Now that the Christmas holidays have come to a close, for 2021, and we’re starting a new year — 2022…
As we find ourselves taking down the holiday decorations and packing them away for another year; and as we are setting that once beautiful and sparkling Christmas tree, filled with all the holiday ornaments, out on the curb, do we also find ourselves packing away our Christmas cheer?
What about our Christmas spirit — you know, that extra cheery, smile and holiday attitude that causes us to be nice to everyone around us, that holiday “Joy to the World ” vibe that we embraced for the season, are we also packing that away too?
So of course as the season winds down there may be an extra rush to dispense with the festive spirit; but the more I think about it, the more I realize how much better things might be if we all kept that Christmastime cheer with us throughout the year.
During this holiday season, some of us possibly found ourselves giving money to the poor, volunteering with our church, praying with more intensity, and spending more time with friends and loved ones.
But once the season is behind us, and the overwhelming joy we all felt in remembering our Savior’s birth begins to recede, why is it so many of us are also packing away our Christmas cheer and charity to others?
Can you imagine what our world would be like if everyone, like Charles Dickens’ Scrooge, would “honor Christmas in our heart, and keep it all the year?”
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”
— Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Mon, January 3
A RETURN TO THE EVERYDAY
by Diane M. Houdek
No matter how much we try to extend the holiday with traveling and vacation time and a last party or two, there comes a time when we need to return to our daily activities and responsibilities.
School starts up again, work beckons, and we have to bid farewell to Christmas once again.
It can be refreshing to reclaim the space that was filled with the Christmas tree and other decorations.
We forsake the Christmas cookies and boxes of candy for healthier food choices in the new year.
If we’ve traveled to visit family, we return home, put away the suitcases, finish vacation laundry, and settle into our lives.
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus traveled a great deal during the first years after the birth—back and forth to Jerusalem, a sojourn in Egypt, a return to their home in Nazareth.
And in later years, Luke’s Gospel tells us, they traveled on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where Jesus was separated from his parents and found conversing with holy teachers in the temple.
Perhaps we’re a bit relieved that Christmas is over for another year. But perhaps we discover that something has changed in us because of an encounter, a gift, a new insight into the meaning of the incarnation.
We can keep a little bit of that with us through the coming year and let it bring light and peace to our everyday lives.
Our journey with God doesn’t end with the Christmas season.
Jesus is forever, not just for Christmas.
Come join the Adventure,