The most wonderful time of the year

The most wonderful time of the year, HeartStories

I keep hearing this song over and over in my head.  Maybe someone is trying to send me a message. . . or it could be that Michael Buble’s version is part of the Christmas playlist plugged into our home speaker.  😉

Either way, it keeps bringing this question to my mind:

What makes this season the most wonderful time of the year?

In the song it’s:

Kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
Holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call

Parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
Scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of the
Christmases long, long ago

Much mistltoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When love ones are near

Parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of the
Christmases long, long ago

When I see that list, there’s one common theme.  

It’s not the most wonderful time of the year because we stress over all the holiday shopping, planning, coordinating, or perfecting of our Christmas decor.  It’s not buying kids every last desire of their heart from the toy store (or alright, Amazon prime) This season is wonderful because it’s about being together with the people you love to celebrate traditions and meaningful parts of our faith.

As cliché and wonderful as it sounds on the surface, being together with the people we love requires constant assessment and preparation of our hearts.  

It’s so easy to love people at a distance.  We can email, we can text, now we can even leave voice text’s with no chance of ever speaking to a real, live person.  While I (really) enjoy all of these forms of communication, I fear amid our busyness, they enable us to distance ourselves ever further from the reality of loving people up close.

When this most wonderful season comes around, we get to practice loving people in our kitchens, living rooms, guest bedrooms and around our tables and that changes the dynamic just a little bit.  

So while you’re planning and preparing the tables and the gifts, take some time to prepare your heart.  Think about the people you’ll be spending time with this season, whether at parties, plays, church gatherings or around the table at home.  Think about what’s going on in their lives.  What’s important to them?  (Seriously, make a list before you meet.)

Ask questions.  Find out how things are going.  The first step to loving them well is caring about their lives.

If you do, you’ll find that it lowers the stress, conflict and some of the awkward holiday tension, when you shift the focus to caring for the people you’re with.

Next time you hear that song ringing in your ears, remember that it’s up to you to make it the most wonderful time of the year.  

Caring for others is how you get there.

to more love,



  1. Crystal, I am enjoying getting to read your posts from the South China sea. Love opening this one to see that picture of our family from Thanksgiving and remembering the thoughts we shared. Love you and your determination to help people.

    1. Thank you Mom! I’m so glad you’re enjoying them while you’re gone! Thank you. Love you too!

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