Take it all down.
Christmas is over.
Do not despair
But rather, be glad.
We had a good year.
Now let’s have another,
Remembering all the good times that we had.
It’s easy to get discouraged when the holidays are over. The presents have all been opened and the beautiful ribbons and bows have become a pile of clutter on the floor. Some people plan for Christmas and look forward to it all year, then get depressed when the parties are all over. They put their whole heart – and most of their bank account – into the holidays. And once the holidays are over, so is their joy.
That’s understandable. Everyone is a little disappointed after a wonderful party finally ends. But we don’t have to wait for next Christmas or the next big event to enjoy all that life has to offer.
The Relient K song, “Boxing Day”, talks about this kind of sadness creeping in. Making us feel that, without Christmas, life gets boring again. Personally, I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and my favorite time of year, and I always miss it when it’s gone. But life doesn’t end – or become sad – when the date changes on the calendar.
Oh, no more lights glistening.
No more carols to sing.
But Christmas, it makes way for spring.
Of course, people won’t be as excited or friendly as they were at Christmastime, and the twinkling lights and decorations will gradually disappear from rooftops and store displays. The anticipation for Christmas presents and family get-togethers will vanish, to be substituted with anticipation for New Year’s Eve parties, resolutions, and plans for the coming year.
Like New Year’s Day, Christmas should be a renewal. A time when we discover the capacity we have in us for kindness, compassion, charity and faith. A time when we re-discover the wonder of childhood and the joy of fresh hope.
Why should that evaporate when the calendar changes?
It’s interesting that Boxing Day originated as an act of service. It was designated as a special celebration for servants, who had to spend the entire Christmas day working – just like store employees stuck working on the holiday. Boxing Day allowed the servants to have their own Christmas all to themselves. The “Christmas spirit” led people to think about the welfare of those serving them throughout the holidays, and create a special time for them, beyond December 25th.
The hearts of men
Are bitter and weathered,
As cold as the snow
That falls from above.
But just for one day,
We all came together.
We showed the whole world that we know how to love.
Why not hold on to what we learned and experienced at Christmas, to carry it with us for the rest of the year? And for the rest of our lives?
If we allow Christmas to be more than just a party or a date on the calendar, then discouragement won’t find room to settle in our hearts. And we’ll find that we not only look forward to next Christmas with greater joy, but we also look forward to everything else in the coming year.
Don’t just celebrate Christmas; celebrate life.
Find more reviews of “Let It Snow, Baby, Let It Reindeer” at amazon.com!
Friday, December 30th, 2011