Nancy Moser

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of eighteen inspirational novels. Her genres include contemporary stories including The Good Nearby and Time Lottery, and historical novels of real women-of-history including Just Jane (Jane Austen) and Washington's Lady (Martha Washington). Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included. Find out more at and


Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (NIV)

Let’s be honest. In this season to be thankful, could we do without some holiday particulars we’re not particularly thankful for?

Indulge me . . .

I am not thankful for having to decorate. Some decorating devotees thrill with lugging a dozen boxes out of storage and figuring out where everything goes—and lugging a dozen boxes of temporarily displaced pretties into storage until January. I’d rather sit on the couch with a cup of hot cider and point like an overseer. Unfortunately, if I don’t get involved, chances are we’d have reindeer showing up in the Nativity scene.

I am not thankful that I have to clean the house for company. I like the “having company” part and my house isn’t that dirty, but let’s be real. The family kind of clean that gets us by the other eleven months of the year is far different from a company clean. Polishing so I can see my reflection in the black glass of the microwave is frightening. And the aroma of Mr. Clean clashes with eau de dust.

I am not thankful that I have to find gift boxes that have tops and bottoms that fit together. Nor for the task of remembering where I put the Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and festive napkins I bought at last year’s after-holiday sales.

My husband, Mark, is not thankful for having to climb a ladder when it’s freezing out to put up the exterior Christmas lights.

“Just put them on the bushes,” I say.

“But ours is not a lights-in-the-bushes neighborhood,” he says.

He’s right. It’s a lights-in-the-trees-and-dripping-from-the-eaves kind of neighborhood. To do otherwise would be to risk being scorned as a bah-humbug family. As far as untangling the strings of lights and making sure all the bulbs work? Mark figures that’s why we had kids.

We are also not thankful for the long drives that often come with the holidays. Arranging the car so it can accommodate family; a Jell-O salad (that can’t be tipped); presents (with bows that can’t be squashed); as well as boots, coats, gloves, hats, and a shovel in case a wayward blizzard passes by is tantamount to doing brain surgery—without the brain.

Our kids (no matter how old they are) are not thankful for having to wait to open presents. I can relate. When I was young the grownups took fiendish pleasure in making us wait until after dinner, until after the dishes were done, and until after they were done discussing the recipe for Aunt Mabel’s broccoli hot dish and the pros and cons of having us kids in the first place. Their fiendish pleasure is now ours. Revenge is sweet.

Mostly the kids are not thankful for some of the edible delicacies that come with the season. Eggnog is “icky,” sweet potatoes are “gross,” and stuffing is “disgusting.” Gizzards are “nasty,” gravy is “repulsive,” and fruitcake is “yecchy.” Should we be thankful for their extensive vocabulary?

But then...but then...

Amid the seasonal chaos, my eyes are opened and I see—really see—what’s happening around me. I see the beauty of the lights that bind everyone in mutual celebration. I notice the special ornaments that bring a flood of memories of past trees and of family members no longer with us. I ignore the cramped car and relish the Christmas songs and carols on the radio, marveling that we know all the words. I inhale the sweet aromas of plentiful food that is brought and shared by all. I smile at the faces of my family as they open the gifts I chose with loving care. And I revel in the family traditions—unique and universal—that are passed from generation to generation. But most of all, I get off my high horse and remember what we’re celebrating.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:9–14 (NIV)

Thank you, God, for the gift of your son, our Savior.

Merry Christmas to all, and God bless us, every one. 

Nancy Moser