Archive - December, 2011

Oh, you shouldn’t have…

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The gifts have been opened. The garbage sack of discarded wrapping paper and boxes have been (hopefully) been dragged down to the curb for the garbage truck to haul away. Time to be grateful for the bounty you have received–the gifts that were exactly what you wanted, and even those that missed the mark. It really is the thought that counts, right?

But since it’s just us here, it’s time to fess up. Did you get more of the former or the latter?

I believe the vast majority of gift givers truly want to give the recipient something they will love. Take me, for example. Every birthday, anniversary and Christmas, I rack my brain trying to find the perfect gift for my husband. I can count on one hand the gifts that would qualify as perfect. It’s not that he doesn’t appreciate the thought I put into them–he assures me he does–I just can’t seem to get it right most of the time. He, on the other hand, being ever so practical, asks me what I want and then gets it for me. What a concept, huh?

And speaking of my husband (excellent segue katdish!)…

He’s a coffee drinker. We both are, actually. He’s one of those folks who is happy to drink coffee at 8:00 in the morning or 8:00 at night. With this in mind, it is reasonable to assume that gourmet coffee would be an excellent gift.

coffee from my dad and his wife: gourmet mocha java

gift from my brother & his family: coffee from Hawaii

gift from my sister: coffee from the French Quarter in New Orleans

Many of you coffee affectionados may be reading this and thinking these are excellent gifts. And they are. But not for him. I’ll enjoy them all, but that sort of misses the point, doesn’t it? They were given to him, not me.

Why won’t my husband enjoy these thoughtful coffee gifts?

Because when it comes to his coffee, my husband is Frasier Crane’s dad Martin.

No latte, no half-caff flavored frappuccino. Just plain, black coffee. Folgers or the grocery store equivalent. But he’s not complaining. How could they know he doesn’t like fancy coffee? These were all good gifts that just slightly missed the mark.

Since we just returned from a week at my in-law’s house, where watching Jeopardy at 6:00 was a nightly ritual, I would like present the remainder of the gifts received following the Jeopardy game format of answer first, then question.


Am I the only one who misses Alex's man-stache?

Here we go…

Gift which will likely still be on the card table after your January garage sale.

What is the Vampire Diaries 750 piece puzzle?


Gift most likely obtained by traveling back in time to the 1980’s.

What is a backgammon set?


Gift you never knew you needed until you got it.

Who knew you could fry barbecue?

What is a BBQ fry pan and…

What is gourmet salt?


A gift you should absolutely, under any circumstances buy for someone unless they specifically ask for it.

They don't even look good on the skinny model.

What are pajama jeans?

There’s my list.

Any interesting gifts found under your tree you’d care to share? Maybe we could negotiate a trade?

Unexpected Gifts

For the first time since my now 14 year old son was an infant, we spent Christmas away from home. This was also the first year we didn’t leave milk and cookies for Santa, because my 10 year old daughter informed me a few months ago that gig was up. Spending time with both sides of the family during the holidays can be difficult to do. Throw a divorced set of grandparents into the mix and it can be a logistical nightmare. Fortunately, my divorced parents are both within a few hours drive of us, so we usually visit my dad and his wife one weekend in December and reserve Christmas day for spending it with my mom and sisters, who live here.

This year, we exchanged gifts with both of my parents, my sisters, my brother and his family (via airmail from Hawaii) and with each other prior to December 25.

My in-laws have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to spending time with the grand kids at Christmas because my husband and I decided when the kids were still small that we would spend Christmas at home. But this year was different. Because not only were we celebrating Christmas, we were also celebrating my father-in-law’s 90th birthday on December 22. That’s a pretty big deal in my book. So we packed up the kids and Buddy Love the Dog and headed to New Mexico. The party was wonderful. My father-in-law shared a little about each decade of his life. It’s really quite amazing all the modern conveniences we take for granted.

By the time Christmas Eve rolled around, all of our gifts had already been opened. I thought it would be a let down not to have any gifts on Christmas morning, but it was far from that. Because I was the recipient of gifts void of wrapping or bows, but they were still wonderful and will be cherished:

-An unexpected White Christmas

-A nine hour car ride home on Christmas Day with nary an argument between my kids. Thank you, Jesus for books and electronic devices beginning with the small letter “i”.

-Time away from my computer. Time spent reading 11/22/63–Stephen King’s latest novel. It’s a monster of a book, and I seriously doubt I would be almost finished with it had I not been away from all of my usual distractions. I’ll let you know my final verdict when I’m done, but based upon what I’ve read so far, I’d say it’s one of his best. If you’ve read “It”, you gotta read this one. Some old friends from Derry resurface in 11/22/63. There are few things in life I enjoy more than getting lost in an epic story.

-Games of train dominoes, homemade Chex mix, cookies, candy and way too much food. Conversations and nightly play along Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune viewings. Little things, but memorable ones.

These gifts were unexpected but cherished, but not all gifts received are cherished. Sometimes when you receive a gift and you say, “Oh, you really shouldn’t have”, what you mean to say is, “No, you REALLY shouldn’t have!”.

But more on that later…

Hope y’all are having a blessed holiday season, if not downright joyful.

Choosing to believe

Originally posted December 12, 2010

image courtesy of

I found this note to Santa Claus taped to the refrigerator, penned by my 9 year old daughter:

Dear Santa/Saint Nick,

A lot of people I know don’t believe in you, but I do because of your jolly cheer and happiness. I wish I could let everyone have jolly cheer. I know I’ve changed, but my heart will always believe. I don’t need much, but this is my list…

My husband and I struggled with perpetuating the Santa Claus myth after our first child was born. We had many Christian friends who felt that allowing your children to believe in Santa sent the wrong message. Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, and St. Nick took away from that, not the mention the moral dilemma of knowingly lying to your children, and I completely understand and respect those who choose to forego Santa Claus. But then I remembered my childhood–believing in Santa made Christmas a magical time full of hope and promise. I wanted my own kids to experience what I had, even if just for a little while.

Besides, just like Santa Claus, there are things in life we choose to believe in that don’t always turn out to be true.

The childhood friend who promised you’d be friends forever? That may have proved untrue, but that doesn’t mean the friendship wasn’t real and true…

That special boy or girl–your first love (or your second, or your fifth)–who promised to love you forever only to break your heart? Also untrue, but that doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of love…

And just because I no longer believe a jolly fat man will be visiting our house on Christmas Eve, doesn’t mean we won’t be leaving cookies and milk for him, even if this is the last year we’ll be doing so.

I imagine that this time next year the myth will be busted and I will explain that even if her idea of Santa Claus wasn’t real, the spirit of him — of “jolly and cheer and happiness” — can remain alive in her heart as long as she chooses to believe.

Update: The myth is busted. My daughter approached me earlier this year and casually announced that she knew Santa wasn’t real. When I asked her if she still believed in the spirit of Santa and what he represents, she assured me that she always will. Win/win.

The not so Merry Christmas confession

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If you were to revisit posts I’ve written in past years around this time of year, the majority of them would be brimming with Christmas spirit. Like the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, right? Right?

Well, I’m coming clean. For me, it’s really not. Oh, it’s my fault. I allow all the things that shouldn’t matter much matter much more than what should. Take teacher gifts, for example.

Earlier this week I purchased what I thought would be great gifts for both of my daughter’s teachers–Starbucks gift cards with cute little Starbucks coffee cup ornaments. Teachers like coffee, right? The only problem with these gifts was that I failed to ask my daughter what she wanted to get for her teachers, and she had very specific ideas about said gifts. Neither of which involved coffee.

After a few tears and gnashing of teeth from both involved parties, it was off to the mall for a Bath & Body Works gift for one teacher and Walmart for an action figure for another. We only lacked one small gift to include with the action figure. A gift that needed to be made with supplies not readily available at Walmart, the mall or at home. With my stress level high, I dropped off my daughter at home so she could eat dinner and I headed to Michael’s Arts and Crafts. I found what we needed, drove home, gave the supplies to my daughter and left again for praise team practice. I arrived home after ten and immediately went to my daughter’s craft table to check on the progress of the project. It was incomplete and my daughter was in bed. So I did what any involved, slightly perfectionist artist/mother would do. I finished it.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The next morning I stood in the kitchen with the completed gift awaiting praise and gratitude from my daughter for finishing it for her. What I got instead was anger from her for not allowing her to do it herself.

More tears and gnashing of teeth from both parties. Feelings hurt. Apologies given and accepted. Real, honest heartfelt apologies. Breaking through the veil of you need to be happy because it’s Christmas feelings to the real stuff. The love we often take for granted. Another bittersweet Christmas memory for the books. I think it will be more sweet than bitter in the remembering.

Oh, the last final gift?

Marcel the Shell

What’s that? You don’t know who Marcel the Shell is?

Only the cutest shell EVER!

P. S. – Marcel was a big hit at the class party.

Does the truth set you free?

Although I’m much better than I used to be, I’m still quick to say yes to requests before giving the process of actually fulfilling the request much thought, especially when the request comes from a person I admire and respect. So when author Mary DeMuth sent me a direct message via the twitter asking if I would be willing to be part of a blog tour for her book Muir House, I immediately said yes. (On the off chance you’ve never heard of Mary DeMuth, she’s a pretty big deal in Christian publishing circles.) Fortunately, the request (and the book) arrived with plenty of time left for me to read it and gather my thoughts about it. What I particularly liked about participating in this blog tour were Mary’s instructions to participants to “simply share their emotional reaction to the book”.

Well, heck. I’m all up in that.

First, a brief description of the story from the back cover:

“You’ll find home one day. Sure as sweet tea on a hot afternoon.”

Words from Willa Muir’s sketchy childhood haunt her dreams and color her days with longing, regret and fear. What do the words mean? Willa is far from sure.

So when Hale Landon places a ring on her finger, Willa panics, feeling she can’t possibly say yes when so much in her past is a mystery. Bent on sorting out her history, Willa returns to Rockwall, Texas, to the Muir House Bed & Breakfast, a former funeral home.

But the old place holds her empty memory close to itself. Willa’s mother utters unintelligible clues from her deathbed, and the caretaker of the house keeps coveted answers carefully protected. Throw in an old flame, and Willa careens farther away from ever knowing the truth.

Set in a growing suburb of Texas, THE MUIR HOUSE explores trauma, healing, love new and old, and the life-changing choices people make to keep their reputations intact.

Having spent most of my life growing up in Texas, I immediately identified with the setting of the book. While Rockwall, Texas is a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth, it could have been any number of small communities in Texas–one very much like the suburb of Houston I call home–a town commonly identified with the major metropolitan area within close proximity, but also fiercely independent and proud of its own identity and history.

It is from this setting that Mary DeMuth pens the richly worded journey of Willa Muir, a woman whose lost memory from childhood, snippets of which haunt her dreams, renders her unable to commit to a future with a man who loves her completely. She feels incomplete without the knowledge of what she fears is a memory so dark she has blocked it from her mind. MUIR HOUSE invites you to ponder the question, Does the truth set you free?

For me, it seems the answer (or answers) to that question is, It depends on who you ask, and different people have their own interpretation of what is true. Your truth may not be theirs. Willa Muir sets out to uncover the whole truth of her past, but like most of the characters in this story, that truth had strings attached. Her memory of a loving and devoted father needed to remain intact, as did her justifications for avoiding her now dying mother who never loved Willa the way a mother should.

What I loved most about this book was its cast of characters. We’re first introduced to them from Willa’s point of view, and it was easy to categorize them as either “good” or “bad”. But rather than creating one-dimensional characters, the author colors their stories with shades of darkness, light and shades of gray, allowing the reader to come their own conclusions as to whether their hearts are in the right place.

If you’re one of those people who faithfully watched LOST from start to finish then venemently complained after the finale because all of your questions were not answered, this book probably isn’t for you. If, on the other hand, you appreciate and are willing to embrace a little mystery and let some questions go unanswered, I would highly recommend this beautifully written book about coming home, and then I would  invite you to consider where home truly resides.

Christmas from the place in-between

The above is a very amaturish video of my daughter’s fifth grade choir performing at a local shopping mall on Monday. It was the second of the two concerts performed that day. The first was at a local nursing home. “The Christmas Song”, probably one of the most recognized songs of the season, was the last of 5 songs performed for the residents.

courtesy of google images

Since I had already attended an earlier performance at the school, I’ll admit that the audience garnered the lion’s share of my attention rather than the choir. The first four songs were either new holiday songs or versions of old classics rendered unrecognizable by new lyrics and melodies. The audience, in varying degrees of lucidity, sat quietly and most applauded politely in all the right places. Some dozed in their wheelchairs, some smiled through the entire performance while others sat with looks indifference on their faces.

That is, until that final song began. As young, unfamiliar voices sang those familiar words, I felt a shift in the room. A generation with a lifetime of Christmas memories ahead of them unknowingly conjuring up a lifetime of Christmases from generations past. I watched as faces formerly of rapt attention as well as those of indifference subtly changed and turned inward toward past Christmas memories–both bitter and sweet.

In those moments I found myself grateful to be in the in-between place. Looking back at my own memories both bitter and sweet, and looking forward with the hope of more of the latter than the former.

Strip the season of its festive decor and commercialism and it really is all about hope.

Hope born in a lowly manger on that very first Christmas day.

“Although it’s been said many times, many ways…Merry Christmas to you.”

image courtesy of

The last of the best of Billy Coffey

This will be my final giveaway of Paper Angels by Billy Coffey. Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about Billy Coffey’s second (and in my opinion) best book to date. I truly believe this is the kind of book that, once you read it, you will want to share with others. . You may enter as often as you like, and there are several ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment here indicating you would like to be entered into the drawing.
  • Tweet or post to Facebook a link to this post. (Please be sure to let me know you’re doing so by adding @katdish and the #PaperAngels hash tag to the end of your tweet or sharing the Facebook link with me.)
  • Tweet or post to Facebook a link to the Paper Angels Amazon page letting people know it is available for pre-order.
  • Ditto Barnes & Noble
  • Ditto Books-a-Million
  • Ditto Indie-Bound

Each of the aforementioned actions will constitute one entry into the drawing.Enter early, enter often.

This week’s winner is Jamie Worley. Congrats, Jamie!

Thanks again to everyone for participating and helping spread the word about Paper Angels. And now I’ll share one more Christmas story from Billy.

Christmas Wishes

A few days ago, the local newspaper dedicated a few of their pages to children’s letters to Santa. It’s been a tradition with the News-Leader ever since I can remember, and I applaud them for it. Not only are the letters informative and at times very touching, they also bring back a little nostalgia. I was six when my letter to Santa appeared in the newspaper. I knew then I wanted to be a writer when I grew up.

If you look at these letters every year, and I do, you realize some things. First, toys have changed over the years. Footballs and baseball gloves have been replaced by i-Pods and Playstations. Things are a lot more electronic now. Still, there are presents that defy time and reach across generations. I was happy to see that both doll babies and Legos were still in high demand.

But though the toys have changed, the children haven’t. Say what you want about test scores being lower than they were twenty years ago or kids being more lethargic than they once were. Kids are still kids, and always will be. This is a good thing.

And you realize this, too: these letters to Santa could well be prayers to God. They are full of longings and wishes, pleas and hope, all directed to someone they know can help them. And the sorts of things these kids ask for aren’t really all that different than mine.

Things like faith in the midst of doubt. Take Jackson, for instance:

“Are you real, Santa? Or are you a phony? People say you are, some say not. I don’t know if you are, but when I’m older I’m going to find out…I hope your real that’s my belief…But one thing I want to do, to make proof that Santa’s real. So I can keep my belief.”

I’m right there with you, Jackson. “I believe, help my unbelief,” said the man to Jesus. And so say we all.

There is also the nagging sense that I’m not measuring up. “I hope you think I have been good this year,” says Sarah. A sentiment echoed by a lot of other kids in a lot of other letters. Some are more honest: “Sometimes I’m good, but sometimes I’m bad,” wrote Kevin. Aren’t we all? Which is the point, I think. We’re not good enough to deserve all the things we ask, and yet there they are, under the tree every year. Why? Because Santa knows even though we’re not so good sometimes, we’re still worth much. To kids, this sort of thing is called love. To adults, it’s called grace.

Of course, prayers are not all about me. There are plenty of other people who need help, too. They range from the small (“I wish you can help my mom get the tree out of the attic,” writes Megan) to the big (“All I want is my six teeth and my papa to feel better. I want my Meme to get to Maryland fine, and my family together for the holidays”–Jasmine).

And then there are the prayers that are said out of pain (“My daddy back. My daddy leave and we lonely have mommy, me and my dog”–Brittney).

There are also the ones said out of pure love (“I know this is going to be a bad Christmas for some kids. so I want you to give my presents to the kids who won’t be getting anything this year. God bless everyone!”–ZayVon).

I’m not sure if all those letters were answered the way the kids wanted them. That’s okay. Not all of our prayers get answered that way, either. But even if they weren’t, I feel pretty confident that all those kids will be writing letters again next year. Santa always come through in the end.

God, too.

Christmas Sweaters: A PSA

(This is a repost originally posted under a different name which someone took offense to. It’s a long story.)

Yesterday, I posted the following tweet:

I’m going to write a post tomorrow that needs to be written. It may offend some people, but I’ve got to take a stand.

About most things, I am willing to speak out, but on this particular subject I felt the damage might be too great; the cost too high. But then I received the following reply from @peacegardenmama:

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968

Thank you, Roxane. Your tweet gave me the courage to finally end my silence; to speak out against what might be the greatest abomination of the Christmas season.

I’m talking about, of course…

The holiday sweater:

First introduced as a form of seasonal birth control in communist China, they soon made their way across the Pacific to Europe and the New World. But this still does not answer the question of why, in a country where its citizens have the freedom to wear anything they choose, people would voluntarily wear one of these things.

At first, the blight of the holiday sweater was only observed in the weakest of our society–those not in a position to make sound, educated decisions about their wardrobe choices. I speak, of course, of the very young:

and the elderly:

So what of the rest of society? I have a theory:

Having worked in the fashion industry for several years (and by “having worked in the fashion industry” I mean “I worked in the Junior Department of a local department store”), I know that home interior trends tend to follow clothing fashion trends. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:

From the runways and red carpets of one fashion season:

To the trendy, overpriced furniture stores the following season:

I think it’s important to remember that this is a one way street. Clothing fashions can trend to home fashions, but when you try to flip this trend, the results are often disastrous:

As a Christian, I find it disheartening that Christ followers seem particularly vulnerable to the mysterious allure of the holiday sweater.

Attend any Women’s Ministry Christmas Tea, luncheon or cookie exchange, and I dare you to swing a wiffle bat without hitting an attendee NOT wearing a holiday sweater.

I think this particular phenomenon can be traced back to a misinterpretation of scripture. The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you and treating your body as a holy temple. Perhaps in later translations it states, “the Holy Spirit shall come to dwell on your person. Maybe you should provide a comfy chair and a big picture window with a cat sitting in it.”

(Of course, this is pure conjecture on my part as I don’t own a copy of the New Living Translation Bible.)

I know I have focused on women’s holiday sweaters in this post, but in conclusion I want to urge men, women and children alike to think long and hard before the Christmas card photo this year. One hundred years from now, is this how you want to be remembered by future generations?

No, I didn’t think so…

The sum of its parts

I have a friend who has a beautiful themed tree each year. Each year a new theme. And it’s not one of those tabletop numbers either.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer themed tree. (And no, the irony of the deer heads next to the Rudolph tree is not lost on me.)

It’s a massive tree accommodated by a two story family room. Last year’s theme was Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer, complete with the entire cast of characters.

The year before that I think it was Raggedy Ann and Andy. The pictures don’t do the tree justice. The symmetry and attention to detail is amazing. It’s enough to put most other themed trees to shame and to make me feel like a true decorating slacker. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’ve done themed trees before. I had a snowman tree for a few years, and our current tree started out with a theme: Rustic/Woodsy. But over the years it’s gone from rustic to rustic, et. al. It still has its rustic elements. The star on top? I would consider that rustic.

Ditto for some of the other ornaments.

But a strictly themed tree (and I typically only put up one tree, because I’m lazy like that) doesn’t allow for all the ornaments that reflect our interests.

Or our preferred footwear.

Ornaments from family members close to our hearts but not close in proximity.

We have several ornaments from my brother & his family in Hawaii, this is just the tackiest one.

Ornaments from close friends tried and true.

Ornaments made with once tiny hands which aren’t so tiny anymore.

Then there are those ornaments which mark milestones in the life of our family.

All of which make a hodgepodge of memories we get to unpack physically and metaphorically each Christmas season. A tree with no real distinct direction, but one which makes me smile.

Oh, wait…

There are two more ornaments I’ve yet to show you. Every Christmas tree should have some ornaments which represent the true reason for the season.

And personally, I think every tree should have at least one panda bear

Because panda bears make me smile…

(Thanks to my friends Jeff and Tamara for the Panda video.)

Do you have a treasured ornament that only you would treasure?

The Best of Billy Coffey: Joseph’s Christmas

Yep. The giveaways continue, but only until Christmas. Enter early enter often. Thanks to everyone who has helped spread the word about Billy Coffey’s second (and in my opinion) best book to date. I considered ending the giveaways after the release date, but I truly believe this is the kind of book that, once you read it, you will want to share with others. . You may enter as often as you like, and there are several ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment here or on subsequent “Best of Billy Coffey” posts each Monday indicating you would like to be entered into the drawing.
  • Tweet or post to Facebook a link to this post and/or subsequent posts. (Please be sure to let me know you’re doing so by adding @katdish and the #PaperAngels hash tag to the end of your tweet or sharing the Facebook link with me.)
  • Tweet or post to Facebook a link to the Paper Angels Amazon page letting people know it is available for pre-order.
  • Ditto Barnes & Noble
  • Ditto Books-a-Million
  • Ditto Indie-Bound

Each of the aforementioned actions will constitute one entry into the drawing. If you don’t win this week, each of your entries will go back into the drawing. Winners will be chosen at random and will be announced the following Monday. Enter early, enter often, and check back here each week for new opportunities to win.

This week’s winner is Jenn from A Love Affair with Words. Congrats, Jenn!

As we get closer to Christmas, I wanted to share a letter from the perspective of Joseph–Jesus’s other dad–as only Billy could write. Enjoy.

Joseph’s Christmas

image courtesy of

Hey folks.

Name’s Joseph. Joseph who, you ask? Joseph of Nazareth. Jesus’s Pop. The other father. No, no. That’s okay. No offense taken. I’m used to kind of being the guy in the corner, the mystery man. I don’t mind, though. Promise.

I just wanted to tell everybody Merry Christmas, and thought this would be the best way to do it. Computers. Who could have dreamed that one up back in my day? It would have seemed impossible. But I’ve seen plenty of the impossible. Nothing much surprised me after that night.

Everybody considers Santa to be the father of Christmas, but I guess I could share that title. Which is funny, because I tend to be left out of things. The focus is on Jesus, as it should be, and then Mary. Angels. Shepherds. Wise men. There’s a lot going on in the Christmas story. But me, I’m just the guy standing beside the manger in the Nativity scene. Not a lot of people understand my side of the story. Which is another reason why I’m here.

Christmas is a lot of things to a lot of people. For many, it’s the greatest time of the year. It’s a time for joy and togetherness, for peace and love. For some, though, Christmas isn’t what it should be. It can be lonely and depressing and scary. I knew both sides of Christmas on that night. I knew both the magic and the hardship.

You have to remember, Mary and I were far from home. Bethlehem is about seventy miles from Nazareth. The going wasn’t easy, especially for her. There she was, nine months pregnant and having to ride a donkey all that way. We slept on the hard ground and had to deal with the weather. It was tough. And to make matters worse, we were travelling that far just to get taxed.

Then, once we got there, we find that there’s so many people that all the rooms are full. So it’s out to the stables for us. Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy for me to bear. I’m supposed to provide for my family, right? But instead of me being able to get Mary a room, my pregnant wife has to sleep with the cows and the horses.

No, that first Christmas wasn’t easy at all. Not for me. I was just a carpenter, remember? And to hear some folks, I wasn’t even a very good one. I was just a man, just like any other. Yet an angel told me that the woman I loved was carrying God in her belly, our whole town was saying some Roman soldier was really the one who got her pregnant, and we were both weeks from home, tired and hungry and scared, having to spend the night in a barn. Doesn’t sound like the scene on the front of your Christmas cards, does it?

So yes, I know this time of year can be tough. I know it can magnify the loneliness and fear that a person feels. But trust me on this: hidden behind all that loneliness and fear is the very same miracle that I saw that night. The real Christmas magic. Because when I held the Child, that fear and loneliness left me. Everything Mary and I had to endure seemed meaningless and small. The only thing that mattered was Him.

That’s what I want to tell you. Whether these days find you well or sick, hopeful or fearful, whole or torn, He is what matters. Look at the Babe in the manger, and you will see everything differently from then on.

Merry Christmas to you all.