NAUGHTY OR NICE, GOD LOVES YOU!

My kids have Colby Caillet's "Christmas In the Sand" memorized from start to finish. The adult innuendos are above their head--"you look naughty but I'm sure you're nice..." Okay, I can sing this little Millennial Christmas Classic too; it's a catchy tune and who doesn't want to spend Christmas in the sand?

Growing up I remember wondering if I would receive coal in my stocking, fortunately I never did. I suppose my levels of naughtiness varied from year to year (especially between the 14-23 years). Once age 24 I realized my parents actually knew what they were talking about. Despite my grandiose perspective, they blessed me at Christmas. My dad always saved up for a trip and mom had the gifts perfectly wrapped. My four children all have their levels of naughtiness and  too have never found coal on Christmas morning (though one is getting the brown play-Dough Poo-Poo mold kit--this is considered encouraging for a near 7 year old boy.)

As we grow into adulthood, we experience guilt in a deeper more profound way and try to bury it with our vices--booze, shopping, religious practices, work...you name it. These behaviors exacerbate at the holidays. My December retail budget triples and I know it's not all gifts. I have several friends in in a self inflicted social isolation, sorting out the personal baggage of a failed relationship or job situation. Our country is experiencing the salting of old racism wounds this Christmas, the rage and guilt of our ancestors seems to have an inherent quality. Despite our tragedies and warranted or unwarranted guilt, God rises the sun for us all, sending rain and doesn't discriminate in love. Naughty or nice, God loves you and loves all. This Christmas, and everyday, let's choose to be like God and love the undeserving. We might just make the world a little less naughty and a lot more nice! Merry Christmas!

Tara Galles

Tara is the founder of YOGATHEA® inspiring others to "Breathe the Peace Which Transcends All Understanding - Mind + Body + Spirit” through Christian Yoga + Meditation DVDs, CDsInstructor Training Program, and Women's RetreatsTara currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana with her husband and 4 children where she practices Occupational Therapy and has made peace with the snow.