The magical season of Christmas is about to be over. Driving around the neighborhood today, I noticed that many homes have taken down their Christmas trees now laying by roadside waiting for pick-up by garbage collectors. The presents under the trees have been opened. The trimmings have been stowed away to be put up again next Christmas. The stars have faded away. The angels have sang their last “Gloria”. Bethlehem is again just a small town. And Santa slowly slips away from memory to resurrect later in the year when kids would start being good again to get on Santa’s list.
It makes a lot of difference when there are children in a home. There, Christmas lights replicate the stars in Bethlehem that guided the shepherds and the Magi. Christmas carols echo the angels that were heard on high singing on that first Christmas night. And when Christmas eve comes, there is that palpable expectation of Santa Claus coming by. Anabelle and I have noticed that homes with children often have more Christmas lights and Christmas trimmings.
As the kids grow up, the lights are less bright and the trimmings more austere. Parents no longer write letters to Santa with their kids or prepare some snacks to him and his reindeers. Instead, they now assist their teenagers in writing application letters for high school and college. The money that used to be spent on toys and presents is not being set aside for tuition, board and lodging and other expenses for grown up kids. The magic of Christmas will return when the grandchildren start coming.
There are homes, however, which never lose the magic of Christmas. The children may come and go; but the light and the trimmings and the carols are cheery and bright – year after year. In fact, even when it is not Christmas, there is still a certain joyful air about such homes and an abiding spirit of love and peace among the people who live there. There are the homes of people for whom Christmas is not about the magic of the season but about the reason why the Son was made flesh – For God so loved the world that He gave us His one and only Son