Hello again! As we begin to draw into the Christmas season I am in awe of the transformation that occurs in our society. It is as if, upon the dawn of Thanksgiving, people are just nicer, smileyer and happier. And, it seems to last through New Year’s Eve. A whole month of civility and laughter. I have to admit I love it. But most of all, I love that our kids see this transformation in us.
The question is, how do we turn all this joy expressed at Christmas into a yearlong obsession? I mean, as Christians, shouldn’t we behave this way all the time? Okay, there are some Christians that have a sunny disposition 24/7/365. Admittingly, it is not me. I want it to be me. I pray daily it is me. The sad truth is, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to pull off Pollyanna every day of my life.
So, for those of us that are not blessed with sunshine naturally beaming from our eyeballs, what do we do? I, like so many, find that trickles of sunshine begin to peep out as we plan our Thanksgiving meal. We begin to think on the things we are truly grateful for. We begin to offer up prayers of thanksgiving instead of prayers of need. We begin to think of others more and even desire to have our family close.
As Christmas comes closer we begin smiling daily. We say hello to those we see in the store whether or not we actually know them. We wake up with radiant beams streaming from our lashes and think of all the ways we are going to bless the ones we care about. We even give to strangers, dropping coins in tiny red buckets, leaving presents on doorsteps and putting more in the offering plate.
On Christmas day we beam as our loved ones open the gifts we lovingly picked for them. Giving makes us feel so good! And then, New Year’s Eve arrives. We get giddy, laugh and sing, watch fireworks light up the sky and make promises to ourselves on how we will be so much better during the following year.
Sadly, we wake up January 1st and go about our life as if the last month never happened. We don’t realize the beams of sunshine have left our eyes. We don’t realize we are not smiling at strangers. We don’t realize we aren’t giving to strangers or to those we love. We don’t realize the Christmas haze has dissipated and we are right back where we started.
So, what goes wrong? If we know this going into Christmas, then how do we allow it to happen to ourselves year after year? Can’t we put up our defenses and hold on to the Christmas feeling? Well, maybe we can.
What is the Christmas feeling anyway? Is it just the lights and color, the busy shops and the bustling people? Or is it something more? Could it be the reason for the season? Just possibly it is. Does our love for Jesus and the crazy happiness we feel about celebrating His birthday actually change our attitude?
If it does, then let’s decide to keep that feeling going all year. How? By making it last. If Thanksgiving is for giving thanks for all the wonderful things we are grateful for, and Christmas is our Lord and Saviors birthday, then what is January for? What is February for? March? You get the picture.
Our Lord did so much for us. He decided to become a mortal man and leave heaven. He decided to be born a poor man, with a poor man’s occupation. He decided to teach for three years, walking everywhere He went and enduring the wrath of those who despised what He was. He decided to let himself be beat to within an inch of His life and He decided to allow Himself to be hung on a cross to die. He decided to do all of that for you, even if you were the only person on the face of the earth.
So, what are you going to decide to do? How about deciding to think of Him each day and letting His sunshine radiate from your eyes to those you meet? How about deciding to pass this love for our Savior on to your children through the things they hear you say and see you do each and every day? How about deciding to pick something wonderful Jesus did and meditating on it for a month, kind of like how we meditate on Christmas? How about deciding to give in a new way each month? How about deciding to honor Him with your attitude 24/7/365?
Now as for me, there will be days I will need to read this post again. I will need reminders and some days I will fail. Some days there won’t be sunshine until there is caffeine. But that’s okay. Each day offers a new chance to show the sunshine, even if it’s just a trickle. And, if our children see the transformation everyday just think how it will impact their lives, and the lives of those they have contact with. I have decided, have you?