A Special Christmas Message from the North Pole
Dec 19, 2018
Now that the first major snowstorm has hit Chicago, it’s obvious that Santa is getting his reindeer fed, fueling the sleigh and getting ready to deliver gifts to those kids who passed the “naughty/nice” test. Don’t worry, you can relax. We were able to secure a “sneak peak” at the list and you made the nice list—barely 😊!
On the family front, this year’s update may be the easiest one we’ve ever written. Because the update pretty much starts and ends with one word: “Ben”—as in Benjamin Michael Bradley, who was born on Christmas Eve, 2017. When the neonatologist gave us the news, she prefaced her announcement by telling us that having delivered hundreds of babies, objectively speaking, Ben was the cutest kid that has ever been born. I valued her completely OBJECTIVE assessment!
Ben is proving that it’s surprisingly easy to get an entire family wrapped around his little finger. Dana is vying to win the World’s Greatest Aunt Competition—and doing a great job of letting Ben know there isn’t a better person to “hang” with (we used to call it babysitting). Kelley and her husband, Mike, are making sure that we get very frequent updates with lots of pictures and videos of Ben’s milestone moments. Despite growing up in a family with six kids as well as raising four of our own, I never knew there could be so many milestone moments! Patrick is exhibiting his normal patient, calm demeanor and making sure that Ben knows he has a cool uncle he can travel the world and spend time with. When I hold Ben, he squirms and gives me a look that says: “Give me back to Patrick.” And Joe can hardly wait for Ben to get a couple of years under his belt, so he can take his little buddy to some Blackhawks, Bears and Bulls games. (It’s too soon to know if he’ll be rooting for the Cubs or Sox.)
As we close out the year, there is much to be thankful for. One thing I am really thankful for is the advice I received from a wise mentor. He noted that the media today makes a lot of money by promoting “negative” energy. They really don’t care which side of the aisle you’re on; what matters to them is creating an “us versus them” mindset. This mentor reminded me: God is not a member of the media. In His eyes there is no “us versus them.” And He certainly isn’t up there scratching His head, choosing sides and wondering what to do. Instead, His arms are outstretched to welcome anyone and everyone. Fortunately, He remains completely in control.
This Christmas letter goes out to people who have their own unique way of celebrating the Holidays. For our family, a recent message about passwords encapsulated the reason why Christmas is so special for us. The minister noted that nowadays when you want to gain access to something–whether it’s your smartphone, computer, bank account, social media apps, etc., you need a password! For our family, God did more than provide a password to gain access to Him—He sent Jesus. And that is why we celebrate John 3:16: “For God so loved the World that He sent His Son”. And the last time we checked, that pretty much includes everybody! The minister concluded his message by asking: “What would the world look like if the password we used and practiced was the same one Jesus used and practiced: LOVE?”
As we head in to 2019, it is our joy to share that password of Love with you and your family. It’s an immensely positive and powerful password. Which is why the words from “One Solitary Life” ring true today: While “He never did one of the things that usually accompanies greatness…all the armies, navies, parliaments and kings that ever reigned put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has this one solitary personality.”
From our family to yours, have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year,