Christmas joy need not be once-a-year experience
As thanks obviously defines our Thanksgiving observance, so joy is the more subtle meaning behind Christmas.
For Christians, it's the joy of celebrating with the birth of the Savior and his promise that believers can be cleansed of the actions of their baser selves.
But even the most irreligious should be open to accepting the message of joy and of sharing — at least for a day — the sweeping happiness that we can all be better, more generous, kinder and forgiving. This gift of the day is the knowledge we get more when we give joy to others.
If that sounds familiar, it’s probably because we remember the ending of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” from reading the novel or watching one of its many movie adaptations.
It's a hope of most on Christmas Day that if our expansive feelings could be captured and extended, there would indeed be peace on earth. But unfortunately, the compromises of day-to-day life makes it difficult to maintain the grace that fills us on Christmas.
We would suggest one way to extend the joy would be to look for opportunities to donate time or money to the many worthy causes that now need our help more than usual in these desperate times. It will once again put us in touch with Christmas joy and the knowledge that giving enriches the giver.