The best part of Christmas time, the hours that will be most enjoyable and the moments that will be most memorable, are comparatively fleeting. But they can be short and sweet. And they’re almost here.
It’s a common complaint that the Christmas season is too long. It seems to start right after Halloween ends, and if that’s true, then that amounts to practically one-sixth of a calendar year.
So much of the lead-up to Christmas is the hustle and bustle of shopping and the rustle of wrapping paper. The season can bring stress and anxiety and a to-do list so long that it’s hardly doable. Some of us might face a pretty long day of travel on icy roads for a pretty short stay somewhere. Some of us might put on a face that’s braver than we feel at the prospect of hosting a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings.
That’s why our wish is for everyone to have a merry Christmas, because that’s really become the point of all this, whatever the holiday’s origins. Giving and receiving extends beyond the stockings on the hearth; we give our time and our thoughts and our energy, in hopes of making not only ourselves merry, but also those around us and those whom we love. We give, too, through charity, to help ensure that families we don’t even know have enough under the tree and on their dinner tables, and we must do it because we believe in Christmas and what it means.
Some of us will gather this weekend to hear the original Christmas story retold, about baby Jesus in the manger and wise men bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh; some of us will be contented with ’Twas the Night Before Christmas and gift cards. Some of us will find a balance somewhere in there.
So seek that balance – snow angels and hot chocolate, giving and receiving, preparations and merry-making, cheering ourselves and cheering others. Because really, it’s finding our own meaning of Christmas that will make it matter and make it merry.