As I write this post there is snow falling outside my office window, dreams of a white Christmas realized. Well, maybe. Here on the front range of Colorado, snow does not stay around long, but it certainly feels more like Christmas with a fresh blanket resting on everything.
Christmas Eve will be abundant with Stollen warming the house, watching the Bronco game, candle light service at church, and a family movie night with Elf. Traditionally, we open one gift on Christmas Eve in anticipation of Christmas morning, careful to choose only minor gifts like PJ’s or socks so no big surprises get squashed. Even though the kids are older now, there is still excitement in the air.
Christmas is so many things, the celebration of faith, gifts, food, and traditions culminating into a single moment or a series of days—each celebrating in their own way. I don’t get offended when someone says Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, words are pretty cheap anyway. I am more swayed by the joy, peace, and compassion carried throughout the year. Wouldn’t that be nice, to live like it was Christmas all the time?
Christmas all the time?
Nice thought, but just the idea makes me tired. However, it’s not the decorating, extra baking, tree trimming, gift wrapping, endless party-going part of Christmas I’m talking about. It is thinking of something special to make someone smile, sharing a great meal together, embracing loved ones in warm hugs, attending church, being patient in the check out line, clearing a neighbor’s driveway of snow, extending a hand to those in need of comfort and hope … all these things create the magic of this wondrous season. Everyday things really, or at least they could be.
Though the intensity of Christmas would be exhausting, the Spirit of Christmas is always available, if invited. Immanuel, God with us, dwelling rather than visiting. Wonder of wonders—the heart of man changed and renewed, bringing holiday gestures to everyday life. That’s the kind of Christmas all the time I’m talkin’ about.
May the peace of God reign in your heart and the joy of the Lord be your greatest gift this Christmas and throughout the New Year.