From: T.M. Schoewe
Between Christmas and Epiphany if you put Christ in Christmas there are 12 days and they are and should be for us 12 Blessings of Christmas.
First, there is the Blessing of COMMUNITY. It is the time of year when our community seems to be in harmony. Even the atheist and non-theists seem to join in a spirit of good will. They put up colored lights and electric Santas that wave!
Then there is the Blessing of GIVING. Gift giving has strayed from the humble beginnings of homemade things and food to piles of wrapping paper and packaging for recycling. We need to promote the gift of service instead of giving things like walking an old lady’s dog when the temperature is freezing out. Just as the Lord gave us Himself, learning to give of ourselves for others is a real blessing.
Then there is the Blessing of LIGHT! By the middle of December light fades into darkness by 4 p.m.. So we turn on the Christmas lights and light Advent candles, which should remind us of the blessings of the One born in Bethlehem Who grew up to say “I am the light of the world.”
Then there is the Blessing of HOPE. The many “food shelves” and “clothes closets” bring hope to many. And many who have little share with those who have less. It is humbling but we can learn from it, from the Christmas Child Who gave Himself so He could say to us as all “I am the bread of Life.” Hope in the Lord and do good and He will bring it to pass. Hope!
The fifth Blessing of Christmas is MUSIC. Once you get caught up in its music you will find you are really ready to celebrate Christmas.
Then there is the Blessing of SIMPLICITY. Do not get caught up in a hurricane of activities that leave you exhausted and take away from you what is really important like moments with your family and your faith. Keep it simple like Mary and Joseph with the Baby in the manger. Hours at the shopping mall and writing Christmas cards is not keeping it simple—use your telephone or email your friends.
We are running out of space so we will make it concise. Then there is the Blessing (7) of FAMILY from far and near. Simply enjoy them and take in the Blessings of (8) TASTE and (9) TOUCH and (10) SIGHT and (11) SMELL, the smell that every Christmas brings, like the fresh cut fir trees. You fill in the blanks for TASTE, TOUCH and SIGHT. It shouldn’t be hard.
Number 12 is the Blessing of SILENCE. “Oh little Town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie...the silent stars go by...in darkness shines the everlasting light...Christ is born of Mary…” how silently the wondrous gift is given! Where quiet souls receive Him the dear Christ enters in. Abide with us in the new year 2013. “Be still and know I am God.”