Various angles today, about how the “holiday season” affects various people.
It’s an insightful half-hour with four special guests:
- Financial expert Rachel Cruze offers her personal stories and professional recommendations on shopping and budgeting between now and Christmas. It’s OK — it’s even good — to be generous at this time of year. She cautions, though, that overspending and reliance on “stuff” to bring joy is misguided and harmful.
- New York Pastor Dave Bretch offers those of us in America a perspective of what Christmas will be like in the Holy Land. He has led tours of the region where Jesus was born, as well as offering glimpses of U.S. and world history of Christmastime during wartime. For 2023, because of the war and terrorism in the region, the town of Bethlehem has already announced that all Christmas celebrations and events there for 2023 have been called off, to keep locals and visitors safe.
- Another pastor in the Family Life listening area, Eric Johns, has first-hand insights of living on the streets as wintry weather begins to set in. He wraps up a 25-year string of spending Thanksgiving Week abiding with neighbors who are homeless for the holidays. Johns is involved with a congregation which has a heart for reaching out to those without a family, without a home, and (sometimes) without hope. Like many other churches, this congregation emphasizes how to share food, clothing and other items with people in need around them.
- Jessica Meade, a Christian counselor in Pennsylvania, talks about personal and family expectations of what we think December and Christmas “should” be like. When it has been a hard year, or the circumstances of a family changes, people can drag themselves down when their holidays don’t feel like the happy Christmas movies or the stereotypical Christmas cards — let alone our own memories of good old days. She offers advice and practical steps to let loose of some traditions, find camaraderie with others who are living out a “Blue Christmas”, and ways to rediscover true wonder and joy, in anticipation of the Gospel story.
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