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Snowmen Smiles

Meet Dudley, Myrtle, and Rudy, the three happy snowmen mascots of this Thankful Thursday post. Technically, I should be studying for my final exam tomorrow, but thankfulness waits for no exam, and I think we could all use a reminder that there is always something to smile about, especially at this time of year.

Christmas is in just over a week and I catch myself wondering how it's snuck up so fast. It doesn't feel like Christmas at all, and part of me is feeling that little pang of melancholy—the one that says Christmas will come and be gone almost before we glimpse it. I always find that the holidays slip by too fast, but this year many of us are struggling with the idea that Christmas won't look the same way it always does. That it might be a little lonelier, a little quieter, a little less bright than usual.

It's hard. At a time of year when traditions are so precious, it's hard to see those well-loved customs unravelled, even if it's only temporary (which, of course, it is). I think that's why it's important to ground ourselves in things deeper than traditions, things that are unchanging regardless of where or how we celebrate this season of light.

For one, Jesus Christ came to earth as a child for us, gift-wrapped in swaddling clothes, because he loves us unconditionally. No matter where we are or what we're doing for the holidays, that is a blessing we can all look heavenward and smile about.

What's more, this is the season of giving! There are so many ways we can spread joy, even while protecting each other with the compassion and selflessness Jesus demands from us. Look at the technology at our fingertips, the ways we can reach each other with encouragement and blessing, the time we have to reconnect with one another, the delightful gifts we can leave on doorsteps and in mailboxes, the smiles we can bring just as well from a distance as we can up close!

This Christmas will be different, no question. But the joy of Christmas is unquenchable, and we should be channelling it more than anyone as the followers of Christ himself. Dudley, Myrtle and Rudy aren't complaining, and neither should we. God is good, Jesus loves us, and there is always something to smile about!

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