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Can you breathe? Can you stop long enough to appreciate the meaning of Christmas? I don’t know about you, but every year around this time I tell myself that next year I’ll be more prepared, more organized, and physically have more time and energy to enjoy the Christmas season. Unfortunately, each year only seems to get more hectic. It’s sad but true and probably isn’t just me. I suspect I am not the only one who feels this way.

You would think that overnight shipping would solve all of our problems related to Christmas shopping, wrapping and all of that. However, it’s just caused more problems. All it has done is allowed you (and me) to pack even more into less time. I believe that Christmas is much more than gifts, twinkling lights, endless cookie trays and connecting with distant relatives. Christmas is all about a message that our world has allowed to be crowded out by chaotic living. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus and the message of hope that He brings. This message is as relevant today as it was that first Christmas in Bethlehem thousands of years ago.

My wish for all of us this Christmas season is to force ourselves to slow down enough and realize the true meaning of Christmas. Let’s not allow it to be just one day of the year but rather a day that never ends.  Like me, many of you realize the true meaning of Christmas and seek to make each day like Christmas for each person you meet – the barista who serves your coffee, the clerk at the grocery store, and yes, even the TSA agent at the airport are part of our world. May we all strive to treat those around us with a Christmas-like spirit of love, kindness, and gratitude.

Luke 2:10 says, “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'”

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Mark Hunter

I am excited to share that this year Ann Marie and I get to spend Christmas with the entire family. This is a special gift, and always will be despite the hundreds of miles between us. Thankful we can still find a way to gather for the important occasion.

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