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Christmas All Year
Photo: Hemera
A Christmas story in January? Well…yes. And here’s why: Since I was little, I’ve heard people say, “I wish Christmas could last all year long.” But what do they mean? We’d get tired of decorations in our houses day after day. Those special songs on the radio would become common. We’d even grow tired of Christmas dinner and long for watermelon and corn-on-the-cob. I don’t think these are what make us want Christmas to last all year. I think it’s that special feeling that comes from treating others with extra kindness and being treated that way ourselves. That feeing of love, warmth and good will to all men.

Here’s an example: The day after Thanksgiving, my brother Dave went to town in search of a pumpkin pie. Because he and his wife had spent Thanksgiving in the ER with their sick daughter, they’d only grabbed some leftovers at his in-laws late that night before heading home.

“It sure would be nice to have a pumpkin pie,” his wife had said before leaving for work the next morning. But when Dave checked the stores, they were out.

He then tried a nearby restaurant, known for its pies. While he waited in line and looked at pies in a display window, two people crowded in front of him. Not wanting to wait, he asked a waitress, “Do you have pumpkin pie?” But she was too busy. He spotted a boy cleaning tables and asked him. “Let me go in back and check,” he helpfully volunteered. “Thanks,” Dave said. “We didn’t really have a Thanksgiving.” Moments later, the boy returned with a pumpkin pie. But Dave’s happiness lasted only a moment.

“You’re not suppose to bring that out!” hollered the manager as she took the pie. “That’s the last pumpkin pie we have!”

The Whole Restaurant was Watching

The whole restaurant was now watching as the boy explained that Dave’s family didn’t have Thanksgiving.

“Why didn’t you?” she asked.

After Dave finished telling their story, she left and came back…not only with the pie, but a brand new can of whipping cream.

“Have a wonderful Thanksgiving,” she said warmly. Dave offered to pay, but she wouldn’t have it. He offered a tip, but she said, “You don’t tip gifts.”

“She changed every person in that place,” Dave said as he recalled the story. They’d witnessed what it means to celebrate Christmas all year long. It means letting the person behind you at the grocery store with only one item go ahead of you. It means letting the car with its blinker on into your lane. It means calling a greeting to a neighbor you rarely speak to. It means showing a kindness to a co-worker though a note or simple gift. It means thanking your child’s teacher, the mailman or the paperboy. It means saying a cheerful, “Have a good day!” to the bank cashier.

This is what will give us that Christmas feeling we so long for all year long--because this is the heart of Christmas.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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