Keeping Christmas in your pocket

Published 4:00 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas 2018 is history. It will become a memory, and the photographs we snapped will go into boxes, or on that cloud somewhere I can’t seem to find. Most of us added a torso roll or two because we ate a roll too many while we promise the guy who sits on that cloud somewhere to not be as glutenous next year.

Yes, Christmas is over. The music on the radio will return to rap, pop, jazz or country instead of the sounds of the season. The Hallmark Christmas movies will be replaced with repeats and hard news.   

My children waved goodbye today, and as I watched them return to their lives in other states, I feel melancholy as a tear creeps down my cheek. When I walk back inside, I notice the tree doesn’t sparkle as much as it did, and I really prefer dog hair stay on the visiting dogs instead of all over everything I own. Yet, I find I still miss those crazy pets.   

Once I dry my eyes, I resign myself to cleaning up, packing up and preparing for a new year.

As I started to sweep away glitter, cookie crumbs and dog hair, I thought why do we have to put away all that is Christmas? We don’t have to box up the cheer, or squelch the giving, or stop wishing another a merry day. Why can’t we live Christmas every day? The truth is we should.

We celebrate the birth of Christ and all he gave for us to live abundant lives by teaching us the power of faith and love. It seems as we move from December to January, we return to less civility, more divisiveness and less humility.     

Most of us begin a new year with high expectations and a slice of fear. Could this be the year I win the lottery? Could this be the year we finally get into that skinny, moth-eaten dress we keep saving? Could this be the year we suffer with our health or we lose someone we love?  Could there be a war this year or will the hurricanes and fires wash more life away? What will 2019 bring?

If we tuck all that is Christmas into our pocket carrying it with us every day, then no matter what happens, we will be sustained through all the joys and sorrows the days of the new year brings.

Every day we live, we should be grateful for the chance to renew, restore, and share our merry days with each other. If we extend the kindness we see at Christmas throughout the year, I do believe the world might see a few more trees sparkle, less bickering, more empathy and see God’s face a little clearer.

Many of us make crazy resolutions each January. Lose weight, exercise more, finish cleaning the attic or write the award-winning novel which will turn into the award-winning Broadway play. The truth is the only way we can achieve any of those things is to put a bit of Christmas into our souls and believe that we can do it all. 

2018 began with dog hair all over the floor. I faced the year with the same bit of fear and expectations knowing that life can change, turn and flip you up and down like a tornado. But last year I kept a Christmas box near my desk, and for some reason, it would calm me when I read the words that say “Peace, Joy, Noel and Merry.”   

By the end of the year, I became an author of a book, expanded my writing, met new and wonderful folks, and had experiences I never dreamed of on the first day of January in 2018. I know I did not do it alone because I believed in the man on the cloud.

I don’t know what the new year, or the month, or tomorrow will bring, but I know I am grateful for the opportunity to live another day with wonder, trust, and joy because God came to visit one day in a year long ago and decided to stay.

May all of you have a blessed year and a merry day!