“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16 NIV
The snow was falling and the Christmas lights were sparkling on our tree. My father had recently passed away, and my mother had come to spend Christmas with us so that her days would not feel so empty. And our home was anything but empty those days. We had just started homeschooling our 9 and 11 year old, and our 16 year old was busy working his first job. In spite of the busyness, there were days that I felt I just wanted to skip the Holidays that year. How could I find the joy that I knew belonged with Christmas? I found myself going through the motions, and asking the Lord to keep me standing when I felt like collapsing.
Yet even in our grief we tried to hold onto some of our family traditions. One of the constants that we maintained was our nightly gathering around the Christmas tree. Ever since our older son was a baby we had tried to find the time, no matter what else was going on, to sing at least one Christmas Carol together before our evening family prayers. Sometimes it would be a fun carol, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” sometimes a traditional hymn, “Silent Night,” or even our own simply created, “Happy Birthday, Jesus, We Have a Merry Christmas Tree.” It was a moment of peace in the midst of hectic days. . . .
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