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Getting in the Christmas spirit

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    It’s Christmas, a time to remember what Jesus accomplished by coming to earth as a baby. We talk about “getting in the Christmas spirit.” What exactly does that mean? The spirit of gift-giving? The spirit of spending time with family?    Thinking about the holidays, …
By Seth Barnes
karen my phone 1 
 
It’s Christmas, a time to remember what Jesus accomplished by coming to earth as a baby. We talk about “getting in the Christmas spirit.” What exactly does that mean? The spirit of gift-giving? The spirit of spending time with family?
  
Thinking about the holidays, I wrote the Adventures staff:
 
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here. Estie has returned home off the N squad. It’s been a week of joyous reunions in the Barnes house. Emily has also returned and she’s sporting a ring on her finger. Her future husband joins us for Christmas in about a week! Karen has just completed her first semester to get her masters in counseling, so we’re also celebrating that.

Whether it’s helping a World Race squad go around the world or just meeting the needs of your own family this Christmas, ministry can feel a little like running on a hamster wheel, can’t it? We’re finishing up a very full year and looking forward to another one. When does it stop? Where is the time for a break? cleardot

Where indeed is the time? I found some extra time this fall when the football teams I follow (the Redskins, Falcons, & GA Bulldogs) all had bad years. Today instead of watching football, I reviewed my journals, read books, and looked back over the notes I’d taken while hiking the Camino last May.
 
For me, maybe getting in the Christmas spirit means re-connecting with parts of myself that have been abandoned along life’s road. Last Christmas my father-in-law was looking at some old family pictures with me.
 
There I was 25 years ago in one photo with a big happy-go-lucky grin on my face. And my father-in-law remarked, “You’ve lost your smile.”
 
That made me pensive. I don’t feel unhappy. But then, there are some days when the cares of the world do weigh heavy on my shoulders. Is that really me? Does the boss hat I wear begin to define me both within and without?
 
If so, then Christmas should be a time to put those cares in perspective.
 
My grandson Marston does that for me too. He loves to be surprised – he opens his mouth wide and squeaks and laughs. And I can’t help returning the favor. He forces the smile back onto my face.
 
Maybe your like me – you’ve lost pieces of yourself in this hard scrabble world in which we live this past year. You didn’t mean to, but maybe you’ve hurt people and maybe you’ve been hurt. Maybe we carry disappointment with us – maybe our spirit feels bruised and limping.
 
One of the best presents we can get this Christmas is to recover those parts of ourselves that others love most.
 
While others are cleaning the dishes I normally do, I for one will be playing more games of peek-a-boo with Marston.

 

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