Christmas

choinka2Christmas is holly and mistletoe, turkey and dressing, music and merrymaking.

Christmas is excitement, and exhaustion; giving and forgiving; caring and sharing.

Christmas is for children? for children of all ages? with stockings hung carefully along the length of the mantle, and a plate of doughnuts and a big red apple thoughtfully in place for old St. Nicholas, when he makes his midnight rounds.

Christmas is a pile of beautifully wrapped gifts stacked around a Christmas tree, and perched precariously on the very top of the stack is a knobby-looking parcel with a fat, lopsided bow, tied with fingers of love, and a hand – lettered card, its words straggling uphill and down, proclaims for all the world to see?. „To Grandma with love.”

Christmas is a sudden lump in the throat, when a burst of music floats through an opened door, and a fresh young voice sings the old familiar words, „I’ll be home for Christmas, but only in my dreams.”

Christmas is shopping lists and depart-ment store crowds? weary clerks and frantic shoppers who apparently were late in hearing the news that Christmas would be observed this year on December 25.

Christmas is special? special smells, special sights, special sounds. The fragrance of freshly cut evergreens, and the special tantalizing aroma of gingerbread baking in the oven.

The special sight of Mother Nature doing her decorating, concealing a dull and dreary landscape under a white velvet coverlet of fresh fallen snow. The special sound of a great choir and the piercing sweetness of the organ, as each listening heart echoes the words, ” O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

Christmas is the postman, bearing his blessed burden?

Christmas cards and magic Postmarks like Cairo and Beirut, Campinas and Kowloon, and packages that show the marks of the long journey across the miles of land and sea.

Christmas is carolers with overshoes and earmuffs, and mittens and heavy jackets, their happy voices suddenly visible on the frosty air?Carolers with cold feet and red noses, and slightly husky voices sharing the ever – old, ever new proclamation, „Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”

Christmas is a silver star, beckoning the simple shepherds to come and find God’s Blessed One. And they came on that first Christmas, empty – handed, bearing no rich gift of frankincense or myrrh, but with hearts ready to receive Him.

Christmas is the Christ Child, lying in a manger in the little town of Bethlehem, God’s great and perfect gift to His frail, imperfect children? A high and holy moment in the history of man.

The calendar has started a rumor that Christmas lasts just one day, but even the littlest angels in Heaven rock with laughter at such absurdity. Christmas confined to just one day of the year?

What utter nonsense!

True, the broken tree ornaments and the tinsel and torn wrappings go out with the morning trash? and the cunningly carved little figures in the creche are lovingly wrapped in tissue and put away for next year’s use? and true enough, the lovely flickering candles have melted into unattractive puddles of paraffin?.

***

But Christmas over? Never believe it!

For Christmas will always be in the hearts of God’s children everywhere as they extend a helping hand to a friend in need? as they go about reflecting God’sgoodness in the quiet unheralded expressions of a loving heart?. As they share the light of the world with those who live in darkness. Other things are limited to an hour on the clock? or to a day on the calendar?

But Christmas is forever.

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