God with Us, Even When Christmas Stinks

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Many things can get in the way of the happy, sparkling Christmas celebrations to which we aspire. The Dollar family has perfected one such thing—the Christmas stomach bug that tears its way through the family, leading to days of extra laundry, interrupted nights, and general nastiness. (Three years in a row, people—2010, 2011, and 2012. [Read More...]

A Busy Advent Doesn’t Make You a Bad Christian

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When she was only two days old, my firstborn was the subject of an Advent sermon at our Episcopal church. Our rector, Bill, told about visiting me the day before Leah was born. He recalled the physical cues in our apartment indicating that a beloved baby was expected—the quilt handmade by my mom draped over [Read More...]

Preparing a Way for God to Enter Our Busy Advent World

My Advent posts this year have centered on a single theme—that honoring Advent does not require us to retreat from busy Christmas preparation, that our thing- and task-focused preparations might even be particularly appropriate for a God who came to us as an actual needy baby born in a stinky stable. Because I am fully [Read More...]

Can the Christmas Rush Be Meaningful?

I have a post up over at Relevant Magazine today, contemplating Advent, Christmas preparation, busyness, and meaning. It is another take on the themes I raised in Tuesday’s post. I hope you’ll give it a read and participate in the conversation! [Read more...]

Busy Hands, Quiet Heart: Thoughts On Advent

Confession: Every time I come across advice from a fellow Christian urging us to slow down during Advent, I am tempted to do an exaggerated, teenager-ly eye roll. Sometimes I actually do the eye roll. And throw in a heavy sigh for dramatic effect. To me, admonitions to shun holiday season busy-ness in favor of [Read More...]

A Proposal for a Longer Christmas Season…In the OTHER Direction

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In addition to the oft-bemoaned retail practice of filling shelves with Christmas goods as soon as Halloween is over, I have noticed that regular folk are putting their Christmas decorations up earlier and earlier—before Thanksgiving in some cases. And this bothers me. Not only because it overshadows our celebration of Thanksgiving, which is such a [Read More...]

Blessed Are the Christmas-Makers

I’ve noticed a movement afoot among Christians to take back Christmas. No, I’m not talking about the perennial braying over secular America’s “war on Christmas” from those offended by “holiday” trees. (If you want to know what I think about that war on Christmas, read Sojourners’ Jim Wallis’s take on it. That pretty much sums [Read More...]


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