Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care, as part of our Christmas 2023 decorations in our house.
If you know much about us, I am sure you can guess who each stocking belongs to. The football stocking would obviously be Jaylin’s. And it should be obvious that the cowboy boot stocking belongs to Laura, even if you do not see that her name is on it. The stocking on the right is slightly folded over, but you can probably see that it has Mickey Mouse ears and buttons, and that one is mine.
We have a lot of joy in our house, and a lot of joy decorations, too, such as the banner that hangs across the mirror. You might also be able to make out stocking holders featuring Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. There are Cowboy and Cowgirl signs, a painting of Santa riding a stage coach, and even Santa in a train. And lots and lots of lights, which is typical for us. The only thing slightly out of place is the speaker on a shelf at the upper right. But that is because the television is just to the right of the fireplace.
We like joy in our house. No, not the dish detergent. Not that there is anything wrong with that brand of detergent, of course. Happiness, laughter, fun, and everything that goes with that. That is the joy that I am talking about.
We have much to be joyful about all year long. We have been incredibly blessed. We have all we need, and then some. We have the ability to do many things and go many places. And we have Jesus as our savior, which is something to be joyful about all through the year.
Joy actually goes beyond happiness. Joy is having a positive feeling and outlook even when you might not be happy. Happiness is governed by your circumstances, while joy is based on your outlook, often despite your circumstances.
People tend to focus on joy even more at Christmas than any other time of the year. But we can, and should, be joyful even when Christmas is far in the past, or far in the future.
Find joy, whether in good times or bad times.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. - Matthew 2:10-11
About the Photo
The lighting in the original version was quite uneven. The lower right quadrant was particularly dark, even darker than it looks here. That is because the Christmas tree to the left is covered in lots and lots of lights, and it lit the left side of the photo well. I was able to selectively lighten things up a bit. More on the Christmas tree later on, hopefully.