A few more thoughts after yesterday's post. I guess what I realized is: if this season is a burdened, limited, "not like you hoped for" time... you aren't missing out on Christmas, Christmas is precisely *for* you. The lit lights you see hung in blackness, whether you put them there or not, are for you. "The people who walk in darkness will see a great light." (Isaiah 9:2) The gifts bought, made, wrapped, and handed off whether for you or your family or for other's children and families, are *for you.* "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..." (James 1:17) Every carol ("a song of joy") is *for you.* “You have been my help so I will sing for joy.” (Psalm 63:7). All those glass ornaments that break so easily reminding us of the fragility of the human heart, resonating with our own shattered ones. Anything passed from one generation to another – "When I was a kid" type Christmas traditions and memories – connecting us to all who have gone before and all who will go ahead... and how small-yet-big that can make us feel in the grand scheme. "It's going to be okay." The food of Christmas. The colors of Christmas. The Salvation Army bell outside the grocery store... during Christmas. The bows – "Tie these words to your hands and heart." The way wax melts under fire, running down the candlestick like a tear down a cheek. "Jesus wept." "Oh come oh come Emmanuel." "Come with tidings of comfort and joy." Buckle dirty white Easter shoes for little girls, and lick the heads of little boys, and rush out the door, and get there late, park in the grass, duck your head when you enter the sanctuary, and hear the room filled with voices, see the lights dimmed, and those dancing candles on Christmas Eve. "He comes to make His blessing flow!" And these little holiday blessings have indeed flowed down to us, finding us right where we're hiding and worn down. Propped on metal door hangers, plugged in to inflatable animals, set on the head of a fat old man who keeps his beard year round *just for this,* in rows at the Dollar Store where you get something to put in their stockings, wrapped around the tree, and waiting in the garage.