By Michael Anderson

On a Wednesday evening in late December, 1994, our family finished supper and I read from our Advent devotional. It was a lively crew gathered around our dining room table that night, made up primarily of our six children–all eagerly anticipating the arrival of Christmas. Our oldest, Katie, was 12; Trisha–her sister and roommate–was 10, Rachel was 8, Jeremy 5, our youngest daughter Kelly 3, and little Nick just six months. My wife Debbie and I completed the family.

Nick was an especially happy baby, probably the happiest of the six, and with five older siblings there was never a shortage of people willing to hold him. Katie got to him first after supper. While everyone else was involved in kitchen clean-up, she carried him around the perimeter of the activity where he could smile and flap his arms with excitement. At one point she crouched down in a high-backed chair that was facing away from everyone, and held him up over the back like a living puppet. His smiles and laughter–with the twinkling Christmas tree in the background–convinced me to run for the camera. It was the last picture taken of him alive.

I woke up early the next morning, Thursday, December 22. I had to work that day, but Friday we were closed to start off a four day holiday weekend. Our office manager had declared it a casual day, so I dressed in a red sweater and jeans. As I walked down the hall past Jeremy and Nick’s bedroom door, I had a strong urge to peek inside. But being afraid that I might wake one or both of them, I decided not to.

It was a low-key day at the office, with everyone more geared up for the holiday than for work. I was away from my desk at about 9:00 when a coworker called me over saying she had an emergency phone call for me. I went over to her desk, picked up her phone, and was surprised to hear the voice of my neighbor, John, who worked for the same company.

“You better call home right away,” he said in a guarded voice. “I think something’s wrong with your baby.”

“What is it?” I asked, getting fearful.

“I think you should call home. I’m not sure of all the details.”

I ran back to my desk, fear working on my imagination. Quickly I punched in my home phone number and Katie answered. She was crying.

“Katie, it’s Dad. What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Can you come home?” was her only response.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

She replied that something was wrong with Nick. Then someone else took the phone, and an unknown male voice identified himself as a paramedic. “Your son stopped breathing,” he said. “Your wife called 911, and we’re here now working on your son. Can you come home right away?”

“How’s my son?” I asked.

“Could you just come home right away?”

It wasn’t until I was running across the parking lot towards my car that the seriousness of the situation hit me, and then the tears started to come. All the way home I cried and prayed, only too aware that no one was answering my questions on Nick’s condition. I feared that he was already dead, but no one wanted to tell me over the phone. It was a ride I’ll never forget.

When I got home there were two ambulances and a county sheriff’s car in my driveway, creating a mini-obstacle course. I swerved around them and parked at a crazy angle. Getting out and running to the house, I noticed a number of paramedics just standing around talking. With a sickening feeling I realized none of them seemed to be in a hurry. And then suddenly I just knew. My last bubble of hope burst, and I knew my son was gone.

When I got inside the house it seemed to be filled with policemen and paramedics. Debbie was sitting in an armchair crying. She looked up at me and said simply and with indescribable sadness, “He’s dead.”

I went over to her in a daze. How many times had I heard those dramatic words spoken in movies and on TV, and now my wife was using them in real life in reference to our son. I sat on the arm of the chair and embraced her. Instantly we both began to sob heavily in each other’s arms, letting loose the emotions we had been just barely containing. Our bodies shook and gasped and cried as we poured it all out. It wouldn’t be the last time.

Over the next few days we would learn that Nick died of SIDS–Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, an unpredictable and untreatable fatal illness that mainly strikes babies four months old or younger. And being that he died on December 22 and was buried on December 27–sandwiching Christmas–we would also learn a lot about the delicate blending of celebration and grief.

Debbie and I were determined that Christmas would not be canceled in the Anderson home. As Christians, how could we not celebrate it, regardless of the sadness of our circumstances? Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter are the heart of our faith, and as such we felt they must be commemorated. We continued our family advent devotions. We gathered with relatives for holiday parties–both at our house and away. We continued our Christmas morning tradition of reading the story of Jesus’ birth from the gospel of Luke, followed by the family gathering at the piano to sing Christmas carols. We even arranged to have “O Come All Ye Faithful” sung at Nick’s funeral. In spite of everything, it was still Christmas. And as we told many people during those days, we wanted everyone to know that the death of our son did not detract from the birth of our Lord.

During that same period of time we also had to choose a funeral home, meet with the director, and pick out a coffin. We collected pictures for the visitation, and planned the funeral service. And we cried–a lot. The pain was always there. We couldn’t hide it, and we decided not to try.

One excellent piece of advice we received right away was this: Grief comes in waves. Let the waves carry you, go with the grief and don’t try to tough it out. We followed that suggestion to the letter, and felt that our grieving process was very healthy and complete as a result.

A second helpful piece of advice came through our reading, and that was that each person grieves differently–in different ways, at different times, to different degrees. Therefore Debbie and I decided we would not place expectations on each other. We each “allowed” the other that uniqueness–to have a good day when the other was having a bad one, to not cry when that was all the other could do, to be interested in something else when the other could only think of Nick, etc. Grasping that reality saved us from a lot of additional stress.

One evening we came home and, to our surprise, there was a message on our answering machine from a counselor with an organization called Focus on the Family. He expressed sympathy, promised prayer, and said he’d call back.

I looked at Debbie. “You called Focus On The Family?” I asked.

She shook her head. “You didn’t either?”

“No,” I said. “How did they…?”

Our 12-year-old daughter Katie spoke up. “I called them one night last week. They were closed, but I left a message on their voicemail. I figured you wouldn’t mind since it was an 800 number.”

The counselor did call back a few days later and talked with Debbie and Katie while I was at work. Focus on the Family also sent us a little “care” package. It contained some literature, a resource list, an excellent booklet by Pastor Chuck Swindoll, and Dr. James Dobson’s tape series, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense,” based on his book of the same name. We were very blessed by their compassion and generosity, and Debbie and I devoured the material. It was soothing medicine to our broken hearts.

Our church also rallied around us at that time. We were members of a very small congregation, but their collective heart was huge! We felt so loved, watched over, cared for, and provided for. Many meals were brought over, cards came in the mail, there were calls and visits, even some errands were run for us. For the first ten days or so–because of the amount of food made for us–every meal at our house was a buffet. There were so many options to choose from. Whenever anyone got hungry, all you had to do was grab a plate and browse. People couldn’t do enough for us.

Nick’s visitation was held on December 26. The line of people wishing to express their condolences stretched out the door of the funeral home and down the street. Debbie and I stood for 2 and ½ hours receiving hugs and sharing tears. Afterwards people commented on how difficult and tiring it must have been for us to do that. It wasn’t hard at all, it was selfish! Each person who hugged us seemed to impart a little more strength. Each tear shed by someone else felt like one less tear for us. The longer it went on, the better we felt.

About a week after Nick’s death the county sent a public health nurse to check up on us. She asked us about our physical and emotional health, our relationship, how our kids were doing, and our support base.

We told her how our faith was sustaining us, how we were reading the Bible and praying together, crying together, and reading lots of material on death and grieving. We told her how our church was caring for us–calling, visiting, providing meals. We told her how generous they had been with us financially–that all funeral expenses had been completely covered by their donations.

She was flabbergasted. She told us, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years now, and I’ve talked to a lot of people, but I’ve never seen support like this before. You two are very fortunate. This kind of support is very rare.”

It made us even more appreciative of our friends, our church, and our God.

Many times in the ensuing months people would say to us, “I don’t know how you guys do it. I don’t think I could handle something like that.”

We always responded, “We couldn’t without the Lord. I don’t understand how anybody could apart from God.” We wanted to make sure they didn’t think of us as stronger, superior people; because then we would get the glory and God would be left out of the picture. We weren’t surviving because of our resources, but because of His.

The Lord reached out to us in a wide variety of ways during that time: besides Focus on the Family’s generosity and our church’s kindness, we also felt the love and compassion of old friends with whom we had suffered broken or strained relationships in the past. They called or came to the funeral, and old differences melted away.

Unbelieving relatives began to seriously consider the reality of a living God. My mother-in-law was home alone one afternoon, feeling very sad, when she turned on the radio and reached KTIS—a local Christian radio station.  She was very encouraged by the music and Bible readings, and has been closer to God ever since. The really unusual thing is, she had never listened to that station before–never even knew it existed! She lives alone, and has no idea how her radio dial ended up there! I think I know.

I had opportunities to share my faith at work that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, while Debbie was able to talk to two women who had abortions hidden in their past, and help them on the road to healing. We even had a Christian telemarketer promise to pray for us!

Through Nick’s death we learned that, in spite of the pain of living in a fallen world, God is faithful. He doesn’t insulate us from tragedy and heartache, but He is always there with us–giving us the strength to endure whatever comes our way. We realized many times over that people who have no faith actually need to see Christians experience and survive serious suffering, because that clearly demonstrates for them the only sure foundation for life.

Life can be unfair. In fact, Jesus promised us that we would have trouble in this world (John 16:33). Pain and suffering should come as no surprise to any of us. Christians aren’t better than anyone else, but we are better off. The very next words Jesus speaks in that passage are filled with hope, encouragement, and triumph: “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Each year when Christmas is again upon us, it brings sad memories of Nick—yet also the joyful realization that Jesus Christ is bigger than all the pain this world can dish out. For us this season is a reminder that we will one day see the Lord face to face, and there in heaven we will hold our son again.

 Mike Anderson   copyright 1996             

(I wrote this story years ago for a magazine submission.  Reading it over again now I realize my style has changed somewhat and I would write this a little differently today.  But I decided to leave it as is)

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Most of my adult life I’ve experienced that down, mildly depressed feeling after Christmas–and I’ve never really known why.  Actually, I’ve always been a little embarrassed about it, so I’ve never talked about it much.  Was I just hoping for more or better presents?  Am I that selfish?  Was I not recognizing the true meaning of Christmas?  I always THOUGHT I did.  So why was this happening to me?

So a couple of weeks ago I decided to meet the question head on, with the full force of my intellectual powers ( no snickering).  And it hit me in one of those “Duh!” moments.  The reason I feel blue after Christmas is because I like Christmas and now it’s over!  I love almost everything about the season–the decorations, the music, the general mood or spirit, the special church services, the feeling of anticipation.  And once all of that ends, well, of COURSE I feel sad.  I feel sad when a vacation ends, I feel sad when summer is over, I feel sad when I slide the last bite of French silk pie into my mouth.  It’s normal! 

Maybe that sounds pretty obvious to you, but it was a revelation to me.  And once I acknowledged it, it freed me up to really enjoy Christmas this year like I never have before.  2008 will go down in my history as perhaps the best Christmas ever, and I can’t wait for next year to enjoy it all again. 

And a little frosting on the cake…  Acknowledging the normal reality of post-Christmas blues has actually served to lessen them this year.  I didn’t expect that, but I sure do welcome it.

So, for probably the last time in ’08, Merry Christmas!  And as Tiny Tim observed, “God bless us, every one!”

One more Christmas story. This one’s just under two pages. 

 

 

                 The Second Epistle of James, the Brother of Jesus

     I wasn’t there when Jesus was born; he was my older brother—I came along almost two years later.  Growing up, I heard the story of his birth over and over again—and then was told not to tell anyone.  When I was very little it was awe-inspiring, when I became older… it grew tiresome.  The tense part about all the inns being over-crowded, the odd part about shepherds guided there by angels, the surprising part about wise men from the east bearing gifts; it became oft recited family lore—surely embellished over the years, surely changed and adjusted for maximum dramatic effect.  But true?  Parts of it, undoubtedly, but other parts fairy tale and legend. 

     Part of the reason the story became tiresome was because Jesus himself became tiresome.  It was obvious that Father and Mother thought him special—not that they actually loved him more, but they definitely looked at him differently from the rest of us.  And Jesus seemed to grow into that role.  At times he was a wonderful playmate: laughing, running, sling shooting contests, sword-fighting with sticks.  He cried when his thumb was inevitably struck—just like the rest of us.  But there were other times—when our play crossed a line that Father and Mother possibly might not have approved—when he would suddenly look at me with the most irritating adult expression on his face.

     “James,” he would say, “that would not please Father and Mother.”

     “They don’t have to know,” I would respond.

     “If you continue in this direction, I would have to tell them.  I’m sorry, but we must honor their desires.”

     Very tiresome. 

     Then as time went by, he became more serious, and in many ways it appeared he and I had less and less in common.  I would sometimes catch him alone, staring off into the hills, totally transported to another place or time, often with a very sad look on his face.  One time I remember quite clearly.  It was right after his 15th birthday.  It was a very starry night—like a million candles on a black cloth, and he was standing outside alone, crying.  I asked him what was wrong, and at first he was quiet.  Then he rubbed the tears off his cheeks and said,

     “Remember that time we came across some Romans crucifying a robber?”

     I nodded.  “How could I ever forget that?!” I said, disgusted all over again at the memory.

     He sighed, then continued, “I was just thinking what a horrible way that would be to die.”

     At the time it struck me as a very strange thing for a 15 year old to be thinking about. 

     After our Father died, Jesus took over his carpentry work to provide for our family.  My brothers and I helped some, but he was the one with the most talent and the strongest work ethic.  I thought it was just because he was the oldest. 

     As he grew older, I knew he would soon be taking a wife.  I assumed we would help him build a home next to ours so he could continue working in our Father’s carpenter shop.  But there was always a reason why the time wasn’t right, or why this girl wasn’t the one.  One by one, we his siblings married, but he stayed home with our mother.

     Not long after this time began what we then called “the madness.”  He left suddenly, and traveled south to a place along the Jordan River where a man called John had been preaching and baptizing.  We heard that Jesus himself had been baptized, and then he just disappeared.  He vanished like Enoch, and no one knew what had happened to him.  He was gone for over a month.  Then just as suddenly he reappeared—staggering out of the wilderness, thin as an olive branch.  He began preaching repentance and collected a group of followers—simple uneducated men and many women.  After years of devotion to our mother and to the carpentry work, it suddenly became unimportant to him.  He never put his hands upon wood again, until… until that day.  We tried to talk to him, reason with him; he wouldn’t listen.  We brought our Mother, to show him how worried she was.  It had no affect on him.  It angered me that he could be so callous and uncaring.

     “What’s happened to you!?” I exploded at him one day.  “How can you just abandon your Mother, and your Father’s work!?”

     “I love Mother, James,” he said.  “And I am doing my Father’s work.” 

     “But you’re not!  That makes no sense!”

     “James, come with me and my disciples.  Spend some time with us, listen to my teaching.  Please.”

     I shook my head.  “No.  You speak like a mad man.  As far as I’m concerned you have committed a grave sin by rejecting your family.”

    While he lived I never spoke to him again.

     A few days after his death I began hearing bizarre rumors that he had come back to life.  At first these stories came from a few of his closest disciples, but then the numbers began to increase.  Soon dozens of his followers were telling our family that they had seen him, talked to him, and even touched him.  That he was alive. 

     My head was spinning that night as I sat outside my home and tried to understand what was happening.  And then I turned and he was sitting next to me.  And he smiled, and he spoke my name: “James.”

     It still takes my breath away to think of it.  How does one go from Jesus the mad man to Jesus the Christ in one day?  He was asking a lot, but then he always did.  And he still does. 

     I’ve often asked myself, what if I had somehow been there that night in the stable—witnessed his birth, the star, the shepherds, the wise men?  Would I have believed then?  And I have to answer, probably not.  My stubborn, proud flesh would’ve looked for reasons not to, for things to doubt.  Because to believe means to humble myself, to surrender, to call my brother Lord.  It took the events following his death to convince me of the truth of the events surrounding his birth.  But I was, and I am, convinced. 

     And so all my letters to other believers now carry this opening: From James, a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.   

    

 

Michael Anderson

Copyright December, 2008

    

Last week my wife and I went to hear a Christmas concert by The Empire Brass–5 very talented gentleman playing two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone, and a tuba.  We had to drive through fresh, slippery snow–and very heavy traffic–to get there.  Because of that, we missed the first 3 or 4 pieces.  

The Empire Brass made it a lot of fun–very energetic, large doses of humor, Christmas Carol sing-alongs,  etc.  And to top it off, the drive home was quicker and safer!

The very next night I took my youngest daughter to see “White Christmas” on stage.  It was a wonderful, old-fashioned, musical extravaganza–complete with big dance numbers (even tap)!  At the end, after they sang “White Christmas,” they made it snow in the theater–on the audience too, not just on the stage.  It even melted (which I’m sure made the janitorial staff happy; no muss, no fuss). 

From my youth:     The whole family decorating the tree together while listening to our Mitch Miller Christmas Carol sing-along (and singing along!)…  Watching Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol on TV…   On Christmas morning my brother Ron was the “passer-outer” of the gifts…  The cardboard Santa face that Mom always hung on the dining room mirror…  Calling my best friend Jeff in the afternoon and asking, “What did ya get?”…   Mom’s voice on Christmas Eve, “Everybody stay in the TV room, I’m wrapping presents.”…   The pine smell from the wreath and tree…   Ignoring the TV and sitting in the living room staring at the lit-up tree…  Taking the bus downtown with my mom and walking from decorated store to decorated store…   Apple juice and fresh blueberry muffins on the good china for Christmas breakfast…   Singing carols around the piano…   Lots of good food and lots of cookies!  (I still love the cookies).

     (Since Joseph is never mentioned again in the Bible after Jesus turns 12, scholars believe he probably died sometime in Jesus’ teens or twenties)                   

                       JOSEPH’S LAST CHRISTMAS

 

     Joseph was dying.  He lay on a thin mat on the dirt floor, without moving.  His body felt weak, and each breath was difficult.  There was a soft stirring, and his 17 year old son slowly put his head into the room.

     “Father?” he said quietly.

     Joseph slowly turned toward him and tried to smile.  “Jesus,” he said. “Come in.”

     Jesus entered and sat on the floor next to him.  “How are you feeling?” he asked.

     Joseph gave a slight, negative shake of his head, but smiled thinly.  “I won’t lie to you—you’d know it if I did.  Besides, you’re a young man now.”  Still he hesitated before continuing.  “I don’t have much time left, Jesus.  I’m sure of that.”

     “Don’t say such things, Father,” Jesus said, his eyes filling with tears.  “There is always hope—with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

     Joseph’s eyes locked onto Jesus’.  “And yet this last week you haven’t put your hands upon me and prayed for my healing.  You know too, don’t you, my son.”

     A tear spilled out of Jesus’ eye and trickled down his cheek to his young, thin beard.  “Father…” he began.

     Joseph slowly raised his hand and Jesus held it.  “It’s alright, Jesus.  I understand; you can’t say everything you know.  But in this case, I know it too.  And I know that you know.  What you don’t say, says much.”

     Jesus put his head down and wept.  “I’m sorry, Father,” he said.

     “There’s no need to be sorry.  Everyone dies.  I was just hoping I’d be able to see you come of age, see what God does with your life.  That disappoints me.  But it may be that I will still get to see you, from the grave.  Who knows?”

     They sat in silence for a time, gripping each other’s hand.  Joseph closed his eyes and breathed deeply.   Jesus might have thought he’d fallen asleep, but for the continued squeezing of his hand. 

     At last, with his eyes still closed, Joseph said, “It’s always felt strange hearing you call me your Father, when we both know I’m not.”

     Jesus thought for a moment, then said, “We both have a Father in heaven, of course, but you HAVE been a father to me.  It’s right for me to call you that.  You’ve loved me and taught me and provided for me.  When I was small you protected me.”

     Joseph opened his eyes, but appeared to be looking at something Jesus did not see.  “It’s never surprised me that Mary was chosen,” he said, “she’s so good and pure, the ‘handmaid of the Lord,’ just as she has said.  But me—why me?  Why was I chosen?  I’m just an ordinary carpenter, from a poor, ordinary family.  When God told me in a dream, just before you were born, that I was to raise you…, I was terrified!  How!?  I’ve asked Him many times—how can I raise Your son?”  Joseph shook his head, still in wonder after more than 17 years.

     “Did you ever get an answer?” Jesus asked.

     “When you were very little, it seemed the Lord told me, ‘Trust Me, and be you.’  Then Your son will be raised a carpenter, I said.  Is that what You want?  ‘That will be good,’ He told me.  ‘A man who creates with his hands, and then looks with satisfaction upon his work.’  I realized later, that is exactly what He did.” 

     Jesus smiled.  “It seems I take after both my Fathers,” he said.  Then, after a pause, he added, “I think I know why you were chosen.  You’re honest; you always do your best—even on small, simple jobs; you’re patient; you taught me I must always have a plan before I start working, that using the right tools makes the job easier and makes what I’m building turn out better.  You always said a man works best when he works for God—not money.  And you taught me that a son’s place is with his father.  These are things that are true in all of life–not just carpentry.  I think you were a good choice…, my father.”

     Joseph’s eyes glistened as he turned and looked at Jesus.  “My son,” he whispered.

     When he was able to speak again, Joseph continued, “I haven’t forgotten what today is, Jesus.  The day of your birth.  Seventeen years ago the three of us huddled in a stable.  A stable!  I remember it like yesterday.  You cried and ate and slept, cried and ate and slept, for 3 days straight!”

     Jesus laughed.

     “Then when enough people left town,” Joseph said, “we could move into one of the inns.  I had to earn our keep by fixing plows, and building doors and tables.”  He shook his head, but smiled at the memory.  Then his smile faded.  “I’m sorry we’re not having a proper celebration today, Jesus.  You deserve better.”

     “It’s just a day, Father, like any other day.”

     “No.  No, it’s a special day.  All of your birth days have been special.  For your brothers and sisters, their birth days were full of happiness and celebration, but your birth day has always been different.  Happiness and celebration, yes, of course; but something more than that too.  Something… important.  Something mysterious, and holy.  I don’t know the words.”

     Jesus grew somber and looked at the wall, but his eyes were not seeing it.  “Each year, on the day of my birth,” he said, “I think of all the young boys in Bethlehem who died because of me—because Herod was looking for me.  It seems sometimes like I was born for death.”  He turned back to Joseph.  “I can’t explain it to you, Father, but I know that some day I will be like them–I will die in place of others.”

     Joseph looked troubled, but said, “God has His plan, Jesus, and I do not possess the wisdom to see it.  But I do know that you are His tool.  He’s a good carpenter too, and He will do a good work.” 

     He paused, then sighed.  “I’m sorry this isn’t a happier day, my son, but I want you to know that I have been celebrating your birth, even as I lie here.  We have always celebrated it, your mother and me—even when there was no work, and very little food on the table.  Even when your brother was very sick.  It seemed to us that your birth mattered more than whatever was happening around us.  Nothing was too bad to blot it out, nothing was so good that it overshadowed it.  My sickness doesn’t take away from it, Jesus.  Even my death cannot take away your birth.”

     “You honor me, Father,” Jesus said, bowing his head.

     “No, not just me.”  Joseph spoke as strongly as his weakened body would let him.  “Don’t you see?  There will always be people who will celebrate this day.  The day you were born is a special day, and before too long many people will realize that.  Many people…”  His voice trailed off and he closed his eyes.  

     “I must go now, Father,” Jesus whispered.  “Mother told me not to stay long.”                                                                                        

     He quietly stood up and walked to the door.  Just before he left the room, Joseph said weakly, “My son.”

     Jesus turned.  “Yes, Father?” he said.

     Joseph was looking at him through tired eyes, but he smiled as he spoke.  “Happy birthday, Jesus.”

 

 

Michael Anderson

Copyright 2007  All rights reserved

I have a confession to make: I’m a bibliophile.  I’m never

without a book, I’m never inbetween books (that implies

 “not currently reading anything”) .  When I’m getting

close to finishing one I line up the next one, so I can have a

smooth transition–not a ripple in the water.  I guess that

makes me a chain reader.  

 

I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have books.  Sometimes

someone will tell me they don’t read very much, or they

can’t remember the last book they read, and I look at them

like they were an alien life form.  That’s as unfathomable to

me as breathing hydrochloric acid.  “What!?  You… you

don’t READ?”

 

I feel sorry for people who don’t like to read but spend hours

each week watching TV.  Granted, they can make me look

pretty dumb in a TV trivia contest, but I think–in turn–TV

makes THEM look pretty dumb just in general.  Personal

opinion.  Groucho Marx once said, “I find TV very educational. 

Every time someone turns one on, I go in the other room and

read a book.”

 

I haven’t tried any of the e-books yet, although they look

intriguing.  But I do love the look, feel, smell, and even sound

of a book, so I think I’d miss all that.  Any Kindle or Sony

Reader owners out there who want to sound off?

 

It’s Christmastime, so after supper each night I read from

a little book that tells stories of true Christmas miracles. 

Poignant, inspirational, sometimes amazing, sometimes a

little hokey–they run the gamut.  But it wouldn’t be Christmas

in our home without something being read each evening. 

 

What are some of your Christmas traditions?