Merry Christmas!


Christmas is the one of the special days we celebrate God’s love coming to live with us on earth in Christ Jesus.  He entered our world in the most vulnerable and humble way…a baby.  When I think of the ultimate gift of God’s love, I am moved beyond words.  Fortunately, I am always delighted in reading what others have shared in song and prose about this special celebration.  As we prepare for the celebration of God’s love coming to live amongst us, I would like to share some of my favorite quotes/verses/songs that inspire my heart and fill my day with the reality of God’s presence that continues today . 

Peace and joy to you this holiday season!  Jackie


John 1:14

“So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.”


Luke 2: 8-14

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. ‘I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.’  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying ‘Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.’ “


~ Gertrude B. Byram

Father, We thank Thee for this day.
Bless all we do and all we say.
May we each enjoy Thy blessings great
As Jesus’ Birth we celebrate.
And may the love that we share here
Remain throughout the coming year.


Here are some of my favorite verses from some of my favorite Christmas Carols.  Sometimes the words get lost in the music and are sung from a place of habit rather than from our hearts.  There is a lot of love and hope in these carols.  Merry Christmas!

All Through The Night

 Love, to thee my thoughts are turning,
All through the night
All for thee my heart is yearning,
All through the night.
Though sad fate our lives may sever
Parting will not last forever,
There’s a hope that leaves me never,
All through the night.

While Shepherds Watched

All glory be to
God on high
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth
From heaven to men
Begin and never cease
Begin and never cease!

We Three Kings

Glorious now behold Him arise
King and God and Sacrifice
Alleluia, Alleluia
Earth to heav’n replies
O Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to Thy perfect light.

The First Noel

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Once In Royal David’s City

For He is our childhood’s pattern;
Day by day, like us, He grew;
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles, like us He knew;
And He cares when we are sad,
And he shares when we are glad.

O Little Town of Bethlehem

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may his His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can’st give me.

Joy to the World

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

O ye beneath life’s crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

Hark The Herald Angels Sing

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King!

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Deck the Halls

Sing we joyous, all together,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Heedless of the wind and weather,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Away In The Manger

Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray.
Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And take us to heaven
To live with Thee there.


Although not considered a traditional Christmas song, I think “Circle” (from Barbra Streisand’s album “Higher Ground) is full of the message of Christmas love. We are all connected and we are all part of God’s love. My prayer this Christmas is that we remember that all our brothers and sisters are loved by God and that our actions and words will remind them of His love.


Some say the walls between us stand so tall.
They don’t see there’s just one sun shining on us all.
I say we each choose roads to call our own.
But none of us is traveling through this universe alone.

And this circle just goes on and on.
It began before us, it will be here when we’re gone.
And this circle just goes on and on and on.
Connecting our humanity,
Joining me to you and you to me.

Seasons keep spinning on the wheels of time.
We stand, we fall, we struggle up the mountains we must climb.
Different dreams may color what we see ahead.
But our lives are strung together on a common thread.

And this circle just goes on and on.
It began before us, it will be here when we’re gone.
And this circle just goes on and on and on.
Connecting our humanity,
Joining me to you and you to me.

Round and round and round and round we go.
Around and round and round we go,
Love and learn and change and grow.
Round and round and round we go.

And this circle touches everyone.
As it crosses every boundary underneath the sun.
And this circle just goes on and on.
It began before us, it will be here when we’re gone.

Yes, this circle just goes on and on and on.
And someday we will come to see
I’m joined to you and you to me.


~ Wilda English

God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love; the radiance of Christmas, which is purity; the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice; the belief in Christmas, which is truth; the all of Christmas, which is Christ.


~ Charles Dickens

” I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”


~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“God’s gifts put man’s best dreams to shame.”


A Christmas Prayer of Blessing
~ Helen Steiner Rice

“Our Father, who are in heaven,”
hear this Christmas prayer,
And if it be Thy gracious will,
may joy be everywhere –

The joy that comes from knowing
that the holy Christ child came
To bless the earth at Christmas
for Thy sake and in Thy name.

And with this prayer there comes a wish,
that these holy, happy days
Will bless your loved ones everywhere
in many joyous ways.


What Can I Give Him?
~ Christina Rossetti

What can I give Him
Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part, –
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.


Religious symbolism of The Twelve Days of Christmas (The 12 Days of Christmas)

1  True Love refers to God
2  Turtle Doves refers to the Old and New Testaments
3  French Hens refers to Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
4  Calling Birds refers to the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5  Golden Rings refers to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, the
“Pentateuch”, which gives the history of man’s fall from grace.
6  Geese A-laying refers to the six days of creation
7  Swans A-swimming refers to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven
8  Maids A-milking refers to the eight beatitudes
9  Ladies Dancing refers to the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10  Lords A-leaping refers to the ten commandments
11  Pipers Piping refers to the eleven faithful apostles
12  Drummers Drumming refers to the twelve points of doctrine in the
Apostle’s Creed


A Friend’s Greeting

~Edgar A. Guest

I’d like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me;
I’d like to be the help that you’ve been always glad to be;
I’d like to mean as much to you each minute of the day
As you have meant, old friend of mine, to me along the way.

I’d like to do the big things and the splendid things for you,
To brush the gray from out your skies and leave them only blue;
I’d like to say the kindly things that I so oft have heard,
And feel that I could rouse your soul the way that mine you’ve stirred.

I’d like to give you back the joy that you have given me
Yet that were wishing you a need I hope will never be;
I’d like to make you feel as rich as I, who travel on
Undaunted in the darkest hours with you to lean upon.

I’m wishing at this Christmas time that I could but repay
A portion of the gladness that you’ve strewn along my way,
And could I have one wish this year, this only would it be:
I’d like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me.


Christmas Bells ~

“During the American Civil War, Longfellow’s oldest son Charles Appleton Longfellow joined the Union cause as a soldier without his father’s blessing. Longfellow was informed by a letter dated March 14, 1863, after Charles had left. “I have tried hard to resist the temptation of going without your leave but I cannot any longer,” he wrote. “I feel it to be my first duty to do what I can for my country and I would willingly lay down my life for it if it would be of any good”. Charles soon got an appointment as a lieutenant but, in November, he was severely wounded in the Battle of New Hope Church (in Virginia).   Coupled with the recent loss of his wife Frances, who died as a result of an accidental fire, Longfellow was inspired to write Christmas Bells”.  He wrote the poem on Christmas Day in 1864.”  (Excerpt from Wikipedia)

“Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). The carol was originally a poem, “Christmas Bells,” containing seven stanzas. Two stanzas were omitted, which contained references to the American Civil War, thus giving us the carol in its present form. The poem gave birth to the carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” and the remaining five stanzas were slightly rearranged in 1872 by John Baptiste Calkin (1827-1905), who also gave us the memorable tune.”  (Excerpt from “The Editor’s Desktop” by by Tom  Stewart – December 20, 2001)

Christmas Bells

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The heart-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”


God Is Everywhere

~ Helen Steiner Rice

Our Father up in heaven,
long, long years ago,
Looked down in His great mercy
upon the earth below.

And saw that folks were lonely
and lost in deep despair.
And so He said, “I’ll send My Son
to walk among them there,

So they can hear Him speaking
and feel His nearness, too,
And see the many miracles
that faith alone can do.

For if man really sees Him
and can touch His healing hand,
I know it will be easier
To believe and understand.”

And so the holy Christ child
came down to live on earth.
And that is why we celebrate
His holy, wondrous birth.

And that is why at Christmas
the world becomes aware
That heaven may seem far away
but God is everywhere.


Leo Tolstoy ~

Where there is faith, there is love;
Where there is love, there is peace;
Where there is peace, there is God;
And where there is God; there is no need.


– Unknown

What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?



 W.T. Ellis ~

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.”



Up in the attic.
Down on my knees.
Lifetimes of boxes,
timeless to me.
Letters and photographs
yellowed with years.
Some bringing laughter.
Some bringing tears.

Time never changes
the memories, the faces
of loved ones, who bring to me…
all that I come from,
and all that I live for
and all that I’m going to be.
My precious family
Is more than an heirloom to me.

Wiseman and shepherds,
down on their knees.
Bringing their treasures
to lay at his feet.

 Who was this wonder?
Baby yet king.
Living and dying,
He gave life to me.
Time never changes
The memory, the moment
His love first pierced through me.

Telling all that I come from,
and all that I live for,
and all that I’m going to be.
My precious savior
Is more than an heirloom to me.

My precious Jesus Is more than an heirloom to me.



Somehow, not only for Christmas,
but all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others,
Is the joy that comes back to you.

-John Greenleaf Whittier


A Little Gift of Love


Hebrews 10:23-25

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.  Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

The word, Advent is from the Latin words, advenire which means “coming” and adventus which means “arrival.”   It is a time here we expectantly wait for the coming of Christmas – the celebration of God’s love coming down to earth in Jesus Christ.  God loves us so much, that he wanted us all to experience the warmth of his love in a very personal way.  He loves us so much that he wants us to continue to experience that love every day.  He loves us so much that he wants us to expectantly and eagerly wait for the arrival of love.   He’s filled those who invite him, with the Holy Spirit so that his love can flow through us and into the world in every day and every way – with every person we encounter.

I think there are sometimes (maybe even oftentimes) that we don’t even know when God’s love is flowing.  For those who let God’s love fill their hearts, they aren’t always aware of when love flows to the people around them.  I think sometimes we can touch another’s heart and not even know we did.

The realization of this struck me two Mondays ago when the church choir with which I sing went out for our Christmas celebration.  After we ate dinner and as we sat there, I looked around the room and was struck by the wonderful group of people that is Adoration Choir.  I was moved with the questions, “I wonder if we didn’t share the love of singing praises to God, would we be friends?” “Would we ever even have met?”  “Would I have ever had the chance to connect with such an amazing and diverse group of wonderful people if we didn’t all love to sing for Jesus?”

At that moment, I was filled with such awe at God’s gifts and such a love for them all.  I was soulfully moved with the blessing in my life that is Adoration Choir.  I was filled with love for them and from them and they didn’t even know it. 

You see, every week – day after day – hour after hour – I hear some tragic stories of hurt, pain, neglect, abuse, sorrow…so many hurting souls come into my office who are struggling in life because of broken relationships and broken hearts.  By the middle of the week, my heart can feel so heavy…I can feel so depleted…and then I get to sing praises to our Lord with Adoration Choir!

By the time I leave on Wednesday evenings (even though I’m very tired) my spirit is renewed.  They aren’t even aware of how much they bring to me every week. And then in turn…of how much I am able to share with the clients I see at the week’s end.  I don’t think they know the power of the love that flows through them and to me in every note we sing.  I eagerly anticipate and expectantly wait for our Wednesday evenings of singing praise together!

I encourage everyone to know that every relationship, every encounter with every single person is your opportunity to bring love into the world!  You can make a difference with every moment and you may never even know it!  Eagerly anticipate the next opportunity to shower love on someone…just as God showered us and continues to shower us with his love.  What a beautiful gift!


Heavenly and most gracious Father, Thank you for the gift of your love in Jesus’ birth.  What a glorious day you sent your love in human form.  We praise you for the opportunity to be the bearers of that love today.  As we eagerly anticipate Jesus’ coming again, fill us with anticipation of the opportunities to fill each other with your love.  Thank you for the gift of your presence in our hearts and how you’ve designed this love to flow between us.  What an awesome way to keep us going.  What an incredible way to fill us up.  What a glorious God you are!  In your loving and soul-filling son, Jesus’ name we pray…Amen.

Winter Wonderland

~ favorite verse from this song

When it snows, ain’t it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
Walking in a winter wonderland.


Janice Maeditere ~

“Christmas not as much
about opening our presents as opening our hearts.”


Robert Webber ~

“The event of Christ is the only event in human history that promises relocation and centering, meaning and purpose. This promise and its fulfillment evoke passionate and heartfelt praise and thanks, especially for those aware of their own brokenness and the healing which Christ brings into their lives.”


~ Pamela F.Dowd

God sent a star to light the night for
The Way, The Truth, The Life–His Son.
He sent the Light of Life to prove His heart
so we would invite His Son into our own.
God has given us all the light we’ll ever need
to find peace on earth, goodwill to men.


~ Handel Brown

Christmas has lost its meaning for us

because we have lost the spirit of expectancy.

We cannot prepare for an observance.

We must prepare for an experience.


A Christmas Prayer

~Martin Luther

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient song,

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given
While angels sing with pious mirth.
A glad new year to all the earth!


Welcome To Our World

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don’t mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world


Charles Dickens ~

“I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round,
as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time;
the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year,
when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely,
and to think of people below them as if they really were
fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”


As With Gladness Men of Old

~ favorite verse from this hymn

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.


Hamilton Write Mabie ~

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.



To your enemy . . .forgiveness,
To your opponent . . .tolerance.
To a friend . . . your heart.
To a customer . . . service.
To all men . . .charity.
To every child . . . a good example
To yourself . . .respect

-Author Unknown


Dr Seuss ~

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.