Saturday, December 5, 2020

It’s Not About What We Don’t Have

by Tim Suddeth @TimSuddeth

This time of year, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, is my favorite season. Everyone just seems to be a little nicer to each other. The food, the music, the parties. The hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts. Christmas decorations, toy drives. Hearing ‘Merry Christmas’ shouted on the street, Christmas movies, chocolate. Families, churches and communities coming together, and—


Like someone bumping a turntable playing “It’s a Holly, Jolly, Christmas’, it all came to a halt this year. 2020. The year of the virus. Bah humbug.

That’s how it felt a few months ago, wasn’t it? But now, after we’ve had time to shake ourselves off and sort of get our bearings, we realize we haven’t lost Christmas. It wasn’t cancelled, closed down, or taken away. You can’t erase a birthday.

‘The Nutcracker’ and the church musicals may be restricted to a socially-distanced few, seen virtually, or postponed until next year. Parades and caroling may still be done outdoors but, this year, while we’re wearing masks and staying at a safe distance.

Christmas will be different.

The Christmas of Less

This may be the Christmas of less. Still filled with God’s light and love but looking a little less bright.

But, overwhelmed as we all are with all the losses and changes, let’s not lose sight of all the gifts and blessings that still remain.

Christmas is here again this year to remind us of that Little Baby, who the teenage girl Mary laid in a manger, who came down to save the world. Us. Me and you.

And that special joy that comes during this season that we see in other’s smiles, hear in their laughter, and witness in their caring for others, it will be here, too. Even if it is hidden behind a mask.

We can still hang our lights, put out our nativity sets, and sing the old carols off key and with misplaced words. Though we probably won’t be able to share as much hot cocoa.

We can still choose to be the light in a darkening world.

The Christmas of Little Things

Maybe this will be the year of little things. Many of us are staying in more this year, and/or our jobs have been cutback or lost altogether. Instead of grand gatherings and giant feasts, maybe this should be the year we get together in smaller groups. Instead of a party or going to a coffee shop, send a card, an email, or a text.

An old friend of mine used to surprise us with, what she called, serendipities. Just a little something she’d found to let us know she was thinking of us. Not to impress anyone or to get something in return, but just to let us know she thought we were special.

Isn’t this a great year, and season, for some serendipities? Not exchanging gifts but giving a gift just to let that person know that you were thinking of them and that they are special.

Doesn’t that better illustrate why God sent us the gift of Jesus? Not because He expected something in return from us. I can draw a childish picture of a yellow circle to represent the sun. He has made more stars than we can’t count.

Yet, He wanted us to know, on a silent night and always, He was thinking of us. He is thinking of us. He is thinking of you.

That is what makes Christmas so special. Because He thinks we are.


Tim Suddeth is a stay-at-home dad and butler for his wonderful, adult son with autism. He has written numerous blogs posts, short stories, and three novels waiting for publication. He is a frequent attendee at writers’ conferences, including the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and a member of Word Weavers and ACFW. He lives near Greenville, SC where he shares a house with a bossy Shorky and three too-curious Persians. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, or at


  1. What a great, great message, Tim. Likely to be the best I'll run across all season. Best to you & your family.
    Jay Wright; Foothills Writers Guild; Anderson, SC

  2. This is the Christmas of more (not less)...
    ...more love
    ...more consciousness of priorities
    ...more learning about survival skills
    ...more giving
    ...more kindness
    ...more neighboring
    ...more understanding
    ...more family importance
    God has given us so much more this year, not less.

  3. You've given us great words, this morning. Loved reading what you put down in your blog. We have so much for which to be thankful, in spite of the virus and the situations it has put us in, political changes and unrest, etc., etc. But we can still feel good, happy, and at peace with ourselves if we spread some serendipities this season, this year! Thanks for sharing your writing.

  4. Thank you for sharing your encouraging and inspiring post. The year our daughter was born two weeks before Christmas, I said no to almost everything and we just celebrated with immediate family. It was one of the best Christmases ever! Sometimes simple is better.

  5. I've been ready for Christmas for months now, but this is such a great reminder. A gift from the heart doesn't need fanfare or to cost a million dollars. Donevy

  6. Thank you, Tim, for such a beautiful message. 2020 has seen a return to a simpler way of life for my family. Christmas will be a time of worship and giving to others, outside our family. We decided not to buy each other gifts this year. It sure made my Christmas shopping easier.