes to pause and meditate on the birth of Jesus with your family doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping it simple is in keeping with the events surrounding the arrival of Jesus into the world. He wasn’t born into royalty or aristocracy. He wasn’t born into fanfare, wealth, or notoriety. He was born to a young girl, her working-class husband, in a small town, outside the spotlight of the metropolises of the time. There was no complicated baby equipment, no extensive infant wardrobe, no maternity photoshoot, and no push present.
He was born in a simple stable, to inexperienced, unqualified people, who said a simple “Yes” to God.
And so, perhaps taking a simple moment with your family, before the presents are opened, before the meal is eaten, before your celebration expands into its colorful, chaotic joy, is the brightest way to begin.
As your family gathers, read the following verses and thoughts together:
This simple experience with your family will take less than five minutes and is a beautiful way to open your celebrations. When we remember why we take this time of year to celebrate, it truly does make the season all the more bright.
From all of us here at Altrua HealthShare, we wish you and yours the merriest of Christmases. May the light of God shine in your heart. May the gift of Jesus fill you with hope. May the mercy of God meet you right where you are to renew your joy. And may the wonder that Immanuel has come carry you throughout the year.
Julie Lyles Carr is a best-selling author, podcaster, and entrepreneur living in Austin, Texas, with her husband Mike Carr. They have eight kids, two unfriendly cats, and an antique dachshund.