Let’s have ‘Christmas’ all year long

Published 12:01 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

Christmas has come and gone — another year has passed.

It tends to bring out the best in us. We sing carols that cross our lips but once a year. We send cards of good cheer and give presents to those we love. We decorate our homes; our yards and we go to church to focus on God and the birth of His son, Jesus.

We light candles and we pray for world peace. We put our best foot forward. We make eye contact and speak to everyone we meet whether we know them or not. We actually stop our cars and let others in the lines we have been sitting in for seemingly hours.

We tolerate and overlook things we normally wouldn’t and we offer kind gestures only because it is Christmas.

We pray more, sing more, and carry more joy in our hearts and have more contentment in our lives and peace in our souls. We look for happiness and if we don’t find it we create it.

When you put away Christmas decorations, make a vow to celebrate the meaning of Christmas all year long. (Contributed)

We help anyone and everyone who needs it. We look for the needy and extend a helping hand. We feed the hungry and cloth the poor. We participate in food drives and buy gifts for those less fortunate whose names are on the Angel Tree.

If we don’t volunteer to ring the bell ourselves, we smile at those who do and drop change in every red bucket we see. Sometimes we drop $20 bills in them too.

We are happy during Christmas and we stretch it out as long as we can beginning the day after Thanksgiving until the first of the New Year.

Then we stop!

We take down all the decorations and stop the festivities just as quickly as we started them. Then, sadly Christmas is over — and sadly, so is everything that goes with it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we treated every day like Christmas — performing random acts of kindness, being happy, giving to others, celebrating the birth and life of Christ, feeding the hungry and clothing the poor?

So while we’re putting away our decorations, lights and trees, let’s vow not to put away the joy, happiness, spirit and meaning of Christmas. Let’s keep it all year long. If we do, Shelby County will be a better place. Let’s have “Christmas” all year long.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.