I’m not sure why but Maurice and I never wrap Christmas gifts until Christmas eve night. By about 2:00 a.m. we fell into bed tired but excited about the next morning. We woke to Natalie bounding onto the bed. “Mom! Have you seen the Christmas tree?” She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. “Happy Birthday Jesus!” she exclaimed. Maurice and I cracked up. Before we opened gifts Natalie held her arms out wide, “Wait! We have to sing Happy Birthday.” Big proud mamma moment right there. Yes! Praise you God that in the middle of all those presents the praises still went to You. The weeks before Christmas we spent reading books and talking about the gift of Jesus. I had been so consumed with making sure the kids understand we were not just celebrating the birth, but the death and resurection as well. The gift from a loving Father of his son all for us! The gift prophesied by Isaiah 53:5. There is no greater gift than knowing my sins are forgiven and my place in eternity already prepared. I don’t have to except my weeknesses, heartache, pain, fear or burdens. The greatest Gift took them on for me on the cross. Many times I need reminders to leave them there. All through the season the thought kept drumming through my head, “Don’t miss CHRISTmas!” It is so easy to get caught up in the lights, the decorations or even the manger scene. The manger is just half the gift! I don’t know about you but I want it ALL! Like my little one I too get so excited I want to spread out my own arms as wide as I can and shout so all can hear, “Happy Birthday King Jesus!”

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