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A License to Love

I heard a great word yesterday regarding this season.  Regardless of whom you come in contact with, Jew or Gentile, agnostic or atheist, Protestant or Catholic, conservative or liberal there is an allowance for, even an expectation of different behavior at Christmas.  Unlike Easter, where one is truly confronted with sin and the price of redemption, who can refuse the story of a Child in Bethlehem, or the kind receipt of a gift, regardless of how token?

Somehow Christmas is different than other seasons, not just the materialistic commercialism that compels one to purchase costly gifts, but the openness of others to be simply loved.

Take advantage of the moment to love others…use your license to love!

I would encourage you also, to allow the moments of Christmas to write on your heart what life would be like if we daily reached out to others in the true love of Christmas, even when loving might cost us much more than the price of a gift.  Love offered daily can bring ridicule or personal suffering…as our loving often then transports others beyond the emotional moment of simply feeling loved, to a place of understanding that they are in fact loved.  What if daily, instead of trying to live by the principles of Christ we opened ourselves to be Christ to others, to clothe the naked with our extra coats, to feed the poor even if it meant we fasted, to take time with the lonely though if might prevent some special time with our many friends?

Could Christmas be a life style rather than a season?

“The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. ‘Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?’

‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’”  TheVelveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

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