i've just put the final touches on the tree, decorated the mantel, turned on lights and lit candles. Christmas music is playing from my ancient stereo and i'm planning the Christmas cookie baking marathon. i'm almost finished buying presents for family members and have Christmas cards addressed and ready to be mailed.
And then a small manger scene catches my eye and i pause to reflect. Such a simple birth. None of the above was happening in honor of the small child - though a barrage of angels appearing to shepherds on the hillside certainly trumps anything i've ever done - and yet, this birth changes everything. Forever.