Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Re-cap

Well Christmas Day has come and gone and what a wonderful Christmas it was.

Christmas Eve I received one of the best Christmas gifts I've ever gotten (more on that to come) and enjoyed Christmas Eve service at my home church. Afterwards we headed over to my grandfather's house where we visited and watched the Griswold's Christmas Vacation- a favourite in our family.

Christmas Day was packed full of visits with various members of our family, both immediate and extended. Our family started a new tradition this year- a Christmas baking contest. We each anonymously brought in a dessert to my grandfather's house at dinner and nominated two judges to decide which ones were worthy of being called winners. My sister-in-law took first place, followed by my cousin in second and myself in third. I made no-bake chocolate cookie squares and not only are they easy to make, but they are tasty.

I've been very much enjoying the large amount of free time that the Christmas holidays bring. On the weekend I spent one day mostly reading, which is something I love to do, but have rarely spent that much time doing lately. Yesterday a friend and I re-visited our childhoods and went sliding. Other than one really wicked wipe-out, I survived with only a few bruises. Tonight's activities of choice was dinner and bowling, followed by a free skate (thank you Tim Horton's!) at a local arena.

And maybe that's one of the things I love the most about Christmastime- the lack of schedules that were are so ingrained into keeping. Instead we're free to enjoy spontaneous time shared with family and friends.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This year our family is doing something a little different- we're celebrating two Christmas'. Since my sister and her husband aren't able to come for the actual Christmas day because of work, they are driving up today and tonight we are having what we've come to refer to as our "fake Christmas". Big meal, gift exchange, Christmas baking, the works. Then next Friday I get to do it all over again with our extended family.

I just love this time of year. There's something about Christmas that is so special. Maybe it's the fact that we actually pause to spend more time with the people who are important to us. Maybe it's the feeling of expectation in the air. Maybe it's seeing people you haven't seen in forever and having the opportunity to get caught up. Maybe it's the hope that Christmas represents. Or maybe it's all of the above. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but there's no denying that there is something so different and wonderful about this time of year.
And speaking of Christmas, if you are in for some good Christmas music, over the next week or so the stations who air MAD will be airing our MAD Christmas Special. It's a couple of hours of Christmas music, memories from the artists and reflections on the season. And what makes it even more special this year is the fact that I'm joined by a special guest co-host! You'll have to tune in to find out who it is, but I can tell you this much- we had a blast putting it together. To see where and when you can listen, visit http://www.madradioshow.net/tune.html.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gifts in the Manger

To prepare my own heart for Christmas and to put together a series for College and Careers, I've been spending quite a bit of time contemplating Christmas. One thing that has struck me this year is the vast amount of gifts we received (and still are receiving) in Christ.

You see I've known and believed that Jesus came to die for my sins. And while that is true, there are also quite a few other reasons why He came. Here are some verses I've come across in my studies:

"For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day." (John 6:38-39)

"I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. " (John 12:46)

"Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose." (Matthew 5:17)

"Jesus responded, 'You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.'" (John 18:37)

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

"But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil. " (1 John 3:8)

I had read most of these verses many times before, but I never really realized how often Jesus said the words "I came" and proceeded to tell us reasons why He came into our earth on that very first Christmas morning.

As if the forgiveness of sins and redemption of mankind wasn't enough! He also came into the world to: give us abundant life, bring us light in the darkness, provide Truth that casts out lies, fulfil the law, the list goes on and on and on.

It's one thing to imagine how horrible it would be if there was no hope of the afterlife following the here and now. But this Christmas I'm also mindful of the fact that our lives here and now could be much different without the gifts that Christ gives us. I don't know about you, but without peace or hope or the light of Christ, my life would be very different than it is. And the only reason I have these things is because God made the choose to send His Son into our world. What a truly amazing gift that is!