The lights, the colors, and the look of Christmas have a whole new complexion, faster, more stream-lined and wrinkle free!

A clinic’s marquis urged shoppers to stop in during lunch and “Get your Botox treatment for the holidays!” Add it to the to-do list!

Sally pondered, “But what would Santa and Mrs. Claus be without crows’ feet around their eyes and pink-cheeked grins?”

Her to-do list continued. For her time-squeezed preparations around parties and work, Sally opted for the instant Christmas tree.

“Just push the button on the trunk and it opens like an umbrella!” the sales associate had demonstrated. “Some of this pine scented spray will make your house smell like Christmas!” She bought two cans.

This year, she added a second umbrella tree. Sally wowed the family with an even faster set-up by bringing last year’s fully-decorated tree in from the garage while her husband was making coffee. When she pulled off the sheet, Shazamm! Instant Christmas!

“What a time management marvel, Sally!” He smiled as he kissed her.

Christmas catalogs that arrived the three weeks before Christmas rivaled the size of all the Los Angeles telephone books. She kept it simple. Sally finished her gift shopping in 10 seconds flat at the gift card display. “Just wait for the thank-you notes to come in!” one TV commercial quipped.  She’d do just that.

The couple bundled up the kids and rushed to the crowded airport only to scowl away and nose out another driver for the last parking place.

“Grandma will be here! Look I see her plane!” Billy cried with joy. “Hurry!”

“Hurry seems to be the buzzword of the season,” Sally murmured. “Maybe we’ll have time to slow down on Christmas Day.”  Or would they?  Christmas preparation hardly left time to think—or celebrate.

For today’s new and improved Christmas seems to be a to-do list longer than a child’s wish list for Santa. With Botox, decorations, gifts and travel getting more hype and media exposure than Jesus, it takes a deliberate effort to keep Christ in Christmas.

Preparation for the first Christmas was long, slow, and difficult.  A seemingly ordinary couple was making their way by foot and donkey about 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

“Roughing it” would be a good way to describe their days and nights of travel and rest. Not even  air mattresses, sleeping bags, or a North Face tent were available to make sleeping on the ground more bearable.  Fortunately, getting rained on wasn’t much of a possibility in the desert.

The trip came about because of a government directive – a census.  But it also was God’s plan. [But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Micah 5:2]

The savior of the world would be born in Bethlehem – the city of David–miles ahead across in the desert. But Joseph was concerned with the rugged conditions for his espoused wife, Mary. She was in her the last weeks before giving birth.

Christ – the savior of the world – has come. Let the celebration continue – with shouts of Hallelujah echoing in the Heavens! Let the glory of God drown out the cry for Botox treatments in time for Christmas. Unlike Botox, the effect of Christ in our lives lasts forever.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from, her speaking engagements and website, Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]




About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

Feeling Blue?

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How Do I Count My Blessings When the Toilet is Overflowing?

The Choice We Have Between a Dead Egg and a Live Savior

Never Give Up!

Can Kermit and Miss Piggy Marry and Live Happily Ever After?