1928 - Alderson High School - 1968

 

 

What About the Rest of the Year?
Dan Duff

ďAnd she brought forth her firstborn

son and wrapped him in swaddling

clothes, and laid him in a manger;

because there was no room for them

in the inn.Ē Luke 2:7

 

I love this time of year.  I look forward to it with great anticipation.  I canít wait to drag all the Christmas decorations from their dusty boxes and try to out do the Griswolds.  I donít of course.  I always think of that electric bill that is coming in January, along with the other ones that leave skid marks on all my credit cards.  I know that buying presents isnít what Christmas is about or is it.  After all wasnít there gifts brought to the baby Jesus? 

Now, right here we could get into all kinds of stories about the meaning and true beliefs of this young deity, but I am sure you have already formed some sort of opinion about it so I wonít labor on it.  You either believe or you donít and you either celebrate it or you donít and that is that.

What I like most about this season is that for a short time every year we become who we really are.  There are those who will give this year out of their heart and find great joy in doing so.  There will be those who will give, but not from the heart.  They will give out of some obligations because they want to keep peace between them and the ones they buy for. There will be those who will say ďbah humbugĒ and not give anything to anyone and those are the people I pity the most.  They feel the same before Christmas as they do after and during.  There has been no joy of giving.  There is no elation of receiving and there is no solace for them to share.

From the guy who wears the lamp shade over his head and has a mistletoe dangling from his coat tail to the people who gets one shot too many in them and proceeds to ask the president of the company to explain his ancestry, this is the season. 

There will be gifts given to the poor and extra meals served up at shelters and church basements.  There will be visits made to the nursing homes and to old people who hardly, if ever, receive anyone any other time of the year.

Tempers will soften and almost disappear during this shot season.  Things that would set us to a tirade any other day will be forgiven and forgotten almost immediately.  Bosses will look over bad work and give extra praise even when it is not due.  Workers will try harder to show up on time, give a better accounting of their time, and work to put out a better product.  Old grudges will be set aside and the worst of enemies will be cordial to each other, at least for a while. 

By Christmas eve the emotions and anticipation are at a fever pitch.  Presents are wrapped with beautiful paper and tied up in pretty ribbons.  They are all tucked in their hiding places for just the right time to be placed under the tree with the angel on top. 

Then as suddenly as it started right at Thanksgiving, it is gone.  The Christmas morning arrives, we all go to the tree and check the packages for our names.  When the presents are opened, we all head for some coffee or cocoa and everyone heads for their room with their pile of goodies.   The wrappings and boxes are gathered and taken out to the garbage can and all the feelings and emotions that were with us for those twenty or so days seem to have left with the used wrapping paper.   For a while we try out best to get that feeling back, but nothing we do seems to help.  Its over.  Its done.  Along with the trimmings and Christmas lights, we need to put all those feelings into some sort of container and with the rest of the Christmas trim stow them into the attic for another year.. 

This is not the way it is supposed to be. All those feelings and emotions that were with us for all of  December should follow us into January and February and March.   So why donít they?  It is simple.  We are all caught up in the glitter and wrappings of Christmas and not in the meaning of the season. 

We have found room in our hearts for commercialism.  We have found room in our hearts for giving and receiving.  We have room in our hearts for our fellow man and his needs.  We have even found room in our hearts to forgive and forget the things our enemies do to us, but we have all but forgotten the real reason for the season.   

We have changed it from Christmas to Xmas to holiday.  Our cities and states have banned any reference to the birth.  We have banned all the nativity scenes from around our public buildings.

It would appear that the verse I quoted from Luke 2:7 is as true today as it was two thousand years ago.....  there is no room for Him.