The Never-Ending Christmas

There’s so much about the holiday season that I really look forward to each year. I love the music; I start listening early, and I enjoy it as much as I can before it expires at midnight on December 25. Wonderful, delicious Christmas pastries, cookies and cakes are served at this time and no other. Though I enjoy visiting with family members at other times of the year, during the holiday season I know I will get to spend time with my daughters.

Indeed, there’s a lot of pressure, commercialism and traffic on the roads and in the malls, but there also seems to be an attitude of joy, generosity and anticipation. Then it seems to come to a sudden end.

The noisy, crowded, bustling malls are transformed into cavernous, eerie mausoleums. The desperate shopping is over. Lone bargain-hunters scavenge through the remnants like vultures over carrion.

The shopkeepers count their money to determine whether they can continue for another year, and the season’s sparkling decor disappears in the blink of an eye, giving way to the bleak, stark cold of winter. The bright red, festive clothing is nowhere to be found in the department stores, and the premature, pastel spring beach collection overwhelms the displays.

Christmas is the season of compassion, hope and promise. This is the spirit that I delight in at the holiday time. Though the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas disappear at the end of the day, the essence of hope and compassion lives on in those who have the Spirit of God alive inside.

The most desirable gift of the season doesn’t fade, break or require replacement with an updated model. The best gift of the Christmas season is available every day of the year.

Merry Christmas to everyone—every day—and may you have a happy new year.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

January 3, 2008