Within the next 24 hours people all over the world will begin celebrating the culminating event of the advent season — Christmas Day. Most of us will be giving gifts, receiving gifts, singing, feasting with family, and spreading joy and happiness throughout the day. Since before the Thanksgiving holiday many of us have been looking forward to the big event of Christmas Day. We have been shopping, wrapping, being (hopefully) kind to our neighbors, helping out at shelters and soup kitchens, and sharing the Christmas story with our children. But what happens on Dec. 26th? Does it all have to end? Do we stop sharing the Christmas story with our children? Do we stop giving to others? Do we stop spreading peace, joy, and reconciliation to others? Do we stop believing in miracles? Do all these things get put in the attic with the tree ornaments until the next Christmas season or could we maybe put the tree ornaments away but leave out all the goodness of the season for the whole year.
Each day the need for peace, joy, hope, reconciliation, random giving, and helping exists. The Christmas story is about the birth of Christ; but the story doesn’t end there so hopefully neither will our “Christmas” spirit. Christ went on spreading and being goodness daily. He went on feeding others, clothing others, listening to the problems of others, meeting needs, and spreading peace, hope, and joy to everyone in need of it. As we unwrap our gifts and slowly pack away the decor of the season, maybe we could “forget” to pack up our Christmas spirit, our giving hearts, and helpful hands. Maybe this could be where the story starts. Maybe “Joy to the World” doesn’t have to be just the song sang at the end of most Christmas programs just before the curtain closes; but maybe it can be part where we are just getting started. Let’s not lose our Christmas high after we have dinner Christmas evening…Let’s spread Joy to the World — Christmas Day and everyday!