However, as bleak as that may sound, you won't hear me complaining. I've had some pretty great Christmases growing up. My parents made sure to make them special and memorable.
This Christmas my thoughts are with the people who have never experienced Christmas the way I have: people who did not grow up with the gift of hearing God's Holy Word as children; or those who, as adults, have strayed from the real meaning of Christmas, and are wrapped up in materialistic frenzy most of the year.
My thoughts are also with those people who have to spend this Christmas in prison, in the hospital, stranded somehow, not just from family but from friendship period. I wish I could be with them all, or at least find them some warm friendship from somebody else.
Those of us who always seem to have enough to eat, who look at our overstuffed closets day after day and whine that we "don't have anything to wear", who *ALWAYS* have a warm bed to sleep in... speaking for myself, I think I take it all for granted sometimes.
But God still loves us, no matter what -- that's the greatest gift of all!!!
"In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for see -- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
'Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!'"
(taken from Luke's gospel, chapter 2, somewhere in-between verses 1 and 20). :)
Merry Christmas, everybody!