By Gina Piazza

Ah….it’s that time of year once again. It is the months where the diamond frosted clasp links twelve jeweled months to yet another year’s end. It is a time to visit family, share a cup of your favorite “joe” with friends, mull over past Christmas memories, or bake the cookies. Better yet, these days are perfect for lazing out by the fire, sitting outside with a blanket and some hot chocolate, and watching the leaves fall. It’s all part of this enriching month with all it has to offer. 

The year wanes. No more yearning for what might have been. Instead, open this time of year’s generous gift of “what is.” Let the darkest day shed new light as you rediscover old-fashion reasons for a heartfelt season of simple splendor. Remember that lyric of glad tidings of comfort and joy? We obviously forget with phrases like, “I’m buried up to here with much to do.”  We have one School activity, two meals to cook, three jobs awaiting, four meetings in a month, five emails, six text messages, seven things on my grocery list, eight gag gifts, nine friends a coming, 10 pair of slippers (caught them at a good price on Black Friday and every bodies getting a pair), 11 gifts a wrapping, 12 dead lines to meet. You get the picture. It seems all we have time to do is be efficient is to turn to electronics to have an easier life. But now, all I seem to do is juggle the many demands of life and tech gadgets. Help! It is time to stop and breathe. 

Now, let’s hang that stocking, trim that tree, and get in line for Santa. Believe that you have been too good this year. That’s right, go ahead give yourself permission to believe that these months can be filled with many miracles. Yes, the holiday were upon us, and yes we may be the only ones who know where the decorations are stored, but aside from that fact, we all over ate, over indulged, and over spent. Is there any relief? What is one to do? Well, we can throw the biggest pity ever, or we can chose to remember to have an attitude of gratitude for something very simplistically significant, but profoundly amazing. It was the reason for the season, “for unto us a child was born!” Remember the song, “Away in the Manger, Hosanna in the Highest, O Holy Night, O Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord,” Yes, Christ the Savior was born in a lowly stable, bearing no resemblance of a Christmas tree. There were no trimmings or a wreath on the door. In fact, there was no room at the inn. Now that would bring many sad faces. Nope, not one shiny thing around. There was just some cattle and sheep, a trough with some hay, and only Joseph there to assist Mary in her birthing. She hadn’t even “known” him yet to deliver her child. What? No midwife? No, Lamaze classes or sterile birthing room? The Christ came with no packages or ribbons or bows. There was no glitz or glam to be found. And yet, how profound that unto us a child was born and a Savior has come. 

You see, when all of our holiday hustle and our shiny perfections and confections are reduced to the simple, yet richly abundant, amazing grace of the celebration in our hearts and minds which, by the way, can be done without having to show up with nothing but yourself. To just be able to show your love to the one who loved you so much that God “gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Wow, now that’s simple, yet profound abundance. Emmanuel! God with us! The total package of rich abundance, a priceless treasure, and incomparable gift that doesn’t even require batteries. But, He did come “wrapped” in swaddling clothes. So remember during this New Year, humbleness and simplicity was His celebration. The celebration of a King and a Kingdom that shall have no end. The best gift ever! And it’s only requirement is to BELIEVE.