Happy Christmas! I pray this finds you surrounded by gifts of love, joy, peace, and hope. On Christmas Day in in 5th grade, I was not feelin’ the love. I was not joyful, peaceful, or hopeful. On Christmas Day back in 5th grade, I reeling from the shock of Mom and Dad’s “perfect” surprise. Two thousand years ago, we were also reeling. In the city of David, we we’d been expecting a royal birth, an event to be heralded, not just with angels, but with anthems, brass bands, symphonic tributes, ticker tape parades, and the first century’s version of a paparazzi stakeout. Shaking our heads, we wondered aloud: This is the good news of great joy? Here lies the long-awaited messiah? The manger scene caught all of humankind by surprise. And unbeknownst to us at the time, we would find ourselves in the presence of the holiest, most blessed gift, the greatest gift, one not imagined, not expected. Perfect.