Let me just take this opportunity to wish a very blessed Christmas to all my readers. Here in Central Oregon, we did experience a bit of snow on Christmas, but purists (our kids) would argue that it wasn't a truly white Christmas, as there wasn't a sufficient amount for either sliding on or packing for snowballs and snowmen.
Our house was again awash in wrapping paper, though we kept things within the limits of sanity. Our kids are all getting old enough to begin to realize that the best presents are those they make themselves for someone else. My youngest daughter, Willow, made me a card that contained a poem she wrote, and I will treasure this long after all of the other gifts are forgotten or no longer in use.
I'm always fascinated by the number of stores at this time of year that do the "Happy Holiday" thing, not expressing the word 'Christmas' for fear they might offend someone. Statistics show that something like 96% of Americans celebrate Christmas, with 91% of them explicitly acknowledging it as the birth of Jesus. Now, I'm not so naive as to think that all such folk actually stop to pray to Him or to give thanks for the gift of that life (and death) 2000 years ago.
Nonetheless, I take comfort in the undeniable fact (testified to, in part, by the uniquely worldwide celebration of Christmas) that that gift remains the central event of all human history, the one that most radically changed the world for good. I only hope that you, my reader, have experienced the joy that comes from personally knowing that Prince of Peace, and that--through His redeeming Resurrection power--you too are a vehicle of goodwill to all men. Merry Christmas.