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Christmas is an exciting time of the year to celebrate. It is a time to enjoy family and friends. It is a time of Christmas parties when people gather to celebrate the holiday. A Christmas tree with decorative lights and ornaments will bring happiness and joy to the family. It is time when many Christmas stories appear on TV, such as, “Frosty the Snow Man” and “The Grinch that Stole Christmas.”

However, this Christmas will be different than all others we have experienced. It is because we are in an unprecedented time in the history of our country and around the world because we are faced with a pandemic. Covid-19 has killed millions across the globe and the CDC predicts it will get even worse over the holidays. They are advising people not to gather in large groups over the holiday, to celebrate with their immediate family members only and not to travel, except for things of necessity.

This Christmas will certainly be unlike Christmases of past years. Shopping in stores will be limited. Merchants are suggesting individuals shop online. If we look on the bright side, it will be a time that we can enjoy as we celebrate the full meaning of Christmas and not be clouded by excessive gift giving. Like many of you, I still have gifts from previous Christmases. I am thinking about regifting. ? However, my wife and children are against regifting. I told them that it is a way to save money and that I am conservative. They responded that I am just cheap. ?

So, when you zoom with your family and grandchildren this Christmas read to them this old familiar Christmas poem. And as always, Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

The Night Before Christmas

By Clement Clarke Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads. And mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap, had just settled our brains for a long winter nap. When out on the roof there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow gave the luster of midday to objects below, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. With a little old driver, so lively and quick. I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles, his coursers they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

Now Dasher! Now Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all.

By Chaplain Ghosten