Christmas is over. Within one week, many places like the Church I lead will take down all their Christmas decorations. The stable is packaged up and safely and stored for another year. Mary and Joseph go back in the box beside the angels, sheep and even the baby Jesus.
It has always amazed me how we spend a month or more getting ready for Christmas and how we move on from it in just a few days. It feels like “much ado about nothing.”
I know there are a few people and a few Churches who work hard to keep the Christmas spirit alive through the next few weeks. Some Churches add Epiphany to their liturgical calendar to take the holiday into January. In my background, once Christmas day is over, Christmas is completely over.
Lately, I have been wondering what we can do to keep the Christmas spirit alive? How can we keep people focused on Christ while being generous to other people? Here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Make worship a weekly practice.
Over the holiday many people went to Church for the first time this year. They stepped out and went to some Christmas program at a Church. Hopefully, it made them feel something in their soul. The holiday took on a spiritual meaning they can’t quite explain. I want to tell you that it is possible to generate these feelings every week. Each week we look into the past to better understand today and give us a more meaningful future.
2. Keep reading the rest of the story.
If you went to a Christmas program, then you likely heard the story of Matthew 1-2 or Luke 1-2. It is possible that these passages sparked something within your brain that made you think deeply about God and your soul. Let me tell you; there are a lot more chapters to read. Keep reading from the book or Matthew or Luke and who knows what you will learn.
3. Make plans to be generous all year round.
Many of us plan and budget so that we can afford to give gifts at Christmas. What if you did that throughout the year? What if you did something generous every month for the people in your life? I believe it would make you into a wonderfully generous person.
4. Spend more time with people.
At the holidays, you are constantly surrounded by people. You go to visit them, and you allow them into your home. What if you planned to open your home on a regular basis? What if you made time in your schedule to go out to dinner with some friends? Maybe you would find more joy in other people the whole year through.
5. Start planning for Easter.
Believe it or not, we are only three months away from Easter. What if you made a plan now to celebrate Easter like you did Christmas? Plan for worship, a family gathering and a generous outpouring of love. Allow Christmas to carry you to Easter in the joy of the Lord.
I think it will take some effort, but with some planning and preparation you can take the joy of this holiday and keep it alive for weeks, if not months, to come.