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Sharing Christmas, Part Two
12/19/2014 12:00:01 AM by: Susan Lyttek

Last week I started on this two-part post about sharing Christmas. But what do I mean by that? How would we define ‘sharing Christmas’?

I think, first of all, of the reformed Scrooge. After convicted by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, the former miser said, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.” And Tiny Tim, who never found sharing Christmas difficult, and kept it easily, always said, “God bless us… Everyone!”

Sharing Christmas is realizing you are blessed and passing on the blessing. It is the natural outflow of the golden rule. When we love God with all our heart, soul and mind, so much love spills out that loving our neighbors as ourselves comes more naturally. I’m not saying it’s always easy to share Christmas, but when we love God and allow him to love us in return, we have the love reserves so that we can.

But how, practically, can we purpose to share Christmas?

  1. If God brings someone to mind, call them or send a card. You can Facebook or e-mail, too, but the other two options are a bit more personal. The phone call has the advantage of immediate human contact, (and who knows what your friend had to cope with at that moment?), and the card or letter can be held onto and re-read if needed.
  2. Open your home. We don’t do this that often, but when we heard a family’s kitchen would not be ready for Thanksgiving and that they planned to go to a restaurant, we invited them over. Same thing when an older couple’s only son would be away at the holidays. As you feel led, invite others to join in with you so that they might have Christmas.
  3. Talk with people. My favorite people to talk with at this time of year are the Salvation Army volunteers. I can’t resist dropping a dollar or some change into the red bin just so that I can learn a little about them. Even if I’m rushed, sharing a smile and a Merry Christmas makes me feel better. For an introvert like me, the talking to others does not come easily. But this time of year, I find it easier to smile, to be sociable and to be genuinely appreciative of all those I interact with.
  4. Love, forgive and try to give a little extra grace. It’s a sweet and precious time, but it’s also a busy one. We can get harried and stressed and let that, instead of God’s love, flow out. When hitting snags in my Christmas shopping this year, the fact that Erik works in retail added the extra incentive to be nice. The person waiting on me is probably doing the best he or she can. That person is someone’s son or daughter. Be understanding, cut them some slack… and smile.

My last suggestion is that when Christmas and New Year’s Day are over, we all purpose to try to hold onto the joy and the love a bit longer. And maybe we, like Scrooge, can keep Christmas all the year.

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