December 2020


was unwrapped, the playing of the annual gifted Disney VHS tapes would ensue. We would watch our movies and then go to my Granny and Papa’s house for Christmas lunch and more presents. At the end of the day, we were wiped out and happy. It was pure magic. As an adult, Christmas has taken on a different energy. It’s more of a month-long buzz of activity that always leaves you a little dizzy as you press on to the next work party, friend party, caroling party, cookie party, ornament party, school party or Christmas concert. Cookies and wassail and candy canes, oh my! As an extrovert, parties are my jam, but as I have aged, I realize the work required to be 76 different places over the course of 18 hours, somehow get Christmas cards ordered, addressed, and mailed before December 25, and get gifts for all the people. Then, there is the traveling to see the families. We eat, laugh, love and repeat for several days. It’s wonderful. We also love spending time with our church family on

eat the cookies from a platter? Can we go to the houses of loved ones and give gifts to people we don’t share common germs with on a regular basis? Should we? I’m not a medical professional, but for my family, it’s a resounding YES! Yes, we can. Yes, we should! We need to do Christmas in a way that honors God and our families. If that means being cautious around our vulnerable people, let’s do it. Do we hug and laugh together? Absolutely. Do we take all the elderberry syrup, vitamin D, and zinc we can in the days leading up to it? You bet we do. Do we enter a room of worshipers to sing to the King, even though it’s indoors? Yes, we just do a Christmas head nod instead of a Christmas handshake, and we’ll tie a tiny hand sanitizer to each gift we give for good measure. Just because 2020 Christmas may have to be tweaked, that doesn’t mean it has to be terminated. Do all the things you are able. Christmas time is here, people! Let’s celebrate like never before!

1972—Emily and her brother, Jon Dicken pose in front of the Christmas tree.

Christmas Eve. There is nothing quite as special as being in a room with hundreds of people, holding candles and singing “Silent Night” to the King of Kings, to honor Him for His earthly birthday. There truly are no words to describe the peace that resides in churches on that sweet night. But what about this year? Can we do those things? Can we sing the carols and



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