It is almost time to pack away the tinsel, lights, baubles, and bits. Before they go, I want to offer one final prayer of Thanksgiving for Christmas 2023.

Our Most Kind and Gracious Heavenly Father,

Thank you for another Christmas season.

For Joseph and Mary who heard Your voice through angels and dreams and then simply obeyed.

For shepherds, stars, Heavenly hosts, and magi from afar who all said, “Yes.” They came with haste, or with a whoosh, or with the slow, determined plodding of camels.

For men wise enough to “return a different way” and avoid the wicked King Herod

For ancient Simeon and the widow Anna who waited in Your courts, believed Your promises, and celebrated Your faithfulness.

For the little town of Bethlehem prepared since ages past to be the birthplace of our Savior and the setting for this great, true story.

For Egypt, which became an unexpected shelter and protection from the Roman sword.

For Nazareth, where the little family returned so the boy Jesus could grow in favor with both God and man.

Most of all, thank you for the baby in the manger. The Bright and Morning Star. The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, and the continuing Hope of the whole world.

Thank you that we don’t have to pack Him away with the tree.