When the angel showed up in Joseph’s dream and gave him assurance that Mary’s story about the child in her womb was leget, the angel told Joseph, “And you will call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” It took another 33 years or so and a cross and resurrection for Jesus to make that happen, but happen it did. Through Jesus, we can have forgiveness from our sins—all of our sins. That’s what He was born for in the first place. So it seems to me that when we are born a second time through our faith in Jesus, we need to practice forgiveness too. This hits home at Christmas when we are often forced into spending time with people we don’t like and people who have hurt us. Oh the tension of those gatherings! All that walking on egg shells! All that hard work to avoid getting face to face with those with whom we are at odds! All that fake-y niceness when we do and that phony-baloney wish of “Have a merry Christmas” when we really mean “Have a nightmare-y Christmas!” Here’s a novel idea: why don’t we act like the Savior we worship and forgive those who have sinned against us? It may not fix the relationship, but it will fix you. And you will find new joy, fresh peace, and a relaxing of the tension that ties you up in knots. I don’t mean to make it sound easy. It cost Jesus a cross. But hey, He’s done all the paying for forgiveness, so we don’t have to, nor do those who have sinned against us. So when your swallowing down your egg nog or your Christmas punch, how ‘bout swallowing your pride too. Forgive, give it to Jesus, let it go. That’s a lot easier than carrying it around. Here’s the ninth of The Twelve Thoughts of Christmas: Jesus came at Christmas to forgive sinners; let’s join Him.