Let’s keep joy of Christmas season all year

Published 6:00 am Sunday, December 23, 2012

Last-minute shoppers spent Saturday trying to get the final item or two on their Christmas lists.

     Those who didn’t complete their shopping yesterday – and those among us who just like putting off things as long as we can – will be at the stores Monday.

     Today, many will be attending church and observing the lighting of the Advent candles in celebration and anticipation of Tuesday.

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     On Christmas day, sought-after presents will be opened when families come together to enjoy each other’s company and to celebrate the season. Some families, in their own storied traditions, may get a head start on the present-opening Christmas Eve.

     Regardless of the day or how much was spent on gifts for family and loved ones, Christians will celebrate the greatest gift of all: Jesus.

     On that night years ago in Bethlehem, the greatest gift of all arrived – and continues to be offered – at no cost to recipients throughout the ages. Reminders of the cost – Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – will be recalled and celebrated at Easter.

     Seasonal music often likens Jesus’ birth to love being born on Christmas day.

     In their song, “Hold On To Christmas,” the musical group 4HIM reminds us that holiday cards, manger scenes and mistletoe will “disappear like melted snow.” All can be discarded or packed up and put away for another year.

     What can remain, if we let it, is the joy of the season.

     Because of the gift of Jesus, believers have every reason to hold on to Christmas throughout the year. That is a joy that can be celebrated regardless of what month or day of the week it may be.

     Merry Christmas!