IS CHRISTMAS OVER?
Is Christmas over? December 25th has passed. The gift swapping, parties, cooking, and family get-togethers are now behind us. Some people have heaved a sigh of relief. It is over! Others will begin the task of fighting the crowds to exchange gifts received for the proper size, design, color, etc. Some will start storing some gifts for regifting and future yard sales!
December 26th marks the beginning of taking down the decorations. We will store them neatly somewhere in the attic so that they will be ready to be put up again next year. This action, for many people, is an acknowledgement that Christmas is behind us.
But Christmas isn’t a day – it is an attitude of life. It is a gift that God gave us that keeps on giving every day of the year. The gift of His Son is not a one day celebration. Christmas is about Presence – not presents! December 26th should not signal that Christmas is over – it should announce a new beginning! The wise men left the first Christmas going in a different direction. (Matthew 2:12)
My good friend, Dr. Doug Newton, wrote a poem that challenges me every year when I read it:
I had a jolting thought today,
As I put the Christmas things away.
For suddenly it dawned on me,
That Christmas isn’t a lovely tree,
With food, and gifts and games galore.
It has to be something much, much more.
Christmas is a daily life,
Lived in the midst of a world of strife,
Meeting life’s events each day,
In a gracious, generous, Christ-like way.
For peace on earth, good will to men,
Can only come in God’s great plan,
When we humbly trust Him day by day,
And let Him in us have His way.
He then to us Himself imparts,
And Christ is born in human hearts.
Christmas is once a year men say,
But I believe that Christmas can come each day.
We may physically put up the decorations, but I pray that the gifts of peace, love, joy and hope that Jesus brings will not be put up, but will be put on to wear everyday, and our lives will put out the message of those gifts. The best way to live in the New Year is to live everyday in obedient response to the Gift that God has given us.
Don’t pack up Christmas and put it away! Live it every day!