For most of us, Christmas is a favorite time of year. We go to great lengths (and expense) to buy special gifts, cook special foods, plan family gatherings and become much more benevolent. We seem to see life and those around us through different lenses. Things seem happier, there’s a spirit in the air, a childlike joy, an anticipation – an adventure.
It seems people ban together to help the poor, the orphan, the elderly. People volunteer more, give more and generally seem to get along better….except on Black Friday.
We just love Christmas at our house. Our bank account shrinks and our waistlines expand, but we plan for it now. We decorate, knowing we will only take it all down in a few weeks. We shop, sometimes when we aren’t even looking for anything specific. Like salmon in a stream, we just get caught up in it all…… but we still love it.
But why Christmas? More specifically – why only Christmas? Why do we seem to be able to do these things and be these kind of people only around the Holidays? Sure, we get to focus on the real reason for Christmas, and that it what it’s all about – but I bet Christ would encourage us to act more like this on the other 364 days of the year.
What would it be like if we kept that same benevolent attitude toward the poor, the orphan and the elderly. What if we volunteered every month, or gave more money to worthy causes, or had family and friends over for a feast more often?
Somehow, after Christmas comes and goes, and we watch football, then put the decorations back in the attic – life speeds up and hits us in the face again on January 2nd. We shift back to “I’m too busy” mode and that volunteerism, generosity and upbeat attitude all get pushed to the back burner….to a season several months from now when we drag it out for a few weeks.
Maybe we could remember to remind each other this year, after the Holidays, to keep Christmas alive. If only in our hearts, maybe we could remind each other to view our busy lives through the lens of Christmas. I think it would please Christ very much. I think He would agree that His coming meant a while lot more than for an excuse to be upbeat and generous for a few weeks.
So, here’s the challenge. Let’s see who can post, tweet or Facebook some Christmas reminders throughout the year…say in March, or July – to remind us to lift our eyes up from our routines long enough to remember those less fortunate, or to volunteer a day, or to invite someone over for dinner. Maybe it wouldn’t feel like Christmas is so far away. Maybe it will feel like Christmas, and Christ’s coming can be experienced more often.
I love Christmas, but I need to be reminded to live like Christmastime – all the time.
Immanuel – “God with us”.