Jesus, Be the Center of Our Christmas Celebrations

Jesus, You’re our hope, joy and peace… the center of all our celebrations. Amen.

 {my graphics are free goodies for you}

It seems every nativity set comes with a story. Maybe it’s an heirloom full of memories, a special purchase on an outing that brings back a cocoa-scented moment, a relic from childhood with beloved dust in the cracks, a gift from a friend that came in a package with a red bow on top.

I pull my nativity set from the box, releasing it from its blanket of bubble wrap. The pieces are ceramic. Pure white. The donkey is missing half an ear. It belonged to my grandmother and every year I think of her when I set it on my shelf.

She had polio at age twenty-eight and spent most of her years in a wheelchair. I loved the patterns her wheels left in the carpet, like a trail to somewhere secret and magical.

A pastor came to visit her in the hospital. He said, “Frances, this can make you bitter or better.” She would always say, with a twinkle in her eyes, “I choose better.” I run my fingers across the baby in the manger as I tell myself this story again. The Jesus in this nativity will always mean hope to me because of it.

What I love about nativities is that Jesus is unique in each one. In my nativity He is hope and to someone else He might be a reminder of peace and to you He could be comfort and joy. Oh, who He is doesn’t change. But how His love reveals itself in our lives is different in each of our hearts, each of our homes. This is beautiful to me. A kind of Christmas mystery that I will never fully understand on this spinning, broken earth.

I arrange the pieces of the nativity. I step back and smile. Then I set Jesus at the center, exactly where He should be.

When you think of Jesus, what’s a word that comes to mind like “hope” does for me?

Holley Gerth


Hope Your Heart NeedsSpeaking of hope… my new devotional Hope Your Heart Needs is half off at Barnes & Noble for a limited time!

You want the new year to be different, to beat discouragement, to truly believe you’re loved and have new strength for whatever is ahead. I understand because I’ve been there too. Writing Hope Your Heart Needs changed my life and reading it will change yours too (it also makes a great little gift). 2019 really can be better.


Note: The last Let’s Have Coffee link-up here will be on December 25th. I’m freeing up some time and energy to work on some exciting new things for you. Sue at Welcome Heart will graciously be hosting Let’s Have Coffee starting January 2nd you can link up there!

You’re invited to join the “Let’s Have Coffee” link-up! Simply write a post that has the kind of encouragement you’d share with a friend over coffee (the link-up goes live at 5:30am CT every Wednesday, and you can view the Link-Up Guidelines here). Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

After you link-up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked just before yours. Thanks, friends!

Let's Have Coffee

{Want to share a word of encouragement on Twitter? Click this link and then tweet!}

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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