Theo's first Christmas last year...complete with his own stocking and all. ;)

With all of the preparations for this holiday season, my heart has felt overwhelmed for those who may not be feeling the love of Christmas. Or perhaps the holidays are just plain hard with the loss of loved ones.

I feel for you, I truly do.

It can be so easy to get caught up in the tangible things that surround this season. The gifts, the wrapping (I tend to get a tiny bit OCD about a theme each year), real vs artificial tree, how many decorations to display and the list goes on.

I love how pumped up everyone gets about the holidays and the joy that is in the air. All of these things are wonderful additions to this beautiful season. I truly do love the decorating, gift giving and excitement that surrounds us, but for me, the true Christmas spirit is something that is so much deeper.

The best gift you can give anyone is the gift of love: showing you care, telling them how much they mean to you, serving them, loving them and just being with them.

I wish a lot more people kept this Christmas spirit within them all year round. It's such a beautiful thing when our hearts for giving and loving are so strong and beat together as one.

Losing a loved one is something that never leaves you. It's just there in your heart always reminding you that they are no longer in the present. The holidays seem to magnify the pain of missing them a little bit more than usual.

My dad's birthday is on Christmas Day, he would have been 51 this year. He passed when he was 34 years old and was the most giving man I have ever known. Giving of spreading love and kindness wherever he went. His birthday being on Christmas has never been easy for me or my family. And every Christmas it is very known that someone is missing in our bunch of people. You can just feel it. And it stings. A lot.

The verse John 3:16 repeatedly comes to my mind when I think of my dad. So much so that I made sure that it was printed on his headstone.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The love God has for each one of us is immeasurable. God sent His own son to die on the cross for us so that we may have eternal life. And because Jesus conquered death, someday we will be reunited with our loved ones.

What a gift!

So, be extra kind to people. Live out that Christmas spirit every single day. You never know what battle someone may be facing. 

Wrap your gifts but also wrap your arms around those who may need an extra hug.
Cuddle up with your hot cocoa by the fire but also serve someone who is homeless in the cold.
Blast that Christmas music, I start playing it before Thanksgiving, but also spread that cheer with a simple smile and hello.
& Spend time with those you love.

If you are interested in doing something a little bit different for Christmas this year I strongly encourage you to check out Compassion International, World Vision, or any other non profit organization that gives you the opportunity to sponsor a child. It is such a rewarding thing to do and an amazing way of shining God's light to those around the world. My little girl's name is Eveling in Nicaragua, she's 5 years old and brings more joy to me than she knows.

I am so thankful for God's greatest gift: Jesus.
That God chose who He did to be my earthly father.
That my dad who taught me strong morals, values and what simple kindness can do from a very young age.

Happy Birthday Jesus and Happy Birthday Daddio!

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