Aside from all the hype of the secular world, one of the greatest things about Christmas, for the Church is the generosity during the Christmas season. Christmas seems to bring that out, doesn’t it? We put money in red kettles, give food to food banks, put an extra something in the collection baskets, make donations in people’s names for the holidays, remember our dead, and so on. And that is all so very great. God expects us to be generous.
But the sad fact is that it all stops about the time the Christmas carol station on your local radio FM band stops playing carols. I haven’t checked yet, but where I am today, I would be willing to bet that they’re no longer playing carols, but have gone back to light rock. The problem is that Christmas just started yesterday. What we’ve been in a frenzy over the last few weeks is the Coming of Jesus, not His arrival. Christmas just started. One of the hardest concepts for people to understand is that the song The Twelve Days of Christmas STARTS on Christmas day, and goes to Epiphany, January 6.
So during Christmas season, we celebrate His birth, Stephen’s martyrdom, St. John the Apostle, the Holy Family, the circumcision of Jesus, and His baptism in the Jordan, which ends Christmas season.
But I often hear people lament that they wish Christmas could last all year long. And it can. No, you probably can’t afford the light bill for the Christmas lights all year, or giving presents to all on your list all year, but you can do something. Extend the spirit of generosity past the Christmas season. Find a way to be generous every day. It doesn’t have to be much. For me, I give some kind of food to a homeless guy on my way to work. Like a cereal bar. That’s been my modus operandi, but now I’m challenged to do a little more. Every day. There was this one disabled vet I saw one day, and I asked him if he was hungry. Not everyone likes the charity I give, because I don’t carry much money around in the city. So he said he was so I gave him one of my lunch bars. The next time I saw him, he thanked me. He said he loved the taste, and that it helped.
So I would challenge you to do something for someone every day. Do a good deed-help someone some way. Pick up trash you see blowing around and throw it away. Put your grocery cart in the coral the have in the parking lot, or bring it back to the store. Tell the porter in the airport bathroom “Thank you.” But look for something to do every day. If everyone starts doing this, won’t the world be a better place?
God bless you this Christmas Season.