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Hold Christmas in Your Heart

December 28, 2011

Heart Shaped Christmas OrnamentThere is such a build up to the Christmas season. We rail while retailers begin the Christmas rush at Halloween and if you listen carefully Christmas carols seem to get interspersed with other music on the radio as soon as Veteran’s Day. The flurry builds as December 25 approaches – the tree, the presents, the cookies, the meals. And then it seems as quickly as it has come – it is over. I’m always saddened that on December 26 the radio stations return to “normal programming” and the stately Christmas trees that shone like beacons from front room picture windows have been disrobed of their shiny finery and discarded in the alleys for compost pick up.

Coming from an old German tradition – the Christmas tree at my childhood home was “delivered” by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. My parents had the advantage that we lived in in a rural area – so Christmas trees in front windows weren’t as obvious as they are in town. We experienced the luxury of lingering in the holidays – leaving the (artificial) tree up until mid-January (or until my father teased my mother that the Easter bunny may hid eggs in the branches). My mother especially made a practice of simply enjoying the lights on cold evenings – holding on to the glow that shone so brightly, with so much promise on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Each year, as the tree at our house is taken down (about Epiphany), I pledge to try to hold on to the celebration of Christmas through the year – to sing praises each and every day, to give to those in need, to show love, to be filled with hopeful anticipation for the mysterious mission that God has planned for me as one of his children.


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