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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Vallejo

Give Like It's Christmas All Year Long

I recently spent time with three sweet children in my office. All three opinionated and full of energy and laughter. We played games and drew pictures; their personalities shown through in their interactions with each other and in their descriptions of their drawings. All three are currently in foster care because life circumstances mean they can no longer remain with their mother.


I went to visit a friend a couple of days ago who is recovering from back surgery. She is incredibly sweet and kind, loves her kids and the children she teaches in her classroom. The harsh realities of her marriage mean she is no longer married, and she is carrying the weight of how her divorce impacts her family.


Still another friend is suffering from tremendous physical health challenges, and along with those challenges come an incredible financial burden. Every day seems to bring a new obstacle to not only health and wellness, but also financial freedom.


My husband and I spent a weekend at a hospital a couple of weeks ago. We sat with friends who rushed to their son’s side after he was badly hurt in a motorcycle accident. Their son’s recovery is challenging and the up and down of not knowing what is next is like getting hit by an emotional tidal wave every day and not getting to rest on the beach. It’s exhausting.  


These are only some of the stories of friends and family facing significant struggles over the previous month. There are many more, and the stories will continue to come. Because this life brings hardship and difficult circumstances we cannot predict. It is impossible to know what is coming around the next bend in the road.


The one common thread in all of the stories above is Jesus. The families involved; the foster parents, our friends at the hospital, my friend recovering from back surgery and another from illness, all have hope in the saving love of Jesus.


Christmas brings joy to so many. Celebrating Christmas with my husband, my children, and my extended family and friends is a highlight every year. The excitement of the holiday season is because of the people we surround ourselves with, and the experiences our relationships allow us to have with one another. Without our people, gifts and things have little meaning.

With the season also comes the reminders of those we miss who are no longer with us, and the sadness of knowing their loss deeply. However, we can find comfort in knowing we miss them because we loved them. The alternative to missing them is... not missing them.

Loving people is challenging at times, but worth the effort and the hard work. Sometimes celebrating Christmas with others requires extra effort and endurance. But, hopefully spending Christmas with our people brings us closer to each other, and provides opportunities for sharing the love of Jesus.

Christmas is a season where we decide to focus our time and attention on celebrating the birth of Jesus and recognizing God in human form. Jesus participated in creation, he is fully God and was God before earth and human took shape under God’s commands. And yet, Jesus came to earth as a baby with one purpose - to fufill the law and show us "the way, the truth and the light." (John 14:6). Jesus knew the pain he was going to endure. Willingly walking into a life filled with a certainty of suffering for the sake of others takes a depth of love hard to fathom.

Christmas is filled with joy, but also has the potential to bring conflict and sorry. However, this is life on earth every day. Each day we live is another day where we do not know what happens next. Instead of living with anxiety over the future, we can chose to find joy in each morning. Joy in the waiting. God loves us and knows our struggles; our relationships that hurt, our physical pain, our emotional turmoil, the stressful job, our troubled marriage, our rebellious child, and everything else life throws at us - Jesus can relate to all of it.

Hopefully, this Christmas finds you and yours well. I pray your family celebrates Jesus' birth and the day brings you joy, laughter and tears of happiness.

Still, if you are feeling sorrow this Christmas, if life brings a burden impossible to bear, know Jesus loves you and carries this burden with you. God knows each day and will walk with you in your sadness, and often sends another human to care for you when you need it.

God shows us through the pages of scripture how to love one another well, and Jesus demonstrates to all humanity how to actively live a life honoring God and caring for His creation. So, love on your people this Christmas. Give sacrificially to others in need, and actively look for opportunities to care for people and share the unquenchable love of Jesus.

And then, let's try to remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus every day - and lets give like it's Christmas all year long.


“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 6:23

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons…” Galatians 4:31


“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heave, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21


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