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babies,children,Christ,Christianity,Christians,Christmas,halos,holy,iCLIPART,illustrations,Jesus,Madonnas,Mary,mothers,religions,religious,saviors,vintages,Virgin MaryIt’s the anticipation I love.  The waiting…planning….preparing.

The Little Ones are wrapping handmade gifts with wrinkled tissue paper and a stapler.  Mom, I need some help.  The Big Guys trample up the stairs.  Where are the cookies?  You’ve eaten them already, I reply.  But the fudge is on the countertop.  My favorite Christmas CD plays in the background and I wish more days were spent like this–slowing down long enough to savor life’s small pleasures.

My thoughts jump to the anticipation of the first Christmas.  For months, the young mother had ignored the barbs and stares of others.  She’s pregnant.  Have nothing to do with that woman.  Her swelling stomach reminded her that God’s promise would soon be fulfilled.  He will save his people.  And finally, bent over in pain, she knelt in the dim light of a stable.

There were no gilded packages…just rags wrapped ’round the babe.  There were no sparkling lights…but she held the Light of the world in her arms.  And as she gazed at Him, the woman knew He was the Gift the world had been waiting to receive.

Thousands of years later, we still celebrate that day–and we continue to anticipate.  The Promise he introduced long ago in the stable will one day be made complete.  He will save.  He will restore.  He will bring peace…hope….renewal–Christmas fulfilled.

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