Traditions of Blessing: A Christmas Message From Commissioner Kelly Igleheart

As the hardwood trees were turning bright red and burnt orange in the autumn, Donna made her way to Dahlonega, Georgia, a perfectly clear Saturday drive that concluded with a few short visits to the shops along the public square. As she wandered through the store aisles, surely images of sugar plums danced in her head when suddenly, what should appear, but Santa, the abominable snowman, and a tiny brown reindeer! If those characters sound familiar to you, perhaps you were a child raised in the 1960s. On Christmas Eve our family would visit a grandparent or the home of a favorite uncle where one of the three channels on the TV would also broadcast Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. On her shop visit in Dahlonega, these three stuffed tree ornaments were located in the antique collection. How does that happen? Our memories of Christmas past are now conveniently found in the history section of a curio store.

Christmas traditions, the familiar smell of a fir tree, the sound of boiling chocolate fudge candy, long family road trips, and special singalong corps programs bring back memories of an innocent, simpler time in our lives. Or perhaps it was the expectation of Christmas morning that you remember most. In my house, it was a race down the stairs as the commotion woke up Mom and Dad from their cold winter slumber. Under the brightly lit tree was the culmination of a year of staying off the naughty list and the painstaking hours of poring through the Sears Christmas catalog to select the perfect bicycle or wind-up astronaut toy.

What traditions are you creating this Christmas? Standing at a kettle with children or grandchildren? Playing your instrument as you search through the Carolers’ Favorites or giving gifts at the Angel Tree on distribution day? If you’re not able to help in this way, perhaps a call can be made to a family who needed your Army this year. Imagine the warmth you can provide by sharing a friendly hello and a warm prayer for the New Year.

It is Christmas 2023, and you have the opportunity to be a tremendous blessing to someone else, to others. Your gift may be tangible or take the form of a silent prayer. Your gift to others becomes a Christmas blessing to family, friends, and those in need in your community. The perfect gift that God gave to all humanity is the gift of a Savior. Born to set the captive free. Born to our world as promised by the Father. Born in ancient history but also born for you and for me this Christmas season. Luke 2:11 says, “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is the Messiah, the Lord.”