Santa has come and gone for another year. In the blink of an eye all the tinsel, lights, and jingle bells will be stuffed away, awaiting their next debut. And we will sludge through another dull winter praying for spring. As I sit beside my little Christmas tree trying to soak in the last little Christmas light, love, and magic tears flood down my cheeks. Christmas seems a little (or a lot) different as I get older. Some, or most, of the magic has been replaced with to do list and obligations.
But this season, as I turn off my lights on the tree for the last time, I'm not ready to pack up my Christmas spirit of the lessons Santa brought in his big red toy sack. This year I vow to not pack up my belief in the impossible. If during Christmas I can believe in flying reindeer and toy making elves then I can choose to believe in a world where we can end human trafficking, hunger, and prejudice. I can choose to believe in the world where there is magic and possibility around every corner and in every story.
I refuse to pack up my belief in humanity. Even the darkest, coldest person can be reached with love. Even if they ba humbug as we try to get close-every human deserves compassion, forgiveness, love, and respect. As Charles Dickens has shown us for years and years the most unreachable soul is not a lost cause until they're dead in the ground.
I refuse to pack up the spirit of giving. Realistically I cannot buy gifts all year round because well I'm a college kids and I'm poor. But there are some things I can give. I can give my time. I can put down my cell phone and give my undivided attention to those around me. I can give people my word and mean it, even if it's not fun or convenient. I can give my family and friends my unending love and support...investing in the things that mean the most to them. And when necessary I can give forgiveness. Not that cheap "forgive and don't forget" brand but the genuine forgiven, forgotten and loved brand.
Every year the very end of the Christmas Eve service is always my favorite. The lights go down and the pastors each light their candles, passing it down the rows...from the front all the way to the back. As the light travels further and further back the light overtakes the darkness until it's just as bright as when the lights were on. This year I'm taking my Christmas candle with me all year and maybe as I travel throughout this year I can light a few more candles as I go. Who knows, maybe by the time Santa makes his grand appearance next year the world will be a little brighter place...even before his arrival.