Lk. 2:19. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

The spirit of Christmas should not be confined to a single calendar day. The Bible did not attach any significance to a single day but rather to the life-changing and day-by-day difference Jesus made to those who come to Him.

Walter A. Maier described the desire to hold on to Christmas when he wrote, “A few moments more to linger in the colorful radiance of the Christmas-tree, a few moments more to blend our hearts and voices in the cheerful Christmas melodies, a few moments more to enjoy the happiness that comes to our reunited family circles on Christmas, and this day of days from which we unwillingly release our grasp is gone and has given way to the tomorrow, in which, as men resume their wonted activities, the spell of Christmas is often broken, its luster dimmed, its message forgotten. But Christmas is too wonderfully magnificent to be confined to one solitary, fleeting day. There is rather a deathless significance in this Child of Christmas, a permanent and divinely bestowed gift of God, which brings perpetual happiness, immeasurable and unspeakable, both here and hereafter.”

Are you willing...

to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children;

to remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;

to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you;

to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you;

to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open—

Are you willing to do these things, even for a day?

Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing...

to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world— stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death— and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?

Then you can keep Christmas. And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?

But you can never keep it alone.

(Keeping Christmas, Henry Van Dyke)