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In the months leading up to the Christmas season, Dan had lost his job. Well, in the city he lived in, most of the workers had to relocate with the company or face unemployment. Dan was one of the unlucky ones who had not been with the company long enough to be asked to transfer. With the closing of the plant the town began to dry up as well. The service industry was pretty much wiped out; no one could afford to hire anything done anymore. The retail stores sere not hiring, they were just trying to survive in hopes another company would move into the vacated facility. Things looked bleak for Dan and his young family.

Dan was able to get odd jobs to eke by a living. However, Christmas was coming and, in spite of their circumstances, Dan wanted it to be a good one. Since they could not afford to buy Christmas, they would have to improvise.

The family started on the day after Thanksgiving, children and all. They began to make their own Christmas decorations that they would place on their real Christmas tree that they would personally go and find in the woods. They would hand-craft gifts for each other and since they could not afford bought wrapping paper, they would save the junk mail flyers and newspapers to wrap their treasures.

With all these preparations made, Christmas day came. The tree, the home-made presents, the family preparation -- this would be the Christmas that every one of Dan's 3 children would remember for the rest of their lives.

Things got better. Dan got a job. His wife and children fell back in to a "normal" routine. But, no one ever forgot that Christmas. It did not last for a few minutes and then was over. That Christmas took a lot of creativity and hard work. But, the end result was one to remember.

God did that very same thing as He made preparations for that first Christmas. He went through much preparation to make it special. A special Christmas that wouldn't last just for a few minutes and be over, but would last for many lifetimes.

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