Immanuel – God With Us

Tugging the boxes of Christmas decorations off the garage shelves always fills me with excitement.  Reading the labels I decide to begin with the front hall snowmen display.   As I unwrap them from tissue paper, I fondly recall where each was purchased.   Slowly the little group of snowmen take shape as I arrange them among tiny evergreens.  My mind wanders to my childhood and the dozens of snowmen I built while growing up.  With a feeling of longing I can almost feel my daddy’s strong gloved hand in mine, helping me push and roll the largest snowball until I had a firm base for my snowman.  Sure miss my dad…

Next, I pull the soft cardinal blanket from the hall closet and drape it over the couch in the family room.  It had been my mom’s – keeping her warm in the cold, December days she was losing her battle from a severe stroke.  How she loved those red cardinals against the deep green of the blanket.  Now it was mine and wrapping myself in that blanket was like wrapping myself in mom’s arms. How I missed her!


As much as I love the Christmas season, I was struggling with these emotions.  I know that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Setting up the Nativity figures,  placing the infant Jesus in the manger,  I began to reflect on His name.  And then it hit me.   IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US.  My dad and mom may be gone, but God Himself is with me.  In that little town of Bethlehem, God became man and chose to live among us.

I began to hang ornaments on our tree,  and looked with love at the precious hand-stitched ones my mother-in-law had given us years before.  Although she also is no longer with us, I  can rejoice knowing that I have IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US.


There are many people I have loved dearly who are not here this Christmas.  Many of you face this time of year with an ache in your heart.  But  we still have the  greatest gift of all… what this season is truly all about.  We have IMMANUEL – GOD WITH US.  And because of that we sing,  “Joy to the World”!

It is with much JOY that we share some of our favorite books with you this month.  We hope you read Humphrey’s First Christmas – it’s a perfect book to begin the Christmas season!  I’m pretty sure you’ll be adding our books to tuck into some stockings because these are going to be “keepers”! Merry Christmas!

Mary Byrne Kline


  1. What priceless treasures…snowman and cardinal blanket…forever keepsakes. God is with us, always and it’s nice to have special family remembrances, too.

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