The First Imperfect Christmas


But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

Matt. 1:20 (NKJV)

Movies and music promote Christmas as a wonderful family time when everyone gathers for an extravagant meal in a fabulously decorated home. While that may portray the Christmas celebration for some folks, it is not true for everyone. May I tell you about one imperfect Christmas?

There was this young married couple. They were just teenagers, and they took off alone on a long journey. Their transportation was not the greatest. When they finally arrived in the big city, weary and tired, they could not find a single motel room. Finally, one innkeeper suggested that they stay in his barn.

As they settled into their bed of hay, the young pregnant girl begins to go into labor. There is no doctor, no midwife, and no family to hold her hand. There is no one to calm the young man’s fears. This teenage boy must help his wife deliver the baby. They didn’t even have hot water, and the conditions of the stable were unsanitary at best. In spite of it all, Mary delivered a healthy Son, Jesus.

Friend, perhaps you are one of the many people with an imperfect Christmas. Somebody will spend Christmas in a hospital. Others will spend it around the bedside of a dying loved one. Some will be on the streets, while others will be in nursing homes without a single visitor.

Christmas will not be the happiest time of the year for everybody. However, when we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus – we will have joy. Despite the illness, despite the loneliness, and despite whatever you are going through, there is joy with Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Help me remember that Christmas is about You. Forgive me when I fail to do that. Help me not put unnecessary stress on my family and myself by trying to live up to an unrealistic standard. Help us make Christmas a little brighter for someone else. Amen.


Read Matt. 1:18-25.


Think of someone who is struggling. Do something special for that person – a visit, a gift, a hug.

Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.


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