Christmas Any Day

by Paula Rugen

John 4:24 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

I am an only child who grew up in Denver, Colorado. Christmas at my house was always different from my friends. My dad worked most Christmas Eves/Days at a newspaper and the three of us celebrated Christmas on a day that fit with his work schedule. Of course, Santa always came on Christmas morning, but we enjoyed all other traditions just before or just after December 25th.

It was our family time to open gifts slowly, sing Christmas carols and to share the Christmas story, remembering the birth of Jesus as God’s gift to the world. Family and friends arrived in the afternoon to share a delicious Christmas dinner. It was a special time to enjoy the traditions and joys of the season. No matter what the calendar said, this was “our” Christmas.

Christmas is not a certain day. It is not the shopping, baking, decorating. Christmas is not crossing things off my “to do” list. As my dad taught me, Christmas is a state of mind to be celebrated any day of the year.

Today, I fondly remember my dad and carry his belief that Christmas can be any day you choose. It is a day to remember that God made his love and presence known on earth. It is a time to open our hearts and minds to the Peace and Hope God presented to us. We can celebrate that anytime.
Christmas is lighting candles, beautiful music, cherished family, and treasured friendships. Christmas is LOVE surrounding us and calling us to radiate that LOVE to others.

Prayer: God, be with me as I accept your presence in my life and listen to your stirrings in my heart.

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