JOY… it’s easy to associate this word primarily during Christmastime as it takes focal point on mantels, hanging as tree ornaments, scrawled on wrapping paper and tags. And joy should take center stage because JESUS is our JOY! 1 Thessalonians says, “For you are our glory and joy.” And often when we see joy in the Bible, it’s surrounded with celebration and rejoicing, and there is no better celebration than Christ’s birth!


December at our home is a month anticipating the celebration of Jesus’ birthday. We place the boys’ nativity scene near the Christmas books so they can play, while we read together as a family. They move the sheep, add army men to the nativity, push the button on top of the manger so it plays “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and rearrange baby Jesus. We talk about Jesus being born a baby and later dying for each of us because He loves us so. At their young ages, we see their attempt to grasp who this Jesus is. 

Each day the boys open their Advent Calendar counting down to December 25th, one day closer to Jesus' birthday!  Behind the numbered door hides a treat. Our oldest loves the small treasures: stickers and candy and pennies for wish fountains. Our youngest delights for a moment, then is off to the next distraction.


And then this happened.

Ty, who’s two, was playing by the nativity, moving the people and animals in and out of the manger. Then he sat very still, and from the corner of my eye I saw his chubby hands cupped, baby Jesus cradled in his open palms. He looked up at me, his blue eyes large and full of wonder. 

“Can Jesus take a nap with me?” he asked.

Off, he ran down the hall, into his room. For hours, he slept, grasping the figure of the Christ Child. When he woke, Jesus stayed with him the rest of the day: on the couch while he read with his brother, on the ground while they played trucks, and on their table while they shared snacks. 

I was struck by this small gesture Ty showed in choosing Jesus, how he held tight to a tiny physical object that represents the real, living King.

He chose Joy and carried him everywhere.

This Christmas, may we be like Ty… maybe we don’t carry the nativity figurine of Jesus in our pocket, to our work, school, or Holiday parties, but may His Joy reside in our hearts and overflow into our daily lives. May the decorations and ornaments, wrapping and tags be a reflection of who we celebrate on Christmas Day!

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