Keep the joy of Christmas all year long

Christmas 2015 is another one for the record books, what with all its revelry, the full moon and the hottest temperatures on record here in the south. For most, it was indeed a wonderful time of year. All that’s left now is to take down the tree, pack up the lights, sort through the gifts and take a deep sigh of relief.

But with the holiday less than a week old, we hope the feelings that seem to come along each year between oh, say, Dec. 23 and Dec. 25, will linger. You know those feelings — compassion and love, a yearning to be with friends and family, a desire to be our best self, someone who pays more attention to those around us than the smartphones gripped tightly in our hands.

It’s unimaginable, really, why we don’t allow those feelings to linger longer. After all, aren’t we the same people today, nearly a week after celebrating Christmas, than were were just a few days ago when it was easy to be kind, lend that helping hand or offer a hug?

Aren’t we the same individuals who went out of our way to call extended family, sit down to meals with moms and dads, brothers and sisters and in-laws that many of us may only see or call once or twice a year?

If we are — and we dare say most everyone fits firmly into that category — then it should not be difficult to let the spirit that fills our souls at Christmas rest within our hearts the entire year through.

Imagine the kind of world we’d live in if we’d only allow the stillness and peace of those holy nights to be the order of each and every day.

As unrealistic as it may sound, we all have the power within us to be the loving, kind and caring people that we’ve been for the past few days, giving to others less fortunate than ourselves, not because a holiday seems to demand it from us but simply because it is the right thing to do on any given day of the year; visiting and/or calling our parents, siblings, aunts,uncles, nieces and nephews because we genuinely want to see them or know how they are rather than simply because it’s what we’re supposed to do at Christmas; actually taking time away from work to relax and unwind, not simply because the office is closed for the holiday but because we know we need and should do it more often.

In other words, why can’t we let a little Christmas into our lives each and every day?

With just a few days left until 2016 comes roaring into our lives with all the hope and wonder that any new year brings, we urge everyone to stop long enough to relish the people we become during Christmas and consider showing that better part of ourselves all year long. In fact, why not make it a resolution of sorts?

Perhaps we’ll allow the image of a newborn child to give us hope for this world and open our hearts wide to the possibility that, all the year through, we can offer love and good will to those around us.

If we can do that, then even after the paper is put away, the presents have been relegated to a closet and the holiday has been bound in photo books or burned onto DVDs, then Christmas 2015 will mark the beginning of something wonderful — a time when the magic of one holiday can be reflected in the hearts and minds of people all around the world.