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The Thermostat in Your Home
When it’s blustery and cold outside, the temperature inside can be cozy and warm. Christmas is the time to adjust the thermostat to love, joy and peace.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful / But the fire it’s so delightful / And since we’ve no place to go / Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

This song, by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, conjures up a vision of peace and tranquility for me. I can see the snow falling lightly outside. I picture being nestled on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket and cupping hot chocolate, feeling warm inside and out. Sharing memories and telling stories with family and close friends, while basking in the warmth of the fire and friendship.

Growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, it was easy to envision the wide open spaces under a snow-covered blanket. We didn’t have a fireplace, but we did have many warm memories, stories and big family gatherings during the holiday season. My mom had Christmas music playing in the background, the smell of freshly baked goodies would fill our nostrils, and Christmas Day was always filled with family, fun and festivities.

I didn’t know it then, but I appreciate now, it was because of mom that the thermostat in our home was always so warm. My parents are very social people, and mom loved, and still does, Christmas. It was evident in all she did for us during this time.

She planned the big meal, organized what family members brought what dish, made sure the shopping and baking was done early, and a million other preparations for it to be a day to remember. My dad helped in the refreshments department, and did whatever odd job mom had for him to get ready for the family event.

This tradition was passed on to her as well. I remember celebrating Christmas at Grandma’s house too, with the same warmth and joyous atmosphere. The same freshly baked goodie smells, the joyous music, while chatter and laughter filled her home. She even had one of those tables that stretched for miles, so when Christmas dinner was served, we ALL got to eat together at the same table. One Christmas we had 40 people, and that was only our family.

Now finally purchasing my first home, I’d like to carry on that tradition. I’ve discovered it’s up to me as the woman of the house, to make it a home, setting the temperature inside. My kids are growing up and have girlfriends. Soon they will be having families of their own. I love being social and having many people around; I must have inherited that from my folks. I love the laughter, the stories, the games and the fellowship.

I want my kids to have the same good memories of Christmas when they grow up. My grandmother and my mother have set a great example of family, fellowship and festivities, over the years. They have shown me how to set and keep the thermostat in my home warm, and full of love. This year, I will take up that torch and carry on the tradition, and hopefully make them proud.

I think of Mary that very first Christmas she brought Jesus into this world. I picture her surveying the stable, with a huge smile on her face, basking in the moment, drinking in all the sights and sounds of the night. In amongst all the chaos that was in Bethlehem that evening, no room at the inn, and a long journey behind them, she found peace, and “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Ladies, it is our responsibility to leave a legacy of love. We cherish our children and families, and we love our homes. Let’s continue to stoke the fire and heat up our homes with love, joy and peace.

Could Mary have been the first woman to set the thermostat in her home? I believe home is where your heart is. Hers was in the stable with those she loved on that historical night. Mine is attached to memories of family functions and fellowship. Where’s yours? What will the thermostat read in your home this Christmas? It’s up to you!

Diane Exner loves to encourage others in every area of life. She also likes to teach and encourage others to stress less and live more. Feel free to visit her website at

Originally published in City Light News, December 2008.




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