Well I can’t believe we’ve made it this far, but I’m beginning to doubt our Christmas tree’s ability to make it to Candlemas (February 2). That’s two more weeks. It’s getting to be too close to a fire hazard. Where its arms were once out with palms up, they are all now drooping, palms down. It’s like it’s standing with its arms at its sides. It still looks beautiful; it still has its perfect shape, it just looks tired. Even the tippity top lists a little to the side. It’s a Christmas tree with low-grade depression. Maybe I should consider getting some serotonin in the water except our Chihuahuas would end up with it and God knows they don’t need to be any happier; they are the only ones drinking the Christmas tree water now.
I just met with a friend who is taking his tree down today. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought I was the only one still holding out. I told him about Candlemas but he didn’t buy it. It’s the middle of January. It’s hard to find anything Christmassy anywhere. Even here at Starbucks where I’m working this morning, the snowflake cups are all gone.
But Christmas lives on nonetheless. It lives on quietly in the hearts of those in whom Christ has been born again. It lives on in the giving that comes from a heart overflowing with gratitude. It lives on in the grace that is turned outward to those lost, lonely, hurting souls longing to be touched, healed, noticed and loved. Christmas lives on through the lives of those who have been forgiven and accepted into God’s forever family — those who accept others as they have been accepted: unconditionally, without question. It lives on through the actions of those who show mercy, and it lives on in those who make peace. Christmas lives on in the hearts of those who lift up others — those who lose themselves that others may be found. Quite simply, Christmas lives on in the life of Christ living in you and in me.
Emmanuel. God is still very much with us!