I love CHRISTmas! For those who know me well, that’s a big “Duh”. People are just a little bit nicer unless you’ve made the fatal mistake of being at the mall on CHRISTmas Eve. As one of those who try to have their shopping done by Halloween, however, I never see that “uglier” side of humanity. To me, the whole world seems brighter every December. Once CHRISTmas day passes, however, I always feel like someone has let air out of a balloon. The world seems deflated. Maybe that’s one reason why New Year’s Day isn’t one of my favorite days. That’s when most people start taking down their CHRISTmas lights. I think February is a better time to do that.
The local television station always spotlights the more extravagantly decorated houses, so everyone can drive by to look at them. Have you ever noticed, however, that even the smallest and oldest of houses will be all lit up at CHRISTmas? I’ve seen so many rundown houses with one small window framed in a single strand of lights. Granted, people won’t drive from across town to look at that little house, but I’ll bet you the occupants get a warm feeling every time they come home and see their house lit up.
I have a theory about CHRISTmas lights. I think that people will spend money on decorating their houses when they may not have enough money to do much else. I’m sure they buy lights after CHRISTmas when they’re on sale, but I’m also sure they could use that money for more important things, like food or rent. So, why do they do it? Why do they try to light up their little corner of the world when they may not be able to afford to do so?
I choose not to believe they’re lighting up their house so Santa Claus can find them. First of all, a lot of these people no longer believe in Santa Claus. Their lives have been meager for so long they know Santa Claus may not be coming their way anyway, so why bother showing him where they live? If they do believe in Santa, then they know he doesn’t need lights in the window to show the way—he knows where they live. Lighting a house for Santa Claus is pointless.
If my theory is right about why people decorate, there can be only one reason for people like me to decorate their little corner of the world. It’s the same reason that my mother had a huge cross I built for her to hang on the front of her house every year at CHRISTmas. It’s to send a message to the rest of the world. It’s the same reason that God put a star in the sky the night Jesus was born. It’s a message of hope and love…a message of light coming into the world. It’s also because we’re trying to send a message to Heaven. We’re saying to God, “Hey, look at us. We know what the season’s all about and we want you to know we remember. We remember, and we thank you!”
I’m making a New Year’s resolution this year. (One I actually plan on keeping.) I’m making a promise to myself to keep the spirit alive all year. To let the real meaning of CHRISTmas live in my life all year long, and not let the lights shine only once a year. I’m going to pay close attention to the “Peace on Earth” sign that hangs in the living room over my front door and look at it before I leave the house. Like the little house on the South side with the window framed in lights, I’m going to let God’s light shine in my own little way and hopefully others will also remember the real CHRISTmas message all year long. In my own way, I’m going to keep God’s house decorated all year long. I urge you to join me.