This time of year, it's popular -- and, in my opinion, pointless -- to complain that people are only being nice to one another because it's Christmas time. You hear, "I'll be glad when Christmas is over so people can act like themselves again.” And, "Why do people have to wait 'til Christmas to be nice to each other? It won't last."
So what if we suspend reality for a few days or weeks around Christmas? The good feelings that are exchanged among co-workers; the easing up of hostilities among neighbors; the rediscovered warmth among family members; the smiles (and eye contact!) between strangers; the attention we give each other; the surprises -- offered and received -- that tickle us; the uninterrupted laughing; the staying up late; the airport runs to pick up those coming home; the get-togethers with best pals; all this confirms our humanity and our human kindness. It makes our hearts stronger and our spirits more like Christ's.
All this gives us the fuel and assurance to move on through our days of haste and drudge and deadlines; and we excitedly look toward the same time next year when we can open ourselves up again and let our guard down, knowing we won't be the only ones. Day-to-day life is unpredictable. So, yes, we need a little -- a whole lot of -- Christmas!