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Luke 10:40 – But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to [Jesus] and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (NIV)

Norma Farber's poem, The Queens Came Late, is new to me and perhaps to you, too. It's about several royal queens who travel to see the newborn Christ-Child. They leave housework and children behind in order to see this marvellous sight.

Unlike the kings, who brought strange gifts for Christ, they take the practical gifts of a blue gown, chicken noodle soup, and a cradle song to Mary. They want to stay, but "home and children and chores undone" call their names.

Christmas can be a frantic time for women. Sometimes, it seems like we're responsible for the complete holiday. That includes the Christmas tree, decorations, gift buying, house cleaning, turkey wrestling, and making sure everyone enjoys themselves. Whew!

Is our to-do-list too long? Is it unreasonable? Why don't we delegate? What would happen if we didn't colour-match the tree to the new carpet, but instead used last year's trims?

What if we turned our attention to the Christ-Child and it stayed there? How would our Christmas change? What items can we stroke off the list right now? Will bakery shortbread satisfy the family? Must the block party take place before Christmas? Why can't it be potluck? What if we turned our attention to the Christ-Child — and it stayed there?

Prayer: Lord, we are frazzled when we ought to be fragrant with the scent of Christ. Give us the courage to meet Your expectations and not those of the world. For Christ's sake, we pray. Amen.

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Brenda Wood <>
Sandycove Acres, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada

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