Let the spirit of Christmas linger through you
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  • The work of Christmas begins
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    Soul Rythem

    Sharing the wonder and joy of Christmas

    Margarita’s eyes lit up and twinkled when she started talking about her preparations for Christmas. Her tree has been up and decorated since Dec. 1 and will remain in place until early January.  It’s her way of extending her favorite season.  She loves it all — the tree, the nativity scene, the lights, the music, and most of all The Reason for the season.

    I asked Margarita, a gentle woman with a sweet spirit, about her holiday traditions as we were having dessert yesterday at the annual building-wide Christmas Celebration at the D.C. Baptist Convention building.  I hadn’t plan on staying for the office party after finishing a meeting there, but I’m glad I did.

    After eating, those of us gathered in the room used colored paper and other supplies on our tables to create ornaments for the small tree in the center of the room.  It was a fun, laugh-invoking exercise that ushered me further into the holiday spirit.  The tree also looked great, a creative reminder of the innocence and wonder of this time of year.

    But the Christmas contagion that I am now experiencing came from my brief conversation with Margarita.  Christmas is her favorite time of year, beamed the mother of three adult children.  The holiday brings sweet memories of her childhood Christmases in San Salvador.  Her parents made Christmas Eve a special time for Margarita and her four siblings. “I don’t know how they managed to get us toys,” she recalled  fondly.

    Her parents would allow their children to play outside until close to midnight, Margarita said, before calling them inside for the evening’s festivities. Santa Claus was not a part of their holiday tradition. Her parents would say “Baby Jesus brought the toys,” she said.

    The spirit of her early Christmases never left her. Margarita  said someone recently told her,  “It’s like I become a child again.”

    That we all could approach and enjoy this season with such child-like wonder focused on the gift that Jesus is.  As we open our eyes and hearts anew, we have the chance to experience the days leading up to Christmas with a fresh hope and joy. Our joy would be contagious too, our anticipation for the coming Christ would  be written all over our faces. It would  be etched in our hearts.  What a great gift to pass along to someone else.

    “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 
    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”    Luke 2: 8-14

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