By Lisa Huddleston

‘Twas almost the night before Christmas

And all through the house

Were mumblings and grumblings—

But not from my spouse!

It’s nearly here. I know—no, those multiple parties and gifting occasions you have already hosted and attended and cleaned for and cleaned up from do not count. There is still THE day to come, and yes, you do have to do it all at least one. more. time.

Okay, I promise that I start this season every year with true and righteous intentions to simplify the crazy, to keep my soul stress free, and to be a jolly old elf all month long. However, by the day before Christmas Eve, we have work-partied and family-partied and church-partied, and I am simply partied out. The thought of cooking even one more casserole or attending one more Christmassy event nearly does me in!

Chuck making his famous peppermint ice cream!

Chuck making his famous peppermint ice cream!

But my dear husband loves it all and I am his chosen companion so by December 23 I am just not as twinkly as I planned, hoped, and really really strived to be. Boo and bah humbug!


Thankfully God does not leave me alone in my depression and Scrooginess and has been working hard to impress on my thoughts a great truth which shall be good news for all people:

“God’s grace is sufficient for this day!”

I know this is a truth that all good little Christians know—but knowing is not always knowing, so here are a few of the thoughts I have been mulling over in my pre-post-pre-post-party daze:

  • Like manna, God’s grace is there for us every morning.
  • It is enough for whatever the day holds.
  • We can’t store it up for tomorrow.
  • It is our daily responsibility to gather the grace we need.
  • We need to eat it, digest it, and use it.

Ponder that. Not new. Not especially deep. But deeply satisfying.

Hope you are hanging in there like the holly and the ivy and gathering enough grace to make it through whatever is on your list today. You’re almost there …

Merry Christmas! (Really. I mean it.)


Merry Christmas

By Lisa Huddleston

Whew! Almost all the Christmas decorations have been put back in their basement hideaways and what I could remember of the usual decorations are back in their places. Do you forget what was on the mantle and the coffee table and so on? I do. Oh well. Things are looking more normal, and I am glad.

Some things went great this year. I was glad to simplify our decorations and didn’t miss the Christmas tree at all–even though there were many ugly remarks made at the family party. Too bad. I may do even less for next year. God knows.

Other things were a little more chaotic, but we live and we learn. Next year? Maybe a sister/mother luncheon? A cousins who want to get together party? A little less stress and food and gifts and more time together to visit and really talk to people. Ah … sounds lovely.

Another change? More focus on Jesus, His love, His grace, His mercy. Less judgment, less criticism, less preaching. Ah … that also sounds lovely.

So tonight I will rest well in my newly–if oddly–redecorated house. And in my new plans for comfort and joy. To all a good night.