• Surgically removing your kids from the toy store.
  • Fruitcake.
  • Snow.
  • Visa bills that equal your mortgage.
  • PlayStation Noise.
  • Your 47th viewing of It’s A Wonderful Life.
  • Thoughts of Peace on Earth as you, in one day, visit relatives in four different homes, all serving coffee and fruitcake.
  • A snow storm.
  • Eggnog, candy, cheese balls, punch, cakes with fruit in them, cookies, and a gift certificate for Weight Watchers.
  • A desire to deck a few shoppers instead of the Halls.
  • Invitations printed in red and green ink.
  • Receiving a gift of . . . fruitcake.
  • Pine needles in the carpet.
  • Snow drifts.
  • Getting mauled at the mall.
  • “Assembly required” nightmares.
  • Fruitcake.
  • Jack Frost deciding to actually bite down hard, and not just limiting himself to your nose.
  • More snow.

These holidays can certainly be a non-stop treadmill of activity!

As a pastor, I remember in the not-too-distant past, holiday schedules that were so packed there was no time to be immersed in the wonder of the moment. We often have so many programs to plan and special messages to prepare, that we forget why we are doing this. Christ has come!

Take time this season to enjoy the traditional Carols. Go attend a Communion service at another church – where you won’t be asked to speak or sing or do anything but contemplate the miracle of mercy and grace: Christ has come!

When you lead your own special Christmas service, make sure fruitcake will not be served immediately after. Then, head home, turn off the cell phone and take your land-line off the hook and enjoy the evening with your family! Christ has come!

Make an appointment for your whole family to gather for a reading of Luke’s account of that Holy Night. Choose a translation of the Bible that’s new and read it with all the dramatic inflection you can muster. Christ has come!

Find some time alone – even if its sitting in your car with the engine and heater running – and allow the silence to press into your soul the awesome story of Christmas. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with peaceful confidence that no matter what you face tomorrow or the next day, no matter what happens in this world we live in, Christ has come!

From our family to yours, we trust you will have a wonderful Christmas and that our Savior’s presence will be more and more evident in each day of the coming year.

Jim & Lois Eschenbrenner

P.S. Avoid the fruitcakes!


  1. Good article! But I enjoy the Fruit Cake. In fact I look forward to this season when I can have fruit cake!!!
    Thanks for having me on your email list. I enjoy very much your articles and they are helpful. Keep up the good work! Have a very Merry Christmas (and I’ll not send you a fruit cake!)

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