It seems to me now, looking back, that I was the most adored of the children, and I know all the grandchildren would say they thought they were.  The truth is, we all were.

As night fell and the kerosene lamps were lit, it seems to me the love in that house could be touched – like soft velvet or the smooth fur of a kitten.  The snow could pile to the eaves for all we cared.  We were home, we were fed, and we were loved.

When Bill and I started thinking about recording a video for Christmas with the Homecoming Friends that would be "Christmas in the Country," it was the images of my own childhood home and the rituals that have now been handed down first to Bill and me, then to our children, and now to their children.

Someday there will be a new celebration in a new Country.  There will be no gap between the ideal and the reality; the relationships around that circle will be perfect and totally beautiful.  There will be songs of thanksgiving and praise for Christmas completed, for the One who brought heaven to earth will have then brought earth to heaven, and we all will finally be home.

A Prayer for Christmas

Lord, thank You for being so persistent and so very patient with us, even though often we've failed to recognize Your hand reaching in our lives.  And even though often we've actually rejected Your direction to follow our own selfish whims, still You forgave us … and more, You've even offered us a way to share in Your very own life.  Thank you, Lord.

Excerpted from "He Started the Whole World Singing:  A Treasury of Gaither Christmas Songs, Reflections and Holiday Traditions."  Copyright © 2004 by Gloria Gaither.  Used by permission of Warner Faith/ Time Warner Book Group

Gloria Gaither, and her husband Bill, have produced over 600 songs, 60 recordings, numerous awards, a dozen musicals, a collection of books, three children, and four grandchildren.  Famous not only as a songwriter and speaker, Gloria Gaither has come to be known as a stateswoman in the field of Christian ministry.  She has touched the hearts of audiences everywhere with her simple yet profound message.