Simplify the Season

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By Davalynn Spencer @davalynnspencer

Remember when Christmas was simple?

You were probably a child.

Pine trees

As adults we complicate things.

Pre-lit trees
Shopping without end

Can we simplify the season—enjoy it without getting caught up in the hoopla? Celebrate the Child?

This year, a couple of one-year-olds in our family celebrated their birthdays. Actually, they didn’t celebrate at all. They merely watched wide-eyed as moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins made a big deal out of the small darlings.

It reminded me of wealthy strangers showing up with very grown-up gifts a couple thousand years ago at the home of a toddler* named Yeshua**.

No Fischer-Price toys in those camel-bags. No cute onesies with a favorite football team logo on the front. No stuffies to snuggle with at night.

Instead, the men from the east brought hard-coin cash, high-dollar perfume, and burial oil. Ever wonder what mom and dad thought of that?

When I look at our little ones, I imagine Jesus at their age and it’s hard to see him with a halo and folded hands, sitting meekly at Mary’s feet. Dirty diapers and scuffed knees come to mind instead.

Undignified? Not really.

I see him tumbling and squealing and crying, just like our youngsters.

He took the hard way into our humanness—childhood. There is no phase of our growing and living with which he cannot relate.

Mary wiped his nose, bandaged his scrapes, and kissed those pudgy palms that would one day hold the nails.

This year, let’s simplify our Christmas. Let’s recognize, remember, and rejoice over the Gift God gave us.


For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government
will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

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*Matthew Chapter 2

** Hebrew for Jesus

A Mistletoe Christmas by author Davalynn SpencerThe mare grazed in the center of a small pasture but came to the fence when they dismounted.
“Looking for a handout?” Dave rubbed beneath her forelock.
“What’s her name?” Georgia asked.
He shook his head and rolled his eyes.
“You didn’t just roll your eyes.” She bit the inside of her cheek.
“Yes, I did. Can’t help it. Craziest name I’ve ever heard for a horse.”
“So are you going to tell me or make me guess?”
“You’d never guess.”
“I am a writer, you know. I name all the horses in my books.”
He slid her a side glance, daring her to try.
“Come on, give me a hint.”
“It’s connected to Christmas and it’s biblical.”
She’d not expected that turn. This might be harder than she thought. “All right, how about Bethlehem?”
He scoffed. “No.”
“I’m sure it isn’t Magi.”
He threw her an odd look.
“Is it? Is it Magi? Wouldn’t that be a better name for a gelding?”
“No, it’s not Magi.”
It wasn’t Shepherd, Angel, Hosanna, or Gloria either.
“I give up. Tell me.”
Dave faced her and leaned an elbow on the top rail. “What’ll you give me in exchange?” ~A Mistletoe Christmas

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(c) 2023 Davalynn Spencer, all rights reserved.

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2 thoughts on “Simplify the Season

  1. Karen Gee

    Such great advice!
    Last Christmas our family decided to Simplify Christmas! It has made for a much more peaceful time for all!
    No gift exchange. No shopping! Our gift giving was to honor God by choosing to give money to Christian organizations that help the needy. There are many ways to give joy to the less fortunate in the name of Jesus.
    Celebrating the birth of our Savior and His promise of Eternal Life is the best gift of all. Let Jesus be our focus! What a blessing that has been!

    1. davalynn

      Karen – what a great way to share God’s love at Christmas. May the peace and joy abound!


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