What is it about Christmas in Iowa?

December 25, 2009 | 15 comments

I can pinpoint the exact moment when I stumbled onto Christmas this year.

As usual, the moment wasn’t strung in lights or wrapped in shiny paper. I didn’t find it under a pre-lit tree, or on my iPod or out on the Information Superhighway.

Rather, I found Christmas 2009 just off a quiet country road near my home in Inwood, Ia.

Read the rest of the story by clicking here …

On this day when we celebrate Jesus’ birth, I am honored to serve as The Des Moines Register’s guest columnist. (Before moving to northwest Iowa, I was a political reporter for the newspaper.)

Might you join me over there as we explore finding Christmas in the unadorned places? Because it’s near gritty Iowa dirt, where I brush closest to Heaven.

Merry Christmas to each of you, dear friends. May you draw near to Him in the unadorned places today. He came to us simply. Might we humbly do the same?

~ Jennifer

by | December 25, 2009 | 15 comments


  1. Glynn

    Merry Christmas, Jennifer, to you and yours. And it doesn't get much better than a van-load of angels!

  2. Shirley

    Beautifully said

  3. Chris Godfredsen

    Wonderful, Jennifer. Merry Christmas in your blown-in quarters in rural Iowa!

  4. Chris Godfredsen

    Wonderful, Jennifer. Merry Christmas in your blown-in quarters in rural Iowa!

  5. mom2six

    CHRISTmas – something much bigger than all of us! Jennifer, your words always bless!

  6. hope42day

    May you hold Christmas in your heart all year long my friend! A Very Merry Blessed Christmas to you and your family!

  7. Lyla Lindquist

    Jennifer, my dad left this comment for you over at my place, and I wanted to make sure you saw it. God bless you and the Dukes/Lee families today.


    I’ve gotten to know you through Lyla’s blog. Although I’m 2 long generations removed from farming (early 1900s), I feel that pull to the simpler life of the rural midwest. And while I’m not an Iowan I married into an Iowa family, some of whom are farming into the 4th generation. I know of where you speak.

    I have so much enjoyed your posts during the year. Something I have gleaned from both your blog and Lyla’s is the obvious contributions that the two of you make and are making to your home congregations. Having spent most of my life worshiping and working in small churches, I know the importance of folks like you that bring so much to the life of the church. Small town and rural churches cannot survive without servants such as you.

    Keep up the good work.
    Merry Christmas and have a terrific New Year.

    God Bless

    Paul W

  8. Shaunie Friday @ Up the Sunbeam

    You made me cry Jennifer!! Your beautiful words about how Iowa dirt is deep in the hearts of even far-flung Iowa girls like me expressed my heart so well! And the traditions and heart-feel of Christmas in Iowa has stayed with me through many years in British Columbia and many more here in California. I only spent my first 8 years in Iowa, but the good, simple, unadorned authenticity of the life I lived there has kept me grounded through many changes in my life and lifestyle. So like the place God chose for Jesus to make His entrance, Iowa is as special as you describe–thank you for the "visit" home through your eyes.

    Merry Christmas!!

  9. Anne Lang Bundy

    Beautiful piece you did. I'm happy to share the honor you had today.

    Merry Christmas, Jennifer!

  10. FaithBarista Bonnie

    Merry Christmas, Jennifer!

    So happy our paths crossed this year.

    I can always find something beautifully and uniquely expressed here, in your words.

    Tonight, it is here in these words at the end…

    "May you draw near to Him in the unadorned places today. He came to us simply. Might we humbly do the same? "

    Unadorned… Amen.

  11. Sincerely, Jenni

    This is an absolutely beautiful article. It brought tears to my eyes, because it is so true. SO VERY TRUE.

    I hope you and your family had a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

  12. Deborah Ann

    Heartfelt and stirring, as always. Hope you had a blessed Christmas, and…

    Happy and blessed new year!

  13. Deb

    Your way with words.

    Always inspires me.

    Sweet dreams.

  14. Karen

    SO sweet…..

  15. Runner Mom

    Simply beautiful.


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