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Christmas Joy

By:   Donna Martin

With only a week left until Christmas, life may be hectic in many homes as families rush to programs, malls, school events, and family gatherings.  Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle of activity the quite night in Bethlehem gets drowned out under the noise of busyness and activities.

As I watched our Christmas program at church this week, I was touched by the reenactment of the birth of Jesus.  It was good to sit quietly and be reminded of the reason that we are celebrating.  To think about Mary who was only a young woman, and to wonder how she must have felt to be the mother of the son of God.  To realize how frightening it must have been to the shepherds when the sky was suddenly filled with angels and to imagine how beautiful those first Christmas carols must have been.  To think about the responsibility that Mary and Joseph had as they taught Jesus to talk and walk and to wonder about the joy they must have felt as they played with the son of God.  To realize that Jesus knows what it is like to be a child, a teenager, a man, a human. 

As you prepare for Christmas, take time to “be still and know that Jesus is God” (Ps.46:10).  Slow down for a few minutes and enjoy your family and teach them about the true meaning of Christmas.  Make joyful memories of peaceful times together as a family.  Instead of arguing over who to visit and what to give, give love and unselfishness to your spouse.  Compromise and work together as a team to make this a great time of peace on earth in your home.

Whether you are a family of two just starting out, a retired couple who is all alone, or a family with children of any age the following suggestions can help you share peaceful, joyful times together as a family.

1.  Sing carols together. (You don’t have to have a great voice – just make a joyful noise)

2.  Read Christmas stories to your children.  (“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry is a wonderful Christmas story of unselfish love.)

3.  String popcorn and cranberries and decorate a tree outside for the animals (Night Tree by Eve Bunting is a good book to read to your children before you decorate the tree.)

4.  Gather a group of friends and carol at a nursing home, hospital, or a the home of shut-ins.

5.  Gather gifts to give to the less fortunate.

6.  Read the Christmas story from the Bible.

7.  Pop some popcorn and watch a Christmas movie together.

8.  Wrap presents together. (It doesn’t matter whether or not they look perfect.)

9.  Look up the different symbols for Christmas such as the candy cane, the Christmas tree, presents, the star, and see why they are a part of your Christmas celebration.

10.  Attend Christmas services at your church as a family.

We hope you have a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

The Martins currently present “Happy Together” marriages seminars for churches and organizations.  To schedule a seminar call Michael at 940-735-1515. They also publish a weekly “Happy Together” Blog about family and marriage issues.  You can order copies of their new books Dancing With Death and 366 Tidbits We Have Learned in 14,610 Days of Marriage, read, and subscribe to their “Happy Together” Blog by logging onto the Martin’s website at

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