Remember that on the 25th of each month we will be revealing one of our secrets for the perfect Christmas in 2012. Today we reveal Secret #9- There is always room for one more.
Secret #9 has a lesson on many levels. If we think to the original Christmas story and the travels of Mary and Joseph, this secret could have made all the difference. The expecting mother needed a place to stay for the night and could find no room. None of the inn keepers in Bethlehem could find room for one more. There was no sense of hospitality or compassion for the expecting mother and her husband. The only choice was to find refuge in the stable among the animals who had no mind to bother with extra guests. Today we can certainly learn that it is right to make room for one more, especially at the holidays. A close friend in need of a place to feel at home, extended family in town for a rare visit, close neighbors for a special meal… all are welcome at the holidays, maybe even expected. This year make it a plan to try to include those you might easily overlook. What about that person at work who never talks of any special plans? Ask them to go shopping with you. Maybe that older neighbor down the street with no family in the area to speak of? Invite them to join you for dinner. How about that family member that you haven’t seen or spoken to in a long time? Get them to join you for one of your holiday events. There are so many ways we could plan to include one more in our holiday plans! Another great idea would be to include one more when out shopping and preparing gifts. Shop for one more- that child or family who have nothing for the season. Your small addition could be a huge difference to another. All of us can find ways to include one more for the giving through our churches, schools, or community. All of us will be much happier knowing that we took the time, energy, and effort to include one more in our joy!
(There is a secondary way one could interpret Secret #9. Think of those Christmas cookies and treats. The holidays shouldn’t be the time to go on a diet! There’s always room for one more cookie, one more glass of eggnog, or one more chocolate treat! Just be sure to share the extra feasting with others.)