“Happy Holidays!” or “Merry Christmas!” both seem out of place at the beginning of a new year. The controversy over politically correct greetings isn’t over yet because Christmas isn’t over. As Christians our spirits should be more in tune with the sacred than the secular anyway. The Church’s Christmas season doesn’t end until 12 days after December 25, on January 6, Epiphany Day.
Because Christmas doesn’t officially end until Friday week I think we should hang onto it all the more tightly. A wonderful way to do it not only until then, but also as a way to keep Christmas year-round is through an adapted version of St. Paul’s famous passage about love. So here it is, I Corinthians 13, the Christmas version:
“If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug a child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss a spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love does not envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But, giving the gift of love will always endure.”