Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Oh that we could always see such spirit through the year..."

I love Christmas time. I mean go-all-out crazy with warm happiness kind of love. I'm the girl singing Christmas carols at the top of my lungs when I'm in my car (and sometimes in a quieter voice if I'm by myself in the office break room). I am moved by people's awareness of need surrounding them and their subsequent generosity. I love to hear the Salvation army bell ringing. I love Christmas Trees. I love wrapping presents. I love the priceless look on a child's face when they stand in the same room with Santa. I love the hope and the holiness of the season.

The world becomes a beautiful place at Christmas. All dressed up with lights and wreaths like it's preparing for a grand event.

I find myself wishing that we could have Christmas all the time, all year long. Wouldn't it be great if there were always twinkly lights on trees and the bells were always ringing and people helped others in need and we gave presents to each other and had big dinners with the people we love more than just once a year?

But I know myself well enough to know -- and you're probably like this too -- that Christmas would absolutely lose its magic if we didn't have to look forward to it for 11 months. If Santa was an everyday kind of guy, he would lose his mystery of popping out of the North Pole once a year. And if the Elves were everyday kinds of Elves, they would probably form a union and go on strike and want to renegotiate their contract for having to work all year. The manger would no longer make us pause at the thought of Sacred Holiness being born in a barn. And the Star of Bethlehem would be one more cosmic mass added to a list of many, rather than the olden-day navigation system, directing the way to the Hope of the world.

We are going to live every minute out of the next week and soak up as much Christmas as our hearts can hold. And then we'll pack it up and put it back into the boxes. And look forward to next year when we can blow the dust off our Christmas CDs and enjoy them once again like a long-lost friend.

Except the hope and holiness.

I'm keeping those out.

And maybe that's how we keep Christmas 365 days a year.

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