After Thanksgiving holiday, English classes composed extended definitions of the abstract noun Christmas following the pattern of St. Paul’s extended definition of love in I Corinthians 13. I wrote along with them. Here’s my extended definition.
If I buy extravagant gifts to impress my friends and family but do not have Christmas, I am an ostentatious hypocrite with an impoverished spirit. And if I have the applause of men and wealth beyond imagination; if I have all that secular culture yearns for but do not have Christmas, I am nothing. If I donate groceries to the food bank, and if I drop large bills into the Salvation Army’s collection pot outside of Wal-Mart but do not have Christmas, I gain nothing.
Christmas is soft, Christmas is holy. It is not loud, it is not vain, it is not worldly. It is not pretentious, it does not promote itself in the marketplace, it is not crass, it does not abide in wreaths of fir and holly.
It does not rejoice over the showiness of men but rejoices with humble shepherds bowing in rapt reverence before the baby Lamb of God. It envelops all truth, gives hope to all mankind, breathes life into amazing grace, spreads salvation to the ends of the earth.
Christmas never fails!