There is room at the manger for everyone. Happy people, sad people, rich and poor, young ones, old ones, you and me.
Our community has had more than its usual share of deaths recently. My church's "Pray for grieving families" prayer list increased by 6 names last week. Charlotte Smith, Oline Davis, Wayne Owens, Rosella Tahah, Chad Thompson, Bernice Eichling. The families of these people are grieving at Christmas time. There is room for them at the manger where they will find comfort.
We think we have to be happy and cheerful at Christmas. But really we can be whoever we are, feel whatever is appropriate, as long as we seek God and spend time at the manger.
Some of the new people on our prayer list do not attend church. I don't know how a person survives grief without a connection to God and the support of people with that same connection. One good thing about a small community is that support is available. All of the churches are praying for these people. Most community members, whether they go to church or not, take action to serve those in need. There will be visits, food, cards and all kinds of help offered. In a way, they are bringing the manger to the people who need it the most.
Blessings to you throughout Advent and I'll see you at the manger.