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When we think Christmas, we imagine beautiful gifts, soft light, delectable food, happy kids… and it’s easy to get caught up the beauty around us. But this Christmas, a teacher in our community passed away, and my son’s class was hit especially hard. A lot of the kids knew her, even though she taught another grade, and she died so young.

So we had to talk about death with our sixth grader… more than just the death of a pet, but the death of someone in his circles. It just happened… there wasn’t much warning, and life went from being the fun, beautiful drive up to Christmas and suddenly became fragile and precious.

We talked about how we have to be ready to face God–all of us. We don’t know when our time might come, even though we pray to die at a ripe old age. We talked about how being a Christian means we have hope of Heaven, and this isn’t a final goodbye. And Christmas took on a different meaning in our home this year–a little more sober, and a little more grateful for what it means.

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I don’t mean to bring you down… I just wanted to share what is happening in the Johns home right now. And I hope you’ll all remember that your presence here on this earth means the world to someone, and without you, more people would be affected than you could ever imagine!

Christmas isn’t always perfect, but when I remember why we celebrate, then Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect for me to feel the elation of the season. Merry Christmas! Let’s celebrate with those we love, and open our hearts to those less fortunate. Because we only pass this way once… and loving each other well seems like the best use of our time possible.

Memento mori and Merry Christmas!

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