A couple days after Christmas I noticed one fella’ tossed his tree, lights and all in the dumpster. Sometimes it’s a little hard to adjust to life after Christmas.
The day after Christmas… lights and all…
All the Christmas things that we find so wonderful this time of the year, the things that make Christmas Christmas… they are things all Christians are commanded to do all through the year. Singing of Jesus. Feasts and celebrations. Sacred observances. Giving gifts in secret to those we love and strangers in need. God never intended for us to isolate these things to one frantic day a year and then slog back to our selfishness as usual. Christmas is just practice for being Christian. In the words of a beautiful carol:
It’s not the glow you feel
When snow appears
Yeah, it’s not the Christmas card
You’ve sent for years
Not the joyful sound
When sleigh bells ring
Or the merry songs
The little gift you send
On your Christmas day
Will not bring back the friend
You’ve turned away
So may I suggest
The secret of Christmas
Is not the things you do at Christmas time
But the Christmas things you do
All year through
Isn’t it a happy thought that when this swift season is past that the things that make Christmas Christmas do not have to be packed away with the decorations? They don’t have to be gathered up and tossed in the dumpster. The things that make Christmas Christmas are things that warm our lives and give us meaning and purpose and eternal influence for good all though the year.
So you don’t have to go out there and risk your life in traffic buying things for people who don’t need anything now because Chrsitmas is behind us. You don’t need to pretend you like your Aunt Bertha’s fruitcake anymore. Use it for a doorstop or put it away to give to the mailman next year. You don’t think that stuff will spoil do you? No. Relax.
That’s all behind us now, but you can still send encouraging notes. You can still give thoughtful gifts. You can still show hospitality to strangers. You can still make merry with your family. You can still enjoy church services. You can still sing songs about Jesus. (Come to think of it, there really is no law against listening to Christmas music all year long if you like. Although I think I like to save it for a brief season so it will always be special to me).
The Christmas season is through but I hope you’re not through doing Christmas things.
It’s not the things you do at Christmastime, it’s the Christmas things you do all year through…
Kenneth L. Pierpont
Riverfront Character Inn
January 1, 2004