Old Saint Nick Loves Jesus: Short and Sweet Christmas Devotionals

Old Saint Nick Loves Jesus

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us once again. Costco is in full swing mode, every aisle filled with all you need for “the most wonderful time of the year.”

Yes, I am writing this the day after Halloween, but who’s paying attention to that? Although it is the most wonderful time of the year and I absolutely LOVE Christmas, there once was a time I dreaded it.

A few years back, while standing in the checkout line at a local grocery store, a kind woman asked my three-year-old sons, “What is Santa bringing you this year?” They simply stared at her, dumbfounded by her question. I scrabbled to bridge the awkward silence, “We haven’t really talked about that yet, have we, boys?” It was a true statement – we hadn’t talked about Santa yet.

Cotton Mill Christmas: Short and Sweet Christmas Devotionals

cotton mill christmas

There was always a Christmas program at the cotton mill school. Children memorized parts of the Christmas story from Luke, stood in a row, and recited it, verse by verse. They learned carols, and some sang solos. The school presented its program during the week of Christmas during school hours. If parents weren’t working the first shift, they attended, sat in uncomfortable straight back chairs, and beamed at their children’s performance.

Faith in What We Cannot See: Short and Sweet Christmas Devotionals

My three-year-old climbs in bed with us and asks for chocolate milk when she gets up in the morning. Same thing every day. But one morning, I couldn’t find a clean cup. I chose instead to use one from the night before that had water in it. I rinsed it, poured the milk, poured the syrup, shook it all around and headed back upstairs. As I arrived, she asked, like she does every morning, “Did you shake it???” I told her I did and climbed back in bed with her. But instead of taking the cup and drinking, this is what went down.

The True Star: Short and Sweet Christmas Devotionals

the true star

The morning air had already begun to get brisk and now it stayed darker for longer in the morning.  Daylight savings was just around the corner. The leaves displaying their multitude of shades as they drop lightly from the trees, car windows covered in the morning dew, not yet winter but knowing it’s right around the corner. I had only stopped to get bug spray but as I stood in the checkout line I remembered, “I need to get Christmas lights!” 

Our Immanuel: Short and Sweet Christmas Devotionals

our immanuel

The Baby in the Manger – Our Immanuel

My friends, Christmas for me once meant the warm feeling of smelling and drinking peppermint tea; cocoa; gifts under the tree; the lights and the gigantic tree in the malls and of course the hyped consumerism that goes with it.  Over the years, this meaning changed when I met people from all walks of life sharing how lonely this season has become for various reasons. The change for me was three-fold:

Blessed and Highly Favored? Short and Sweet Christmas Devotionals

Luke 1:28 “And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

Naturally, we want the Christmas story to be a happy one. It’s our tendency to romanticize events even in the Bible, but sometimes the most significant stories are filled with pain, disappointments, tragedy and grief. Mary’s story within the Christmas story is one that has always fascinated me in that way. If I could talk to her, I’d love to hear her take. Not the commercialized, glamorized story we may tell. I mean the story that is less celebrated.