About the Author

Emily P. Freeman is a writer who creates space for souls to breathe. She is the author of four books, including her most recent release, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their twin daughters and twinless son.

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  1. “O Holy Night” is my favorite, especially:
    “The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices.
    For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.”
    How often I have needed a fresh start, a “new and glorious morn” in my weariness!
    I am so thankful for Jesus!
    Merry Christmas, Emily!

  2. My top three faves: “Oh Holy Night” takes me straight to that night in Bethlehem and “Silent Night” is one that brings me to my knees every time. The last one, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” has always been a fave, too. Sara Groves’ version is wonderful.
    Thanks for a great post – I had a similar experience recently so reading your thoughts made me feel normal. Merry Christmas!

  3. Lovely, lovely. And right and true.
    Isn’t it funny how words that are so familiar to us become mundane? As if, after all, the idea of the Lord of the Universe entering the world as the infant son of a peasant woman, who had to give birth to him in a stable and lay him down in a feeding trough were just a everyday though. Just like that Lord dying for me is ho-hum.
    What are we thinking? Are our minds really THAT crowded? Thank you for the reminder to be still and pay attention.
    Oh, and the song I love:
    Angels from the realms of glory
    Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
    You who sang Creation’s story
    Now proclaim Messiah’s birth:
    Come and worship, come and worship
    Worship Christ the newborn King!
    I appreciate you so much, Emily!

  4. My favorite Christmas song has always been “What Child is This.” (I actually walked down the aisle to it at my wedding). This song never fails to bring me to tears. It’s such a reminder of the true reason for the season. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of life, and forget how profound Christmas really is. Thank you for your thoughts!

  5. You are so right, thanks for the reminder that “if his birth isn’t significant for me right now, then it isn’t significant at all.”
    Merry Christmas!

  6. I love you, Emily.
    Christmas song? Silent Night. I just learned that the actual factual Saint Nicholas was the priest presiding over the first service that ear heard Silent Night.
    I need quiet, rest right now, and so in the same way, Silent Night isn’t only about Jesus being nestled into his mother and her awe over him. It’s also about my resting with the Father. I’m so thankful that Jesus made the way for my peace.

  7. The song that has really been speaking to me this year is Bethlehem Calls by Newsong
    “Bethlehem calls
    To the great and the small
    It’s Christmas won’t you come
    The heart of God says come
    To the broken and wounded ones
    No matter how far you’ve run
    His mercy calls out to come
    Christ is the babe
    Who has come to save us all”

  8. When I hear “For Unto Us a Child Is Born,” it just brings me to my knees. The mighty names of Jesus – what a precious gift we have been given.
    Beautifully written Emily. Thank you.

  9. our worship leader, stopped in the middle of singing the following carol last year and said, “have you listened? have you heard the words?…” we repeated it, then sang it acapella, slowly and let the message sink in. it has become my favorite.
    God rest ye merry, gentlemen
    Let nothing you dismay
    Remember, Christ, our Saviour
    Was born on Christmas day
    To save us all from Satan’s power
    When we were gone astray
    O tidings of comfort and joy,
    Comfort and joy
    O tidings of comfort and joy
    praying that the tidings of comfort and joy – the Truth of being rescued by the giving of the Son by the Father, and the giving of Himself by the Son on our behalf, while we were lost, will be like it must have been for the shepherds that night when the angel said, “fear not i bring you good news of great joy!…oh yes, and all the verses of this carol are just as good! 🙂

  10. So beautifully written Emily! It really touches me where I am this Christmas–and I loved how you saw Bethlehem personified in your own heart and welcomed His light into your moment. That is a thought I will keep close.
    Christmas songs I love:
    Breath of Heaven–I was pregnant with my daughter when this song came out and I just so identified with how Mary must have been feeling.
    “Breath of Heaven, hold me together,
    be forever near me, Breath of Heaven.
    Breath of Heaven, lighten my darkness,
    pour over me Your holiness, for You are holy, Breath of Heaven.”
    How often I pray that prayer.
    Another one I love is Joy, Joy by David Phelps. It tells the Christmas story from its beginning in Heaven:
    “Angels folded their wings,
    at the throne worshiping
    as God whispered, ‘I love You my Son.’
    Jesus took off His crown, and laying it down said, ‘Father, Thy will be done.'”
    One more, Mary Did You Know?
    “Mary did you know
    That your baby boy
    Is Heaven’s perfect Lamb?
    This sleeping child you’re holding
    Is the GREAT I AM.
    Mary did you know?”
    My soul sings! Thanks for the chance to share these!! Merry Christmas!!

  11. I was moved to tears this year by the words “…in His name all oppression will cease…” in the middle of my friend’s rendition of “O Holy Night” during church. My mind went to places in the world which are filled with oppression and strife, then I saw a clear picture of my very own neighborhood – less obvious oppression behind closed doors. One day…all oppression will cease. How can I be an agent of comfort to ease the oppression around me?