Each year I try to think of ways to really focus on what Christmas is all about- celebrating the birth of Jesus, the savior of the world. This year Little Britches was asked to play Jesus in the live nativity at our church. As I handed her to a youth from our church, a girl of about 13 or 14, I was so acutely aware that she is more like Mary than I am. She held "Jesus" so tenderly and looked into her eyes. "Jesus" looked a little wide-eyed with wonder and made a perfect picture, but soon "Jesus" began to cry because she had been up two hours and her bedtime was approaching. Mary tried to sooth "Jesus" but it didn't work that well. She looked at me with a question in her eyes. I wonder if the real Mary did the same. When Jesus cried did she know what to do? Did she look to the livestock in the stable with a question in her eyes? Was she scared? Could she even now comprehend that she had given birth to GOD'S SON? Could she comprehend that she was going to be raising her savior? I know, as a mom, there are many things I don't understand about raising Little Britches to be all God's created her to be, but tonight I saw her for what she truly is- a gift, just as Jesus was a gift to the world, Little Britches is a gift to me. I want to hold her, cherish her, and love her, like Mary did Jesus. But the difference is I am holding a gift and she held THE GIFT- the gift the world needed, hoped for, watched for, waited for, prayed for, and now had. Gifts are funny though, they can be right in front of you, but until you take it and cherish it, it really doesn't mean anything to you. May you cherish all the gifts in your life today, but especially the gift of Christ, born on Christmas Day.