When Love Came Down at Christmastime

Every Christmas, we talk about when Jesus came. Christians embrace it, atheists avoid it, most people know it… but whatever you believe, and whatever you do about it, the thought of Jesus usually crosses your mind at some point in the Christmas season.
Then, there’s always that one person… that one blog post… that one church service that tells you to look deeper into it, and really think about why Jesus came down to save us. I’m not going to do that today.

Today, I’m going to state the simple truth. The simple truth is this: Jesus came down to save us. Now, when most people hear this, they hear “Jesus came to save the world,” but He didn’t. God didn’t send His only son to save everyone collectively. He sent His only son to everyone individually. One day, God came to Jesus and said, “Son… this might seem hard, but I have a favor to ask. Our people… they’re… misbehaving. We both know they’re all imperfect, but I don’t want all of them to die. Still, we can’t just let their sins go without a second thought… so I’m going to need you to leave our perfect home and go down there.”  “Sure, Dad, of course I will.”  “Wait… I’m not done. I’m going to need you to go down as a baby, and live a normal, middle-class life for about 3 decades. And… son, in order to save them, you’re going to be persecuted and beaten and whipped and… crucified. Only then can they live with us in paradise.”  “Okay.”  “Okay?”  “Yeah. I mean, I love them more than anything. Why wouldn’t I want to save them?”

He knows us. He saves us. He wants us to live with Him in paradise. He thought of you and He thought of me personally when His father sent Him down. Then He gave us perfect forgiveness.

That is Christmas. That is why we celebrate.

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#Deadinside

In case you all weren’t aware… the trailer for The Time of the Doctor just came out. I watched it. [Disclaimer]: Yes, the trailer is only 36 seconds… but do not be fooled by it’s innocent appearance. That is 36 seconds of PURE FEELS. This trailer has the crying power of an entire season.

harry styles crying gif | Tumblr

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Now go! If you dare…

Have you watched it? Good. Let’s talk.

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I don’t actually have anything to say about this emotionally charged 36 seconds, except this:

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I. Can’t. Do. It. I physically don’t think I can see my dear 11th Doctor go! He was my first doctor… he was the one who got me hooked. And now I have to let him go. It’s going to be a difficult process.

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bucknellstruggles.tumblr.com:

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Now… when I say “it’s going to be a difficult process” you can probably tell that, yes, I’m still going to watch the Christmas special… it is my duty (and I am a slave of duty).

So… who wants to brave the feels with me?

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–Gracie

I Think I’ll Hold Onto That…

There are certain things in this life that are awfully sentimental to us.

Yesterday, my family went out to our shed and brought over our five Rubbermaid boxes crammed full with Christmas decorations. As we went through all of them, setting them out, we would take moment to ooh and aah at each little treasure. In my family, our levels of sentimentality vary from my sister, at almost none, to my Daddy and myself who hardly get rid of anything. I have recently gotten better, found a happy medium of sorts, and have gone through my junk little by little over the past year.

You see, growing up, I shared the same bedroom with my sister; it was Winnie the Pooh/Peter Rabbit themed. When she moved into her own room, around age 10 or so, I cried… because it was change. Then, when she moved again, down to our basement, around age 12, I cried again. It didn’t even involve me, yet the idea of change anywhere around me was simply frightening. Finally, I decided to change my room theme, and this was the beginning of my reformation. The hardest moment for me was getting rid of my nightlight. I wasn’t even scared of the dark, it was just… I thought my night light had feelings. I do believe this was the root of my issue… I thought everything… EVERYTHING had feelings.  Mainly my stuffed animals, of which I had over 100. Anyhow, I finally stepped away from my Winnie the Pooh themed bedroom and my snowman night light and shifted to new, more age-appropriate, room decor. After the deed was done, to my surprise, I had no nightmares about my night light, swirling through an empty void, crying my name, or my old bedspread growing dusty on a shelf with no friends. I ended up being happy with my decision, in fact, because it helped me begin to take baby-steps away from my phobia of change.

Now, as we take out the Christmas decorations that we use every year, I am continually reminded of all the little traditions we have with each item. My sister and I each have our own nativity scenes that we set up each year, we have a special, specific place for each little decoration, and we even have special music and that we have to play while we set up. Then, when Christmas Eve gets here, we have very specific traditions from then leading up to Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, we go over to a friend’s house and exchange presents, then, when we return home, we are allowed to open one present, then we head off to bed. When we wake up, Mommy makes a cranberry coffee cake and we open stockings while it’s in the oven, then we’re allowed to open one other present. After the coffee cake is ready, we put a candle in it and sing happy birthday to Jesus (a special song that we learned on “The Donut Man” ♪Happy birthday, Jesus, happy birthday to the Lord, happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to the Lord!♫) and eat food. Then, finally, we open all of our presents. My sister and I start of by opening a present for both of us, then the festivities continue all morning, as we each open one present at a time going from me, to my sister, then Mommy, then Daddy, then back around again. It’s quite a system (:

As you can see, it’s easy to get caught up in a void of trying to get rid of things, but not being able to let go of the sentimental value of them. This leads to going through life, thinking, “Oh… I think I’ll hold onto that…” And then you end up on “Hoarders” in your old age. An easy verse to remember that relates to this perfectly is Matthew 6:19-20, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.”

Why should we put any value at all in things that will be of no value at all when we are gone from this world? So, like I said, I have learned how to detach myself a little bit from my little traditions. However, just recently, I’ve started learning that it’s important not to detach too much. I am growing up, but I need to be sure that I’m not forcing it along, or that I’m not getting rid of junk just because I want to seem “more mature” being sentimental can be a mature thing to do as well. Therefore, as I head into Christmastime, trying again to find a happy medium, I am enjoying our traditions for all they’re worth. Because there are some traditions I might never let go of.

What are some of your traditions… Christmas or otherwise?

Merry Christmas!!!

Still sentimental………………………… Gracie (:

What Happened to Thanksgiving?

Readers… I have a question… several, actually.

1- Did Christmas lights always start going up a week before Thanksgiving?

2- Did people always start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween?

3- Am I the only one who’s noticing this?

4- When did this start?

Let’s answer these shall we?

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was a big deal. Now, it still is… and I’m still growing up (don’t worry… I’m not one of those people who says “when I was a kid” or “when I was growing up” waaayyy too early)… so what happened? Don’t get me wrong now, everyone, I’m a huge fan of the Christmas spirit, but I’m also a huge fan of taking the special time to celebrate giving thanks.

So should we be putting up Christmas lights? Should we play the heck out of our Christmas playlists? OH HEAVENS, YES!!!

I just think Christmas should wait its turn! C’mon Christmas, you get at least a whole month to yourself!

Now don’t give me that “I-get-minus-one-week-this-year” junk…

you still get about a month! And everyone loves you!!! You’re everybody’s favorite! (including mine(: )
I’m just sayin’ Thanksgiving is my second favorite, and to me it means going to visit my favorite cousins, it means yummy food, it means giving thanks to God for all our blessings, it means traditions!!!

TRADITION

*music cue: “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof*

Fiddler on the roof

Also, for your information, one of our traditions is to turn on Christmas music the moment that Thanksgiving dinner is finished (:

Another thing… us Christians could come up with the excuse of “well, we’re just starting to celebrate Jesus’ birthday earlier!” Well, what about celebrating giving thanks to Him, huh?

One of my favorite things right now is the “Heart of the City” comic strip right now, because they’re in the process of illustrating how everyone starts Christmas too early. This was the first strip in the series, and I think it illustrates my point perfectly:

Heart of the City

To conclude, I’d like to apologize for my ramblings, and challenge you to take a deep breath… savor the Thanksgiving season, and take the time to think about being truly thankful.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope everyone has a fantastic break… I will be back in about a week to tell you about my Thanksgiving 😀

Giving thanks…………….. Princess Belle