The Spirit of Christmas

the spirit of christmas

 I welcome my writer friend, Gail Kittleson, to my blog. Today, she ponders what it means to feel like Christmas. I pray her words speak to you as they do to me… Also- enter to win her latest novel (details at the bottom of post).

The Spirit if Christmas

By: Gail Kittleson

“Grandma, your house feels like Christmas!” Our twelve-year old granddaughter’s exclamation warmed my heart—I can’t think of a better compliment. Of course, we act more like Christmas when she’s around, with her quick smile, eager mind and willing hands.

But ever since she made this statement in late October, I’ve pondered what it means to feel like Christmas. What exactly is Christmas like?

What comes to mind instantly when you consider the elements of Christmas, its components? For me, it’s quiet scenes—gentle twinkling lights against a cold, starlit night sky, children’s eyes sparkling as they contemplate what’s in those packages under the tree, families gathered around a holiday table, mom and dad nestling together after “it’s” all over.

Of course, the nativity—a manger scene patterned after our concept of our Lord’s birthplace—God come to earth in a newborn. This peaceful setting collides with this old world’s troubles, gives us hope, and calms our fears. We see in the distance a cross, a crown of thorns, and an empty tomb overshadowing our December celebration.

Does our granddaughter sense this hope threading through our days and weeks and years? I can think of no finer legacy, no greater gift than an expectation of good, a deep-seated confidence and courage rooted in faith.

We keep Christmas pretty simply…lighting candles and singing of the Savior’s birth at the Christmas eve service, gift-opening that becomes less raucous as the grandchildren mature, and old favorites to eat together. Is it that togetherness our granddaughter senses? Schedules keep people running, and we don’t all spend as much time together as when she was younger.

I hunger for more closeness, too. If not now, when? But I know that as this twelve-year-old grows, she’ll become busier, too.

Yet hopefully, through the years, she’ll still sense this Christmas-ness about our home—about us. Welcoming hearts, an interest in what she’s learning, excitement about her decisions, and through all that is to come, the surety that our Creator loves us.

This Christmas hope will tie us to each other, come what may. This Christmas joy, in spite of the sorrows that come to us all, binds us in a love that never ends.

Our granddaughter knows about my writing and the characters that occupy me much of the time. She cheers me on in my efforts and rejoices with me over signs of success, however small. This Christmas, with the third book in my Women of the Heartland series released, I can’t help but travel back to the forties, when the war touched so many families.

Perhaps they set an extra place for a missing soldier…and as the fighting dragged on, maybe one Christmas, they realized that loved one would never be coming home. How could they celebrate in the midst of such a loss? What about the younger brothers and sisters who’d prayed their older brother would return?

I honestly don’t know. It’s hard to imagine how those parents coped, how those families entered into the Christmas spirit. I believe it’s good to revisit that horrific time and honor all the losses they endured so that we might pass the candlelight to our neighbor in peace.

Gail Kittleson HeadshotWhen Gail’s not steeped in World War II research, drafting scenes, or deep in an edit, she does a limited amount of editing for other authors. She also facilitates writing and creativity workshops, both in Iowa and Arizona, where she and her husband spend part of the winter in the amazing Ponderosa pine forest under the Mogollon Rim. Favorites: walking, reading, meeting new people, hearing from readers who fall in love with her characters.

A Purpose True Book Cover

Check out Gail’s latest book,

A Purpose True!

Southern France – Spring, 1944

German panzer units crisscross the region, dealing ruthless reprisals against the French Resistance, and anyone suspected of supporting its efforts. Secret Operations Executive (SOE) agent Kate Isaacs is tasked with providing essential radio communications with the Allies, while her guide, Domingo Ibarra, a Basque shepherd-turned-Resistance fighter, dedicates himself to avenging the destruction of his home and family.

Thrown together by the vagaries of war, their shared mission, and common devotion to liberty, the last thing Kate and Domingo anticipate is the stirring of affection that threatens to blossom into love. But how can love survive in the midst of the enemy’s relentless cruelty toward innocent citizens?

Everything hinges on the success of the Allied Invasion – L’Invasion

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About Kristen Terrette

Kristen is on fire for Christ and loves to serve Him. Whenever she’s not penning a new novel, she’s writing for and, or serving on the Ladies Leadership at her church. But her favorite thing to do is get outside with her husband and two children. 

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