Christmas is having five strings of lights,
and none of them will turn on.
Christmas is watching your child march
in the town’s annual holiday parade.
Christmas is tears in your eyes
when you hear the familiar carols of your childhood.
Christmas is that dazed feeling you get
when you realize you forgot to prepare a dish for
a banquet – and you leave in 5 minutes.
Christmas is playing Secret Santa at work,
and seeing the small gifts you chose make a big
difference to a co-worker.
Christmas is the lump in your throat when everyone
in the audience stands at the first
notes of Handel’s Messiah Chorus.
Christmas is driving slowly through neighborhoods
oohing and ahhing at lights.
Christmas is watching your child perform
in the school pageant and trying not to laugh
when one of the reindeer antlers you sewed
onto the costume falls off.
Christmas is hearing the gospel story proclaimed
on secular radio.
Christmas is shopping for gifts and clothes
for a needy child.
Christmas is aching feet and knees from standing
in lines everywhere you go.
Christmas is writing cards to friends
you hadn’t thought about for too long a time.
Christmas is getting a letter from relatives
who went everywhere and did everything and
wondering how in the world they managed
to find the time and money.
Christmas is cold winds blowing, a wet mist, snow,
the lazy rise of smoke from chimneys, the smell of pine.
Christmas is unpacking the ornaments
and recalling the story and the person behind each one.
Christmas is hugging friends, visiting family,
running up the long distance bill saying
Merry Christmas to everyone far away.
Christmas is hearing again the wonderful story
of the Virgin and the birth of her Holy Child.
Christmas is understanding that the words
in the carols are the gospel put to song.
Christmas is the hope and the joy and the love of God,
giving His only begotten Son so that we may live.
Christmas is ministering to dear friends like you.