As my older sister pointed out, itís less than 11 months now til Christmas. Although I will be glad to celebrate a few warmer holidays in between, I always look forward to Christmas, even if it is 11 months out.
It is my favorite holiday. My folks have always enjoyed Christmas and made it a special time, so I caught the spirit from them. My motherís nativity collection stays up long after December 25, and the lights in the little Christmas village above their piano still shine on any given night.
My artificial Christmas tree stays up in my living room all year, and when I am home at a decent time in the evening (and sometimes even when Iím not), I will plug in the lights in the window. I have enjoyed passing by a house on South Ross Avenue that still has its Christmas lights on at night. Itís nice to know Iím not the only Christmas holdover. My neighbor down the street still has her decorations out front, although she is no longer lighting them at night.
And a friend of mine already helped her boyfriend buy presents for his sisters for Christmas.
I brought home a catalog we didnít need from work and was perusing it the other night, thinking ďthis would be perfect for Beth, or Kristi could really use this, or mamma would love this, or daddy would get a kick out of this, or Tom and Kevin would enjoy these ÖĒ
Iíll probably never order anything from it, but itís still fun to look.
Mamma always says nobody gives such unique presents as our family. The gifts are thoughtful and chosen for the recipientís special hobbies and preferences. I always receive a lighthouse calendar, for example, and Dalmatian ornaments because of my Freckles, sticky notes, books (often about dogs), Celtic music and of course chocolate. Mamma always gets at least one new nativity for her collection, although she really has tried to cut back in recent years, my little sister always gets a cookie cutter or two for her collection, and my older sister always gets a new paper doll or two for her collection.
We should never be too old to play, enjoy treats or embrace Christmas.
I love the lights, the special cookies, the time with family, the unique gifts we share, the music, the decorations and even all the ho-ho-ho about Christmas.
But what I love the most, and something I can celebrate all year, is the inspiration for the holiday. I know December wasnít when Jesus was born. It was probably in the spring, but I am glad for any time the world will recognize it, even if it is in December. I will celebrate Christís entrance into our world in December, in January, in April, in August Ö
Because it means God didnít leave us here on a spinning globe in space to live out our days with nothing to look forward to beyond the cemetery.
Christmas means hope to me, not just in December, but all year.
I will leave my lights on in May and June because the Light of the world still shines.
Sometime in September I might put on a Christmas CD because the Christ Child is still Emmanuel then, now and always ó ďGod with us.Ē