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This past week I saw a Christmas commercial on TV. It begins with a young girl running home after getting off a school bus. She is later seen with her mother making things ready for Christmas. A newly made ornament is hung on the tree.

After school days are done the young girl is briefly seen hand sewing pieces of cloth together on her bed. On one occasion she runs by the barn to see a lone sheep ready to be shorn. The scene changes slightly and now includes a man standing over the sheep, sheering off its wool coat.

The young girl is watching intently, a small frown on her face. Her eyes tell the story—she is worried about the wellbeing of the sheep. Without a coat of wool, it will become cold in the brisk night air. Unwilling to take that chance, the young girl picks up her handmade quilt. She walks outside to the barn. As her father finishes with the last bit of trimming, the clippers fall silent. With loving hands, the young girl places her quilt on the sheep. The commercial ends with this phrase: “Christmas is what you make it.”

What have you and I been creating for Christmas this year? What have our hands been busy doing in preparation for the birth of Jesus and the exchange of gifts? Will we make smiles with our greetings and our gentle hugs? Will we make lasting memories of affection and concern?

This is the season of love, hope, peace and faith. Make each moment count. Build a Christmas to remember through acts of kindness, compassion and grace. Keep each other warm in the love of God and wrap one another in mercy. Merry Christmas!

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