BELIEVE was the theme of this year’s Christmas tea. The inspiration came from everywhere: Macy’s, Christmas cards, pillows, candles, and many other things. My BELIEVE, however, wasn’t about Santa, or the elf on the shelf, or the gifts. It was about the reason for my interpretation of BELIEVE.

I love decorating our house: the tree, the manger, the greens on our mantle, the stockings below them, our nutcracker collection, and Christmas dishes on our table.

I love filling everyone’s stockings with special little gifts. It’s my specialty. I even love the shopping. Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. If it were in July, it would still be my favorite time of year. There are so many things I love about Christmas.

I love the pure joy of watching our grandchildren opening their gifts. I love Hallmark movies, carols, and candles in the windows, Christmas parties, and Christmas dinners that last until way past dessert.​ More than anything, I love having our family together. The Virginia license plates joining ​the Rhode Island ones in our driveway make my heart sing. Having all our “babies” under one roof is all the Christmas I need.

That’s a list of just SOME of the things I love about Christmas. And now, here’s what I BELIEVE about Christmas.

I believe it’s not about carols and choirs, it’s about the song the angels sang. It’s not about the star atop the Christmas trees, it’s about the star that showed the way to a tiny town in Bethlehem where a future king had just been born. It’s not about a trip to Grandmas’ house, it’s about a journey the wise men took in search of that future king. I believe it’s not about the presents under the tree, it’s about the gift of God’s presence to a needy world. It’s not about Jingle Bells, it’s about the hallelujah chorus the angels sang.

Christmas is all about Jesus. The baby in the manger. Mary’s baby born to be the King of our hearts. God incarnate leaving His mansion for a stable. Jesus. His name is Jesus. He’s the reason I BELIEVE.

As we enter this holy season of Advent, I’m taking time out to remind myself that the baby whose birth we celebrate was born with my name already engraved on the palm of His tiny baby hands. I want you to know why I BELIEVE in Him. I BELIEVE in the manger-King because He has walked with me along every step of every journey I will ever take. He sees the tears I’ve shed in the dark of night when sleep won’t come. He feels my pain when nobody else knows how badly I’m hurting. I’ve had experience with pain, with fear, with rejection, and even with doubt. I’ve asked a thousand questions and cried copious numbers of tears. And I’ve learned something. There’s a God in Heaven, and He knows me. He knows just what hurts and just what helps me, because He knows me.

HE KNOWS MY NAME. Do you believe that? It’s true. The prophet Isaiah said He has written my name on the palm of His hand. He KNOWS your name too! He knows your every heart hurt. What’s more, He bends His ear to listen when we can barely whisper His name. He even hears us before we get a chance to force a sentence out of our mouths. Maybe your heart is hurting as you read this, maybe you’re worried, or afraid. Maybe your past is haunting you, or your future is frightening you. Maybe you’re stretched and stressed to the limit. Perhaps you’re just plain tired. Maybe you think you have a problem that just can’t be fixed.

REMEMBER THIS there is a God in Heaven and HE KNOWS YOUR NAME.

Christmas is all about believing. I believe that the God who loves me sent the greatest gift, His son, because He wants me to know the joy of belonging to Him.

My prayer for you this Christmas season is that you will believe, really BELIEVE. And, every time you see that word, I pray that you’ll remember all God wants you to do is BELIEVE. Because, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD.

From where I sit, I wish you the wonder of BELIEVING this Christmas.