I know Christmas is about birth, but Christmas is inextricably linked to death for me. My father died the day after Christmas, 1987. My mother died the day before Christmas, 2008. And you’d be surprised how many funerals I do around Christmas. For me, Christmas is not just about a baby’s cry in a manger; it’s about the tears of people in grief. Away in a manger? Yes. Away in a casket? That too. But there’s comfort here for those who know the Savior. When infant Jesus was dedicated at the temple, an old prophet Simeon, who had prayed to see Messiah before he died, saw the babe and declared, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart (die) in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation ….” Without Jesus’ birth there would have been no cross or resurrection. Jesus’ birth got the ball rolling for the remedy to our death problem. Now all of us who know Jesus can, like Simeon, die in peace, knowing that the One who came for us in Bethlehem is preparing a place for us in the Father’s forever home in heaven. Here’s the eleventh of The Twelve Thoughts of Christmas: the birth of Christ was the first nail in the coffin of the death of death. Oh, and it also means we can grieve believing loved ones with hope.