Driving in circles at the Christmas tree farm, we argued almost the whole time. Our sweet little grandsons, Paul, and Martin, bored in the backseat, “Can we get out and walk?”

Tripping over stumps, we found the perfect one to cut down. Not to wide, nor too high, we acted all satisfied as dull teeth stuck in the base of our Douglas fir—the centerpiece of Christmas.

Chucking its six foot stretch in the back of the truck, I saw my grandson, Paul, in the rearview mirror. He was peering out in the distance, and I wondered what he could be thinking.

Why do we do this every Christmas? Try and fill our longings with stuff that ends up in a pile of brush? What exactly are we chasing when we spend, decorate, check off another list? Is it a feeling, a memory, a connection we need to grab with our own bare hands?

Today the scent of pine hovers like a living tree right here inside the house and The Word rises in my heart, “In Him was life.” (John 1:4) Jesus, the Christ, is the cornerstone of our unquenchable want for more.


We actually celebrated Christmas with our kids on Thanksgiving this year. All returns and exchanges are done. The food all gone. The credit card paid, bright, cheery wrapping paper crumpled and tossed in the fireplace. The guest rooms are empty, sheets and towels washed, folded, and put away. All is quiet. There are no games to play, no children to squeeze, no Grinch Who Stole Christmas to read. It’s just me, my best friend, and the Spirit of the LORD—who keeps giving by the light of His word more than we could ask or think.

Last night was Christmas Eve Service at My church, and though I was feeling the weight of a weary world, I could not contain my delight in the greatest gift I’ve ever been given. I was overjoyed by my King—overcome by His life, death, and resurrection. Choked up by His wisdom that meets me every morning right where I am, feeds me all day long, rocks me to sleep every single night. I am loved—just like the Son who was born in a manger. And no calendar can change that.

We made fun of ourselves in the truck on our long drive back. Taking turns, we all told stories that made no sense, finishing each other’s sentences, giggling away our earlier hostility. Coming home was the best part of the trip. It wasn’t a tree we were after but the comfort of each other.

We’ll always be driving in circles, tripping over stumps, disappointed with what’s in front of us until we get out of ourselves and enjoy the one comfort we can’t afford to miss. For unto us a Child is given. His name is Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.


Add yours

  1. Oh my goodness, ALL OF THAT, and especially your last paragraph, the best. Love reading this on this Christmas day. Thank you Jo Ann, wishing and your best friend a Christmas filled to overflowing with Jesus love.

    Liked by 1 person

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