Create + Write + Inspire
The Best Christmas Ever
by Jennifer Kelly on December 24th, 2014

"Here Jen. This is an early Christmas present. Go ahead. Open the box. I have a notion that this is going to be a Christmas you will never forget".

I open the box and and smile. It-is-a-beautiful-shiny-ornament.
Mary, Joseph & Jesus delicately painted on one side - and on the other - Peace, Joy & 2014 engraved for me to remember. 

To remember God's gifts, God's grace, God's provision and God's love...

My Aunt RuthAnn has a way of saying things (and giving things) with a meaning attached. She doesn't use filler words or small talk and she certainly knows how to give a gift with intentionality. She beats me in Chinese Checkers, enjoys dipping her coffee with cookies, and has this knack for speaking truth. When she laughs, I hear echoes of my own laughter and only hope to be half the woman of God that she has become.

Her wisdom is etched in my brain like spackle. Carefully covering up damaged holes of memories and lies and covering them with the Word of God. Her visit here alone is a gift. I pleaded and she obliged.

She walks with me and talks with me about the things of God and I have been more blessed by her visit than I will ever be able to communicate to her. So, yes. She is right. This is a Christmas I will always remember. For so many different reasons, but mostly because of her time and what that that has meant to me.

Another surprise Christmas gift showed up a little early - much like my ornament. I am still trying to wrap my mind and thoughts around the work, words and thoughtfulness I received.

John Ortberg wrote, "What if our souls went out in humble love to all the people God brings into our world? Undeserving, but loved. The soul blesses by loving. Our souls need blessing".

Jason Ramsey (founder and editor) of ALTARWORK recently left some of the nicest comments I have ever received about some of my writings. When I read them, immediately, I started to cry. Not because of the words, not because of the nice gesture, not because of the hours of work it must of took for him to accomplish such a task (which he does for all kinds of artists throughout the world that love Jesus), but BECAUSE Jason - in that moment - blessed my soul.

I don't think we really understand how much we were made to give and receive blessings.

If you have time, you can click here by reading my feature. You should most certainly see all the other talented artists that are living in the world today. But while you scroll and click and read, take a moment to remember the man behind the site. The WHOLE THING is about blessing other people. What a blessing ALTARWORK (Jason) is for the both the artist and the visitor.

In between my Aunt RuthAnn's visit and Jason's kind words, I was struck by the true meaning of Christmas. Today is Christmas Eve and more than ever, I am acutely aware of what Christ's birth meant to a world that needed a blessing. Underserving, but lovingly, God gave the precious gift of His Son to redeem and save, to give and bless, to teach and equip, to love and truly let live.

I hope this is a Christmas that you always remember. Much like the ornament that hangs on my tree. My prayer is that this year, in some unique way, you come to understand God humbling Himself for you and for me.

I know holidays can be especially difficult. I understand loss and pain and grief. But Jesus understands it more than anyone... 

Jesus gives us the gifts of words and ornaments and Aunt RuthAnn's in our lives to help point the way. But more than anything, He gives us Himself. Freely, lovingly, sacrificially so that we might not have the best Christmas ever - but the best life ever.

Merry Christmas my friends. May Jesus bless you and keep you. May Jesus make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; May Jesus lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace!

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