When Christmas Spirit is not Enough

Christmas is a bizarre time of year. It is a holiday season with an incredible pendulum – the same people who take extra time to remember the elderly, the military, the poor and the unlovable will turn around to be swept up in a haze of materialism: Black Friday, stocking stuffers, books, clothes and toys.

There is something beautiful and magical about so many people who are suddenly conscience stricken to be kind, to be thoughtful and to be giving.

And I think it’s a wonderful thing to have that mindset.

But too often, we just let it be a Christmas season thing. As soon as December 26 rolls around, we have spiritual and emotional amnesia. We forget to be others focused. We forget our heart of servanthood. We forget to have that spirit of Christlike love.

I want to bake cookies for my neighbors in December but I can’t be bothered to say good morning any of the rest of the year.

I will make a fruit basket for all the shut ins at church the week before Christmas but I won’t remember to drop by and visit or send a card in January.

I will write a card to someone in the military at the beginning of December, but I won’t remember his birthday or his anniversary later on.

I will donate extra toys to charity in December but I will let all my stuff accumulate, rust and break before taking it to a thrift store in the spring.

Please don’t misunderstand me – these are all good things to do. And I think we should do them in December. But perhaps, this year, December can be the start instead of just a season. The start of good habits. The start of visiting and writing cards. The start of kind greetings and thoughtful gestures. The start of generosity, love, and spreading cheer.

Because you see, a habit is hard to start – but harder still to continue and persevere. May we all persevere with a Christlike spirit for more than today, for more than this week, for more than this month. May we stay the course until we reach eternity.

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