Let me just take this opportunity to wish a very blessed Christmas to all my readers. Here in Central Oregon, we did have a white Christmas, but purists might point out that no new snow fell. Rather, we're still cold enough to retain the 8 or so inches that fell last weekend.
It was a cozy, comfortable day here, with lots of wonderful homemade gifts. My youngest daughter, Willow, has made a tradition of writing poetry and including it in gifts, and a number of homemade bracelets, necklaces, and hair barrettes were also acquired. Books, of course, and music, were also among the presents.
I'm always fascinated by the number of stores and folks 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.