Enjoying the Christmas tree in the early morning hours has been an early Christmas gift and become my December 2020 morning ritual. I’ve created morning space for myself for a while now, but it’s been special lately. My time alone in the morning is sitting by the tree with colorful lights glowing, reading a devotional, my bible, journaling, and quietly listening to Christmas hymns. It’s been a constant during a time of otherwise chaotic days. You can read about how the Lord specifically encouraged me during this time here if you’d like.the gift of Immanuel God with us on teal background Christmas Theme with verses

Undelivered gifts only three days before Christmas.

Presents not yet purchased, oops I forgot (you fill in the name).

But we haven’t gotten Christmas Eve dinner settled yet.

Who’s coming for dinner, anyway?

Should they come?


This year my family is trying to figure out how to see each other and exchange gifts while trying not to be too close to each other.  So, we’re doing it in shifts. One family at 1:00, the second at 3:00, and the next at 5:00 Zooming “all the way,” as the kids open their presents. And church at 7:00 (to recover). It will be something to remember for years to come.

It is so odd that unusual things like this have become routine over the last nine months. Not seeing each other, I mean.

Here’s an example, in the last post, I listed ten things I want to incorporate into my life. But not seeing my family is so normal now that seeing them more didn’t even make the list. And I only realized it this morning as I reread that post.

Now I for sure have 11 things on my list!

Is it the Christmas tree that makes the difference? Maybe it’s the Christmas music? I’ve made it a priority to have some time alone in the morning for years because reading scripture brings about intimate conversations and calms my soul.

Perhaps it’s the gift of Immanuel, God with us.

Promised in Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Announced in Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Confirmed in Matthew 28:20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Thank goodness for my morning ritual and the Lord reminding me to hold on to the essential things and let go of the rest. Oh! That’s another thing on my list.

My family and yours, I’m sure, are essential to our sense of connection and belonging. It could be your biological family, but it could also be your church family, neighbors, coworkers, classmates, or writing group.

There are no rules defining family today. In fact, a traditional picture of the family differs significantly from that of reality. Merriam Webster lists many definitions for family, among them a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head; it mentions nothing of love.

Driveway visits at Christmas 2020

Your Family is made of those people who love you, and you love back. That’s it.

Whoever your family is made of, they are yours. So, love and cherish them. Cultivate relationships with them. Make an effort to see them, even if the logistics aren’t so easy this year. Stay connected.

A driveway visit counts this Merry 2020 Christmas.

Make those memories.

I don’t know about you, but I need time to pause in peace every morning and listen to what God has to say before launching into my day. If you aren’t creating space for yourself in the morning (or some other time during the day), consider giving it a try.

You might find a gift worth opening waiting for you, too.


Merry 2020 Christmas, Friends.