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Christmas is almost here! Spotlights shine brightly on Nativity scenes in front of churches. Homes and businesses sparkle with Christmas lights, wreaths, and poinsettias. Christmas songs can be heard on many radio stations. Salvation Army volunteers ring their bells for humble donations. And shoppers are in the hustle and bustle of buying just the right gifts for people they love.

Thanksgiving time begins a special month of holiday traditions for me. That’s when I address 300 Christmas cards – or more! Then, Anita and I schedule dinners and get-togethers with family and friends. We celebrate with my OB/GYN Residents for an Annual Tom and Jerry Christmas Brunch at Grosse Ile Golf and Country Club. For over thirty years, we’ve planned something special for my Office Manager Laurie and her husband Rick. This year, they were our guests at the Fischer Theater in Detroit to see “Jersey Boys”. We had a great time!

Christmas celebrations with family are especially important to me. It’s a challenge to get all of us together at once, so we have several different occasions for fun, food, fellowship, and of course, a gift exchange with everyone. We’ve already spent time with our son, Brad and his family. We’ll be going to our Indiana lake home to be with my sister, Sue and her husband, Larry. Then we’ll travel to our home in Florida for some sunshine and relaxation with our daughter, Raquel and her family.

Holiday traditions are important to me. Yet, the greatest reason to celebrate Christmas is the birth of Christ and the significance of his life, death, and – resurrection. It’s about a baby, born in Bethlehem and how he provides hope to all who believe in him.

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I’ve delivered over 11,000 babies in my career. It’s always a special honor to be in the delivery room to witness the miracle of birth; a new baby with chromosomes that nobody has ever seen. Many times I’ve wondered how this new life would make a difference in the world. Many years ago one of my colleagues, said to the parents after delivering their baby, “Your little girl is so beautiful. Someday she will be Miss America”. Sure enough – she was!

No one person has changed the world more than Jesus. His birth occurred in a simple stable. Mary and Joseph became the proud parents of this baby. God was present. He knew the true meaning of this new life. According to the scriptures of the Old Testament, this baby was the Messiah. His life brought hope to a troubled world.

The greatest promise ever given to the human race began with his birth and continues through his resurrection and promise to return to Earth.

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me….I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” – John 14:1-3

Hope is his gift to the world.

Merry Christmas!