DECEMBER 7, 2020    

Make It Simple

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Why? Because we are focused on celebrating the birth of Christ and sharing his love with others. Many people decorate their homes for others to enjoy. We spend more time baking goodies to share with our friends, neighbors, co-workers, shut-ins, etc. We send Christmas cards to those we are thinking about, and of course we buy gifts to share with others. People seem so much happier during the Christmas season; I even catch myself humming to the Christmas songs playing in the stores. Why? Because during the Christmas season, we are doing exactly what God wants us to do all year long. We are focused on the birth of Jesus Christ and sharing God’s love with everyone we can instead of focusing on ourselves. As much as I love this time of year and the happiness it brings to my heart, it only makes sense that I would challenge myself to focus on doing things for other people and making others happy all throughout the year as God wants us to. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant to put smiles on other people’s faces. It can be as simple as sending a shut-in a “thinking of you” card.

Ken and I learned a long time ago how just the simplest things can bring the most joy. Our daughter was two years old, and we were so excited about the gift she was going to get for Christmas. She was getting a kitchen set with all the accessories. We couldn’t wait to see her expression on Christmas morning! It was Christmas Eve and Ken’s brother had come by our house. He was getting ready to leave and he asked our daughter what she was hoping to get for Christmas. She started jumping up and down and said, “a sucker!” We just looked at each other and both felt sick to our stomachs. We didn’t have a sucker anywhere in our house. Thank goodness Ken’s brother had a sucker in his car! Christmas morning, Erin looked in her stocking first thing and pulled out that sucker. She was sooooo excited!! She could not have cared less about the kitchen set. She wanted us to unwrap that sucker for her. Both of us remember today, as if it just happened yesterday, what she did. She licked that sucker and then came up to us and said, “Mommy lick, Daddy lick …. GOOD.” This two-year-old taught us that the simplest things can bring the most joy. She also taught us that God made us, from birth, to share what we have, no matter how simple, with others and that is what will bring us the most happiness!

Merry Christmas, and we hope everyone will feel the Christmas spirit throughout all of 2021!

Ken and Charlotte Hanner      

 Click here to see the complete 2020 Advent Devotional booklet.