Don’t Wait until Next Year by John O’Leary

“Is that all?”

It’s an innocent enough question. Well, unless it’s being asked to you by one of your kids on Christmas morning.

Let me explain. Last Christmas Eve we went to church, to my parents’ Christmas celebration, and then to Beth’s family for dessert, coffee and more holiday cheer. We stayed up late, got up early, lined up on the steps, and raced down together to see if Santa came.

Oh man, he came and the party began!

The kids checked their stockings, tore into their gifts, devoured their candy and had a freaking blast!

And then my oldest, Jack, after opening his last present, looked at me and asked, “Is that all?”

Is that all?!

After dealing with all the traffic and crowded stores and racing around to get you these special gifts that were on your list you’re going to ask “Is that all?”

After wrapping and stuffing stockings and laying them around the tree and eating three bites of carrots and two sips of milk from Rudolph’s bowl before going to bed at 3 AM you’re going to ask “Is that all?”

I looked back back at my little man and remind him, “No. This it not it at all.”

There is so much more. The presents and paper and lights and cookies and cards are just an excuse to celebrate what it is all actually about.

You see, real joy, peace, and love are seldom wrapped, rarely arrive through the chimney and are generally not found under the tree. Sometimes they arrive as an old friend, a gentle snow, a new love or a family tradition.

They may arrive through the least likely of packages: growing out of financial woes and relational challenges; flight delays and personal struggles. Typically they will be birthed when no one is around, no one notices, no one even fathoms the great gift that just arrived. hey may arrive through the least likely of packages:

This holiday season and Christmas week, take pause to open up, celebrate and rejoice in the amazing gifts of your life. The seemingly good and bad of your life unite to lead you perfectly to where you are today and providentially to what’s possible tomorrow.

Don’t look up after opening your last gift this year and wonder, “Is that all?”  Don’t wait until next year to unwrap a present that arrived 2,000 years ago. It’s the greatest you’ll ever open: that regardless of what you encounter today or may face tomorrow, there is reason to rejoice, reason to celebrate and reason to sing out.

As Linus reminded Charlie Brown as he also struggled with the holiday season: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.”

That’s what Christmas is all about. So, is that all?

Yup, that is all. And that is more than enough.

I wish each of you a healthy and happy holiday, a very merry Christmas, and a joy filled New Year. The best is yet to come.

 

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