We hear the same thing every single year, and this will be no exception. On Christmas Day or possibly even the day after Christmas, we will hear someone we know such as a spouse, co-worker, neighbor, mailman, grocery store clerk or whoever say these words……“I wish we could keep the spirit of Christmas’ alive for 364 more days. It’s just not right that the goodwill and generosity of Christmas should be stored away now until December 25 rolls around again.” If you really feel that way, why not do something about it?
Put a jar in a conspicuous place in your kitchen. Make it your “Christmas Club Account” for 2013. Put a couple of dollars a week into it. Or empty your change into it every night you eat a meal at home. Use the money next Christmas for children whose names are on a mall Angel Tree or as an anonymous gift to a struggling family. Every time you drop in a quarter or $5-dollar bill, you and everyone at your table will feel a little tingle of Christmas spirit.
Adopt a missionary family from your church. Do something special for them on the 25th of each month. Send photos you make at your church on the Sunday before. Send pictures of yourself, your family, or you and a pet. Your kids can show you how to attach the digital photos to an e-mail! Be creative. You’ll feel a “Christmas rush” every month as you do something for them on the 25th.
Pick someone who is shut-in or in a nursing home and do something special for that man or woman on the 25th of each month. A personal visit, lunch together, an anonymous gift, a beautiful plant — just let the 25th be your target date each month, and imagine it as a “Christmas-All-Year-Long Project.”
Design your own project. Let a different member of your own family be the focus of your attention each month. Let it be the sourest person in your office. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is to hold the spirit of Christmas alive not only in memory but in practical goodwill and love during the entire year.
Give the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville your UK tickets… (you know it’s better to give than receive). HINT HINT!
Some anonymous writer put it this way: “Christmas is not merely a lump of sugar to take away the sour taste of reality. Christmas is reality: a reality which will blaze eternally after man’s last artificial light flickers out. If we unite ourselves with that reality, we will be given the courage to live joyously in the new year.”
Some Christmas leftovers just won’t keep. So there will be scraps of ham or turkey and maybe even some of your favorite dessert to go to waste from the Christmas Day just past. But the Christmas leftovers of kindness, unselfish giving, attention to the lonely, and compassion should never be tossed out. They never grow stale. The people who receive them are always blessed. And you will receive an even greater blessing for giving them – over and over again.
Whatever beauty you found in Christmas is still there to be shared.
God Bless and GO CATS!
Rev. Scott Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville.