Give Your Laughter this Christmas

photo by giftidea4u

photo by giftidea4u

The women walk in from the cold to swap hugs and share hellos. We place Christmas treats on the counters and presents under the tree. Before we officially begin the evening, we pause to pray. And my beautiful friend Kelli includes these words, “God, please receive the joyful praises of our laughter.”

Those words ring in my ears like sweet bells all night as I listen to giggles, chuckles and outright fits of giddiness. These women, the Apples group at my church, know how to have a good time. And as I reflect on it later I realize that, yes, their laughter sure sounded a lot like praise.

Laughter can say, “I remember I’m human and it’s okay because I’m still loved.”

Laughter can say, “Thank you for the friends you’ve given me to share this moment.”

Laughter can say, “God is good and all is well even when life is hard.”

So, friend, let’s give God the joyful praises of our laughter this season. We can laugh when we burn the pie. Laugh when we sit around the table with family. Laugh when we open that crazy present. Laugh when we are messy and imperfect and have our this-is-not-the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year moments. Laugh when we think about how God is full of surprises like sending his son as a baby in a manger.

As I walked out the door that evening, sounds of chatter trailed out behind me. I turned back and looked through the window to catch a final glimpses of those smiling faces–all bright like the lights on a tree. And I thought, “Joy to the World indeed.”

XOXO

Holley Gerth

 

p.s. Looking for a stocking stuffer? You’re Made for a God-sized Dream is just the right size!

 

Comments

  1. Oh, friend, I love this. I’d love to sit around a fire with you this season, with nothing but words and laughter between us. We’d laugh … and maybe cry … and definitely laugh some more. Missing you…

  2. Maureen McGann says:

    I was receiving your daily devotions every weekday but since the beginning of this week I have received any. I am missing them. Would you be so kind and put me back on your mailing list?

    Thank you.

    Maureen

  3. To ask Him to receive the joyful praises of laughter is a beautiful thought. Love this! Thanks for sharing!
    Stay warm today with all that snow you have in your neck of the woods!

  4. I love your devotions. This makes me reflect and take note of the little things of the Christmas season. Thank you for being “real”.

  5. Holley,
    My daughter and I share funny bones that are easily tickled. One of my favorite activities is watching comedies with her and sharing the gift of laughter. In doing that, we give each other a priceless gift :). Thanks for sharing…
    Blessings,
    Bev

  6. Linda Annear says:

    As I read this I giggled and smiled remembering times my Bible Study group have spent most of the time praying and laughing instead of reading. We would start out with great intentions and open hearts to where the Holy Spirit would lead us. Then someone would ask a question or relate something that had happened that week pertaining to our lesson, and from there we would end up crying and laughing and giggling. As we would end someone said they were sorry for disturbing the study. My response was when we laugh and cry together God rejoices and bonds us together in very special ways.

  7. Yes! Yes! Yes! The gift of laughter is better than any other gift {almost}, especially amongst friends and family. As the years pass, it is the memories of laughter that stick with me and tug on my heart. May you be blessed with rich laughter, even in the midst of hard. Love to you, sweet Holley.

  8. O I’m the queen of giggle though it’s not liked when people are unhappy but O the joy of the LORD is really my strength. I agree with you on this one. Giggles and laugher and joy and happiness. Especially when the going gets tough. This tough woman gets going. In laughter to overcome the storm.
    Amen.
    :)

  9. Janet Daviau says:

    Would everyone who reads this please pray for me. I need laughter in my life. I take life so seriously most of the time and I hardly ever laugh and I know that laughter is good like medicine. I need those girl connections who love to laugh and play. I pray for a healthy dose of heavenly medicine over the Christmas season and throughout the new year. Thank you so much. Love & Hugs – Janet

    • thank you for being honest. I keep praying for joy, laughter and fun in my life when I am around my family. The responsibility of everything falls on me for our gatherings at our home and I am so thankful for my family, but it can be stressful even though I believe God is helping me to be diligent, disciplined and organized, a lot of times it seems like the joy and fun isn’t there.
      I will pray for you to genuinely connect with others in a sense of joy and much laughter and wonderful memories and relationships that grow and some new relationships that are really meaningful to you……Lord we need to be connected to you and to have relationships with people too Amen

  10. Tracy Post says:

    Precious Holley! You are indeed fearfully & WonDerFuLLy made! I thank God for deciding to trust you with the gift of using words & pictures…for as they dance upon the pages of paper & the latest technology, hearts grow closer to Jesus as a result! Thank you for sprinkling hope & joy like confetti into the lives of so many! Thank you for your willingness to be transparent, for keeping it real, for remembering to have fun along the way & for being contagiously beautiful for His sake! XO

  11. I had a music teacher who KNEW how important ‘JOY’ was when I ask to sing ‘JOY to the World in the ‘FALL of the yr.’ (‘FRUITS of the SPURI’: LOVE,PEACE, & JOY’!;-)

  12. ‘FRUITS of the SPIRIT’! (LAUGHTER produces ‘ENDORPHINS’ & Causes GOOD MENTAL & PHYSICAL CHANGES in ALL!)

  13. Teresa Knott says:

    Holly,
    Thank you for reminding me of the little things in life that bring such joy.
    Thank you for making me realize that it is in the small things that brings light, warmth and yes laughter into our lives. In a dark and troubled world where light, warmth and laughter is so hard to find. I am wishing you a warm Christ filled Christmas this year. May God bless you and yours and may you be filled with the Holy Spirit forever.
    In Jesus
    Teresa

  14. Thank you, Holley. This is a precious devo. I am reminded of the scripture about a merry heart doing good like a medicine!

  15. Sweet, precious friend.
    I am so blessed that our paths crossed and I have come to know you a little better over the past few years. You are truly one of our “shiniest” Apples and it was so good to get to see you and hug your neck again. Keep speaking the truth in love, sweet Holley, God has equipped you well.
    blessings and lots of love,
    Pam

  16. A good laugh with friends is the best…I mean that’s what we are made for. We are made for joy.

  17. I’m thinking back to the squealing laughter of my children (when they were getting along, that is)! It always made me smile to see their joy in one another. Surely our Heavenly Father looks on with the same pleasure, when his children revel in each other’s company, chuckle at humorous events, even laugh in the face of frustration. What a privilege to put a smile on the face of God! Thank you, Holley, for this inspiration.

  18. Holley, this is the first year in a long time I have been able to give and receive the gift of unencumbered laughter. It is truly a blessing and I will be laughing all the way to Katy, Texas for Christmas and back to Arkansas for the new year. Your writing is such a blessing and you touch on subjects that are often neglected in the “Christian” world. Thank you for “letting your light so shine”!
    Love you, sweet friend!

  19. Lindia Lentz says:

    God moment!! I am a painter and am starting a new painting tonight that will be my Christmas card. I have a color that I’m considering for the background–but wasn’t sure if I should use that color or another one. I hadn’t read your post yet, so I said, “Ok, Lord–if I am to use this color, please let me know through Holley’s email. Tears came to my eyes when I got to the end of your post–the theme for my card is “Let every heart prepare Him room”—part of the lyrics to “Joy to the World” !!

    I’m going to go start my painting now…. :-) God bless!

  20. Oh, amen, Holley! Laughter is a form of praise, of prayer, even of thanksgiving, I think. As always, lovely, lovely.

  21. Thank you for opening up possibilities for gift giving to my loved ones! My hubby has become disabled. I have felt glum about the lack of funds to give something bought as a gift to my loved ones. As I read this, many un-purchase-able gift ideas came to mind. Excitement for the season has come. Many thanks!

  22. I’m going to remember this for when I burn my pies (or when the pie crust is rock hard) and when other disasters happen. I love a good laugh, especially with my teenagers. I join you in saying, “Joy to the World, indeed.”

  23. Thank you for this Holley. I’ve often believe the line “Laughter is the best medicine” but to think of it as a form of praise makes me truly believe it is a worthy part of our lives. Laughter shared makes it doubly worthwhile.
    Joy to the world … YES … Joy to you and your Apple group … for sure and Joy to you for sharing this with others ~ including myself … across the ocean and far away.

  24. Yes and amen! For it is truly a time to laugh. I’m reminded of this scripture in Psalm 126, “We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, “What amazing things the Lord has done for them.” May our laughter cause others to see the goodness of the Lord in our lives.

  25. And YOU, my friend, made that evening all the richer and more fun. I am so glad you were there with us. You are a blessing in so many ways. Thank you for always encouraging others. Love!

  26. “Lord please receive the joyful praises of our laughter.” Now, I just love that. I’m having luncheons here in my home this week and next week and I’m going to remember that. Christmas blessings to you!

  27. Thanks so much for sharing joy with me, friends! :) XOXO

  28. Learning to laugh during the hard times is so important. I’m learning to do that…but I find that laughter really is good medicine for the soul, too :) :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  29. Hello, Holley! How are you today? Thank you for your lovely blog and thank you for being such a friend to us all! Yes, just like everyday has different things in our lives so is Christmas is many different things to a lot of people. I have just posted on my Facebook timeline a wonderful message of joy and rejoicing as we approach Christmas in the coming days. It is when we look to the Lord through His Word and through prayers of course that we will know His direction for us as we embark on planning what to do for Christmas. It is after all, all about Jesus, the Babe in the manger who we are to celebrate and to rejoice about! May you and your household be blessed today and always and in this Christmas season. Love/Maria & Mike

  30. Oh Holley, I love this! We’re quite a loud family and often yelling features in our home more than we would like. But also laughter. We also belong to a church who laughs together a lot. I think laughter is so important. It is a gift that brings joy and love when shared. Thanks for reminding us of this.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

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