I've struggled for many years with the fact that I just am NOT in the Christmas Mood this year.
It started when I was about 17 and I really wasn't overjoyed with Christmas like I was when I was a kid. You 50 year olds will laugh silently to yourselves at the notion that a 17 year old no longer considers himself a kid but I hope that you will remember that most of you at 17 years old were already married and didn't consider yourselves kids either.
Anyway...At about that age I couldn't really get enthused about the holiday season. Oh I TRIED...I wrapped presents and sang the old songs but it was never really the same for me. Sometimes I'd get a little spark. Usually this spark would sneak up on me from behind. It'd be October and I'd catch a breath of pine and for a moment I'd be back in Mamma & Poppy's house watching in breathless anticipation as Poppy and my oldest brother shoved the tree into the house amidst much cussing while Momma (always on the alert to help) would be shouting helpfull advice to them such as "YOU'RE GETTING PINE NEEDLES IN MY RUG!!" Ah...Tender memories. But usually these remenises lasted only a few seconds. Then I'd be back to earth.
So I worried about the fact that I had lost my Christmas spirit. I really wanted to catch that spirit again but it just sort of eluded me.
Now I am 55 years old and I think I may have an answer. I've studied the Bible from cover to cover many times.
I now realize that Christmas is something that can't be contained to a single point on a calander. Christmas is something that has to be celebrated 365 days a year. It has to be celebrated in the warm days of Spring when you spend .15 cents at the neighborhood kid's lemonade stand and during the hot days of Summer as you let a cold ice cream bar dribble on your wrist. It has to be celebrated when the Harvest is in in the Fall and in the gloomy days of Winter when you take your old dog out for his final walk of the night.
It's an acknowledgement that a better man came to earth. That He shed his heavenly gown for temporal rags. And that He split heaven open so that we could have life.
No wonder that the angels sang at his arrival. No wonder that Charles Shultz had "Linus" quote "For behold...I give you tidings of great joy which will be to all the people. For today is born to you in the city of David a saviour. Tis Christ the lord. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
Remember those words?
Go ahead and Celebrate! You're home.
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