Christmas all year long

Although it was only October, I found myself singing a Christmas carol while inching through Washington, D.C., rush-hour traffic.

“O come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,” I bellowed in the solitude of my car. “Imagine that,” I thought with satisfaction. “I can’t wait for the holidays!”

If I could make it happen, Christmas would last 365 days a year. I want a yearlong Christmas because it brings such pleasant memories. Christmas reminds me of love and peace, of family and laughter, of giving and receiving and of warmth and happiness. To me, Christmas brings not only thoughts of Santa but also the arrival of a savior in Bethlehem.

Courtesy of the Chaplain's office
Chaplain Barry Black

Christmas also brings thoughts of loved ones no longer with me. I remember my childhood, my mother and father, and the values they planted in the soil of my soul. These memories sometimes bring tears to my eyes — a sweet, sweet sorrow.

I want Christmas to last all year because it’s an opportune time to think of those who are less fortunate. During the holidays, I enjoy reaching out to people who don’t have much and being blessed by their joyful responses to my gifts. As the writer Luke reminds us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I’ve learned that reaching out to those in need also enables me to invest in their future.

Finally, I want Christmas to last all year because our world needs it. Our planet has grown a little leaner, colder, sadder, older. The music and laughter of Christmas reminds me of another dimension, it fuels my faith that somewhere beyond this often difficult life there’s a peaceful place for all eternity.

“O come let us adore Him. …” There I go singing again!

Black is the chaplain of the United States Senate.