Like most of us, I have wonderful memories of the Christmases of my childhood. The common thread through all of these special memories is a feeling...hard to define, but somehow it just felt like Christmas. Warm and fuzzy, like one of those Hallmark commercials. Everyone was loving and giving and kind, bringing joy to everyone around them.
I often wondered why being with the very same people didn't 'feel' the same at other times of the year. What is it about the Christmas season that causes almost everyone to act so selflessly, and could we make it last all year?
I believe what makes people act as they do at Christmas is the recognition of Christ's love and the miracle of Jesus' birth. Even those who don't yet know Him I believe in some way can feel that there is something special, something real, about this season where nearly the whole world celebrates the coming of a little child sent to save the world from sin and demonstrate love in the ultimate way.
But isn't this true all year long? Christ has still come to save us on February 19th, and June 6th, and October 22nd, has He not? I know I find it easier to do 'special' things for people at Christmas time...and maybe not so much in February and October.
"Christmas is not a time or a season, but a state of mind. To cherish
peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
~ Calvin Coolidge, former President of the United States ~
I know a few people who try to make Christmas last all year long with this spirit of goodwill and spreading mercy. They give generous gifts for no reason at all, and somehow that which seems almost common place at Christmas almost shocks the recipient when it comes in the middle of the year with no occasion in mind. But giving so freely and lovingly should be common among Christ's followers, and not just at Christmas.
I'm going to try to carry this 'Christmas spirit' with me all year - will you join me?