There’s extra food, discarded boxes and bows, toys scattered about and piles of new clothes. Children are exhausted and fallen in bed while mom and dad have credit card bills dancing in their heads.
Another Christmas comes and goes.
Isn’t it funny how anticipating something and working toward it for so many days and weeks leaves a feeling of being let down when it’s over? It’s like the hustle and bustle comes to a screeching halt and there is a feeling of not being able to settle down into the old routine quite so easily — the pre-Christmas routine.
Hopefully the things that remain, the holiday leftovers, are more than packages, cards, food, and a huge mess to clean up. The joy and love we show so freely to others at Christmas should go with us through the whole year.
There are still hungry people who need to be fed. There are still elderly people that need to be visited and reminded that they matter. There are still children who would rejoice in a new toy occasionally in the days ahead.
If the Love of God, the Spirit of Christmas, abides in our hearts as it should, then the Christ of Christmas will reign through us long after the Christmas tree is down and ornaments are stored away in the attic or under the bed. Can we live in a state of Christmas all year long? I think we can. Goodness, kindness, and love toward our fellow man should be a way of living twelve months out of the year and not just the month of December.
I knew a man once who was full of the Christmas Spirit for the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. He was a jolly old elf, singing, plotting surprises, strumming Christmas carols on his guitar, and dancing around like a child full of anticipation. He was amazing for one month out of the year. But when Christmas had passed, he went back to the darker side of himself, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, and moody. I could never figure out why, if he could be such an extraordinary human being for that one month out of twelve, why he couldn’t/wouldn’t be that wonderful person all year long. I’m sure he wasn’t/isn’t the only one to behave this way.
I hope that we all have more leftovers than anything else this Christmas. I hope we have more understanding of God’s great love for humanity left over – that He loved us so much, He sent His only Son to live among us and show us that love. I hope we have more love for mankind left over and more compassion for those in need around the world because we have been blessed with so much in this country. I hope we have sweet memories left over of the ones we love and the ones who love us.
I hope we have left over laughter, hugs, and kindness enough to share with each other in the days ahead. Gifts are good, but the best things we get at Christmastime are the things that are left over until the next year, the important things that endure the test of time.