Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (NIV)

The grandgirlies were up and chatting around 5 AM, ready to start the day; but all the adults voted no. It was hard to keep them from waking each other and staying quiet since they are all sleeping in the same room having given up the comfort of their own rooms to the rest of us. But peace reigned for a couple of more hours after Mom laid down the rules and they drifted back to sleep. It is customary in our house that the children may come out to see the tree once they hear the strains of Christmas carols. The air is always filled with their excitement as they impatiently wait for the music. Calls down the stairs to check if we are ready are routine. It is so hard to wait! But finally, the tree lights are shining, the fire is lit, cameras are ready and the coffee is on. It is time! Just think how Mary and Joseph must have felt that first Christmas morning. As they gazed into the face of that sleeping baby, the wonder of the miracle that had just happened along with the responsibility that goes with a new baby must have overwhelmed them. Our little girls arrived with big eyes and bright smiles and began the much loved tradition of taking turns to open their presents—oohing and ahhing after each followed with thank you’s and lots of hugs and kisses. After a while, each one drifted off to her own corner to check out her stash more thoroughly leaving the floor littered with paper, ribbons, tape, cards, and boxes. I know that after a couple of weeks, the newness will wear off and they will struggle to remember who gave them what. But I imagine the young family in Bethlehem was excited, too. They didn’t have all the trappings that we are used to. In fact, they only had one gift. But this Present, wrapped in swaddling clothes, was the greatest Gift of all. He was destined to be our Savior and would make a difference that would echo through all the ages. My heart swells with emotion as I watch those that I love enjoy this special day. But I am even more grateful that these little girls understand that the little baby Jesus is the reason we say, Merry Christmas!