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By Thanksgiving night hosts of homes already had their Christmas lights out. Front windows were already filled with the sparkling lights from the trees inside. Yet, with all the numbers from all the surveys of what’s happening economically, with all the reports of foreclosure…how could this be?

The stock market has taken a dive and Mame Dennis has lost everything. The week before Thanksgiving she sings:

Haul out the holly;
Put up the tree before my spirit falls again.
Fill up the stocking,
I may be rushing things, but deck the halls again now.
For I’ve grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
Need a little Christmas now

It is easy to see what a wonderful time they were having with all those decorations and presents and celebration activities. Yet when everything was gone, despite the Grinch’s best efforts; the Whos could still sing.

And then there is George. In “It’s a Wonderful Life” we have the opportunity to see a broad picture of his life. We see his determination to help the people of his community work together. As countless other businesses failed, his leadership and their choices allowed their town to come through a period of economic devastation. Then we glimpse what the world would look like if he had never been born and the angel remarks, “One man’s life touches so many others, when he’s not there it leaves an awfully big hole.”

Maybe you woke up to find that the Grinch has been there sometime in the night and there isn’t much left. Maybe this last season of your life has been devastating and you have wondered, “What’s the use?” Although this holiday season isn’t really about the lights and the trees, the reminder to celebrate what we do have is important. We have a community that will work together to make it through this economically challenging time. The sun will come up tomorrow, and by the grace of God we will draw another breath.

I think we saw more lights up sooner, because we have all needed a little Christmas.