It’s January 25th and I’m finally doing it. Don’t laugh. I’m taking down and putting away my Christmas decorations. Okay, go ahead and laugh. I’m a diehard. Call me crazy.
Actually, that would be a good word because I’m crazy for Christmas and all that it means. I decorate around the middle of November so my family can enjoy the beauty for as long as possible. Don’t tell anyone, but I have been known to leave my tree up until Valentine’s Day. Well, actually I only did that once. I’m sure after the first week of January, my neighbors shake their heads and say, “Someone needs to tell those folks Christmas is over.”
Each year, the holiday season begins just a little earlier than the year before. Retailers stock their shelves and build elaborate displays in October and sometimes even in September. We see a barrage of commercials telling us to get a jump start on our shopping, and joyful music fills the airwaves. We enjoy parties, eggnog, baked goodies, time with friends and family, and wonderful displays of twinkling lights in a vast array of colors. It’s a beautiful … wonderful … magical time and then—boom—it’s over.
I think that’s why I try to hold on for so long. It’s anticlimactic … and it’s sad.
December 26th seems like a funeral—the death of Christmas. The commercials stop. The music stops. The lights go out. The trees come down. (I’m getting depressed just thinking about it.) Everything goes back to “normal” and the magic—the spirit of Christmas—is neatly tucked away until the next year.
The birth of Jesus, the true reason for the season, was also a beautiful, wonderful, magical time. An angel appeared to lowly shepherds and a brilliant star led a trio of wise men to a stable where the Savior of the world awaited them. But I wonder what happened after that holy night. Did the shepherds and wise men go back to business as usual with fond memories of the awe they experienced, or did the events change their hearts and lives forever?
We face the same dilemma each year. When Christmas is over, do we carry Jesus away in our hearts, allowing Him to fill our lives with His love, compassion, and power, or do we walk away and leave Him packed up in the manger?
The song says, “We need a little Christmas all year long.” The Bible says we need a lot of Christ every moment of every day.
We need to prepare a special place in our hearts for the Christ of Christmas. He is no longer the babe in the manger. He is our risen Savior—King of kings and Lord of lords—and we can celebrate Him every single day throughout the year.
(Photo courtesy of stikphoto.com.)