Gratitude Day 541

Tues., Dec. 8, 2020

Luke 2:6-7 – When they arrived in Bethlehem, Mary went into labor, and there she gave birth to her firstborn son. After wrapping the newborn baby in strips of cloth, they laid him in a feeding trough since there was no available space in any upper room in the village.

Let me be very, very clear: Christmas is NOT being cancelled this year.

Yup, I get it. Christmas will probably look rather different for most of us this year. The parties, the celebrations, the gatherings, the worship: for most of us, all different. Our calendars, our menu planning, our gift-giving: all different. Recently, I went into a store to pick up a few items. I was one of the only people inside the entire store. And this was a store that normally would have been much busier.

Some of this “different” maybe OK. I know it’s hard to have the hard conversations and decide whether to gather together or not. Yet, this Christmas, we also have the opportunity to create new or different traditions as well … and still celebrate Christmas, even if it’s just with the folks in your household.

Here’s some suggestions of how you and your family can still create meaningful and special memories this Advent and Christmas season.

Find a drive-through Christmas light display. Many of these are still a go in our area. You may know of some nice exhibits in your area. If you are looking for a bigger adventure, plan to attend one a little further way. Stock up your vehicle with thermoses of hot chocolate, your favorite treats and a great Christmas playlist. And truly make it an adventure!  

Not sure where there is one? Google it. I typed in “drive through Christmas lights Wisconsin” and received tons of suggestions. Here’s a website that you can find suggestions for Wisconsin. I’m confident other areas can find these lists as well.

Participate in a virtual concert. Yep, I know it’s not the same. Yep, I understand that sitting in front of your computer is nothing like taking in a real concert. Many of us long to hear real, live music.

Since we can’t or shouldn’t, then virtual is the next best thing. There are many FREE concerts right now. For example, Event Brite has a listing of many free virtual concerts. Check them out here:–arts–performances/christmas-concert/

Another option would be to check out your favorite artist’s Facebook page. Maybe they are offering something. For example, the Christian music group Sidewalk Prophets is offering virtual tour dates on several different days. The best part? You pay what you can! They are leaving it up to you to decide what the concert is worth to you! Here’s the link to their website with all of the information: It is one virtual tour I plan on attending!

Go on a Guided Virtual Tour. Recently, I saw a small clip about how the economies of Jerusalem and Bethlehem are struggling right now. Tourism is a huge percentage of their business. Fewer people are able to travel right now and so their business is being dramatically affected.

I saw information about a Virtual Guided Tour of the Old City of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. If you can’t go to Bethlehem and Jerusalem right now, then let them come to you. See the sacred and holy sites. I know it’s not exactly the same. Yet, it’s an opportunity to explore the places where Jesus began and conducted mush of his public ministry. I’m hoping to hop on this one. Here’s more information:

Check out this Facebook page: I don’t know Valerie and kind of feel like I’m stalking her these days. But it’s so good to go to her page every day! She plays piano and posts a Christmas song every day! And they are WONDERFUL!! She makes these songs available to the public. I suggest you go back and listen to all of her songs. They are usually less than three minutes long. And then, keep going back!

Watch a Live Nativity. Last Sunday, Hubby Rick and I drove just a few miles to a neighboring community where a group of teens and kids acted out the Christmas story. It was a drive-through event and people never left their vehicles. Rather than admission, attendees were encouraged to donate to two local projects. We admire the families who decided to create this little nativity and were pleased to wait our turn in line.

Remember that Christmas is often about the sights, smells and sounds. Drive through your local community and look at Christmas lights. It seems to me there are a lot more decorations on individual properties this year! Enjoy the smells that make you think Christmas. And play your favorite Christmas carols on repeat for the next few weeks! I’m playing all the Pentatonix songs. Here’s a link to one of their playlists. Listen to at least the first song which is their rendition of “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s spectacular! No, it’s not the traditional version but their own incredibly unique version.

Maybe we won’t be able to do some of the long-standing Christmas traditions we enjoy this year. Instead, let’s create new ways to celebrate and remember this special time of the year. Allow space for your heart and mind to prepare for the coming of the Christ child. Make it an especially meaningful Christmas this year.

For opportunities to create new and different Christmas traditions, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Holy God – It can be extremely easy to bemoan what we CAN’T do this Advent and Christmas season … rather than celebrating what we CAN do. Open up my heart and mind to discover new ways to drink in this most special time of the year. Amen.

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