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Bah! Anyone who knows me knows that I can be a little grumpy around this time. The stress of holiday shopping, bad eating habits, party requests and late nights start to take their toll on me right about now. I apologize to all in my immediate circle with which I might have been a bit snippy. The commercialism of this time of year makes me crazy. But…

Even though it can be a stressful time of year, the season comes with its own special “gifts.” My heart fills with joy when I see the look on someone’s face after I’ve given them a gift they like. The smells of evergreen and baking treats are a delight to my senses. There’s a palpable feeling of cheer in the air and people are a little more friendly. I’ve noticed that even though the lines to get through the traffic light and into the mall are long, my requests to “pull in” are usually granted, sometimes with a smile and a wave. I also love the fellowshipping with family and old friends and the chance to make new ones that this time of year brings. And, the kids…simply delightful.

This season reminds me of all that God so graciously gives to me throughout the year. I am also reminded of my connection to others as I consider those whose holiday might not be so joyous. My heart fills with compassion as I think of them. And, most importantly, this time of year reminds me that I have been given the most precious gift of all…life. That I can connect and share, love and laugh, taste, feel and experience. And boy have I done my share of that over the past few weeks!

Yes, I’m a little tired, but I’ll take the bitter with the sweet. The season’s “gifts” remind me of how wonderful life is and how blessed…how truly blessed I am.

To Your Journey,


Tonya Lampley is a Cincinnati based fiction author. Her debut novel is titled A Taste of Love and is available at Joseph Beth Booksellers and Amazon.com. To learn more about Tonya and her works, please visit http://www.TonyaLampley.com.