Church calls it “Advent,” World calls it “Holiday.”

“Merry CHRISTmas” vs. “Seasons Greetings.”

The spiritual expectation of something holy. And the flesh expectation of a lot of THINGS.

Some of us trying to have it both ways. WHEW. On the one hand, we need to do the things we’ve done for love of friends and family for years—gifts, meals, get-togethers. On the other hand, we long for the “silent night” as baby Jesus is born in our hearts. Hard to do in the wild n crazy commercial shuffle it has become.

Plus….keepin’ it real here…lots of painful things mixed in with the beauty of this “season.” What we DIDN”T get that we needed. The things we CAN’T “fix.” People we loved and lost. Others we don’t understand. All magnified by the emphasis on “giving” this time of year.

The World calling us to BUY stuff to give. The Lord calling us to draw near to the miracle of His birth as a human baby.

The sometimes crushing challenge as we walk the line between the two? I call it the HOLIDAZE.

Always a dilemma. We feel we can’t “do it all.”

But we CAN have it both ways!

We might not have enough MONEY for all the ringing charities, enough TIME for all the work, or enough ENERGY for all the festivities.

But the BEST gifts are from our spirit, as scripture says, “every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17). And simple as choosing to give one.

So here’s a Christmas miracle for you! Search your own heart for your own unmet need…then give it to someone else.

Not feeling the love? Give love to someone else who isn’t. I know for sure, if Jesus had left me a hundred dollars it would not have meant as much as the promise that He loves me.

No peace? GIVE the gift of peace–acceptance, forgiveness–to someone who might not “deserve” it, who suffers a turmoil you cannot “fix.” Feel the gift go down into your OWN soul.

Lonely? There are many who need a phone call or visit.

A million ways to give what you aren’t getting yourself. Many richer blessings.

This is one way we can share the Christmas miracle AND still honor our part in the World’s demands. NOT to add to your chore list. Just the one open hand with a gift.

I recommend LOVE. There’s NEVER enough of THAT goin’ around. And God couldn’t have put it plainer:

~Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Forgiveness works too. I myself am in the dark gut process of forgiving someone I love for something hard that I don’t understand. Every step closer I get to doing it, I heal from the rejection and pain myself.

~…bear with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

Anger does not achieve the righteousness of God. James 1:20

Many true “gifts.” The ones our real Father gives to us. When we give them to someone else, our souls heal.

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