This summer we moved to Children’s Home in a different state. This year was a different kind of Christmas for us being in a new state, new town, new house with new decorations, starting new traditions and surrounded by new people. Where is my hometown parade, my downtown Christmas lights, my favorite store to shop, the local restaurant that we eat at for Christmas Eve breakfast, my church’s Christmas Eve candle light service? Where’s my traditions? Where’s my friends? Where’s my family? Can you relate? Most houseparents have experienced these feelings at least once during the Holidays especially during the first year. But, with all of these differences, one important thing remained the same for us this year. This Christmas, my husband and I were still filled and comforted with peace , joy and love while serving, obeying and worshipping our Savior. A wise woman recently reminded me that most Television movies and commercials are pushing that the real joy of Christmas isn’t the presents or decorations but it is having your loving family with you. A broken relationship mended, a lost relative found, an orphan adopted, a romantic relationship created or marriage renewed makes for a good ending for a Christmas movie. But, she pointed out, what the writers of these shows are failing to realize is that those situations, like having family , friends and love at Christmas, are bringing temporary happiness and not a true joy. A true everlasting joy only comes from a personal relationship with Christ Jesus. It’s a joy that doesn’t change with life situations. And this is the true everlasting joy, peace , love and hope we can share with the children we serve in Childrens Homes. The children in our care are separated from their family and we as houseparents may be separated from our family, but none of us have to be separated from our Heavenly Father. No matter if you have been a Houseparent for a couple of months or for twenty years, whether you live near your family or hometown or live thousands of miles away, always remember that you are never alone on Christmas Day or any day as long as you have Jesus at the center of your life.