Every year, Christmas time seems to roll around a bit faster than the year prior. As a child, waiting for the elusive Dec. 25 seemed to stretch an eternity, whereas now the costly and busy holiday seems to come around faster than ever before.

Hendrix joy
Managing Editor / Progressive Forage

Now, with a name like Joy, it’s easy for me to love the Christmas season. I’ve always been drawn to the strong Christmas spirit and celebration of the Holy Spirit in general, but as a realist and a chronic planner, it’s easy to be thrown off by the disorienting schedule and chaos of the month. I’m typically the person who has her shopping done by October and the wrapping done by the first of December, but as my son gets older, the pressure to make every moment magical and meaningful has become overwhelming.

I know my limits, and a magical elf from the North Pole that creates mischief every night will not be appearing in our household (hopefully ever) and some of the Christmas treats for various events will come from a big-box savings store, but the pressure to savor every moment and make every interaction a memorable one is strong.

While I typically have several ideas for what verse and illustration the team can come up with for the cover of this issue, this year I had nothing. Then one day, Kristen, one of our graphic designers, pitched the idea of a corn husk doll as an angel for the cover. Admittedly, I have no experience with corn husk dolls. I had no Idea what to expect from a corn husk angel, but I knew I trusted Kristen, and I’m glad I did.

Not only do I love the colors and the creativity Kristen had for this cover, but it serves as a reminder to me that in even the busiest seasons of life, others will be there to help create magic.


The pressure I put on myself to create a magical childhood for my son would be better spent focusing on the mundane – taking time to savor the small moments and embracing the imperfections that are sure to come with life.

Maybe the things I overlook can be seen as something beautiful in the eyes of others, including my son. Maybe my job is more just to teach him to slow down and acknowledge the beauty in simple things, like the simplicity of husks that can create something beautiful.

This quote from Agnes Pharo perfectly summarizes what I hope to teach my son about the Christmas spirit in the future:

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace."

May you all see the beauty in simplicity and keep your celebrations focused on the ultimate gift of Christmas that is Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!