Merry Christmas!

It is Christmas morning as I write these words, and this year we are away down south in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We are here to spend the holidays with my parents and siblings. All-told I guess there will be twenty-four of us gathered around the tree and the table a bit later on—that’s my parents, my four siblings, their spouses, and a growing number of kids who range from 13-years-old down to ten months. We’ve already opened stockings and gifts as individual families, but later on will pass presents between families.

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I was raised in a Christian tradition that saw Christmas as a family day, but not a religious holiday. Though we never did the Santa thing, Christmas was still the biggest holiday on our family calendar–a day to gather as family, to enjoy exchanging gifts, to enjoy time together. Even today, all these years later, making Christmas all about the birth of Jesus still feels a little bit unfamiliar, a little bit forbidden. And yet we are still sure to acknowledge the best gift of all, to thank God for sending his Son. That is worth acknowledging and celebrating today and every day.

No matter how you mark the day, thank you for reading, and from my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

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