Christmas 2016: Talk Less, Smile More

“Talk Less; Smile More.” – Aaron Burr’s advice to Alexander Hamilton in Hamilton

Many years ago Katie and I heard a crash downstairs that seemed to be coming from the living room.  We raced downstairs.  Our fear was that one of our small kids had pulled the Christmas tree over – and was possibly hurt underneath.  To our relief everyone was fine, but we found our Christmas Tree laying on its side with broken glass ornaments scattered across the floor.

We love Christmas, and Katie gets particular pleasure in accumulating tree decorations that are meaningful for us.  Things made out of pictures of the kids, and ornaments from various trips are all favorites.  In seems that in our haste to decorate the tree we had placed too many heavy crystal ornaments on the limbs.  We wanted to tree to be “special.”  However, the weight was too heavy for the plastic limbs (fake, pre-lit trees are the only way to go) and the tree literally fell over under all the weight.

It turns out, this is a pretty good metaphor for life during this holiday season.  Often we can find ourselves overburdened with activities, parties, family obligations, etc.  Each is good.  However, when we add too many of these good things into our lives the result can be stress or even anxiety.  They can weigh us down, and we can crumble under the pressure of unintended consequences if we aren’t careful.

During this holiday season,  my family celebrates the birth of Jesus.  He was not born in a crowded inn, but was born in a relatively quiet stable.  Perhaps my favorite part of the story as recorded in Luke is of His mother, “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (verse 19).

Peace is often found in the quiet contemplative moments of this life.

“Talk Less; Smile More.”

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