We are Christmas
We are God's hands
To care for one another in these war torn lands
We are Christmas
The love that we share
Will carry one another
Until we understand
We are Christmas
Those are some of the lyrics to my favorite Christmas song, "We Are Christmas." Most people, I would say, have never heard it. It's not on anyone's top 10 Christmas song list, but it should be.
Every holiday season, people get nicer. Some of the edge comes off of us. We give people the benefit of the doubt. We let perceived slights roll off our backs. We reach out to those in need. We commit little acts of kindness. We feel better and others feel better, too. We recognize our friends — and we tell them how special they are to us.
Of course, there are family members who, under normal circumstances, away from the glow of the season, get on our last nerve. But somehow, the magic of Christmas washes over us and we find ourselves sitting, laughing and talking with Uncle Bob, the same Uncle Bob who, six months earlier, we dreaded each nanosecond we spent with him.
For some reason, once Jan. 1 hits, the Christmas magic disappears. We resort to our old selves. We are like pew sitters who go to church religiously only to turn into Attila The Hun once all the amens have faded.
We morph into people divided by race, party, class and sex. We are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. We are the Hulk on steroids. We start telling others, those less fortunate, what they should do, though we know nothing about why they do what they do.
Oh yes, as the last gasp of Christmas magic wears off, we have the instant answers for "those people." We can tell them how they can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps while not noticing they're barefoot.
Why do we allow the Christmas magic to leave us? We ought to be holding on to that feeling like a vise. We do feel better when we are helping others, don’t we? Or are we living a sham during the holiday season?
I think not. I think we all have a spirit within us that wants to be kind and generous. However, there is another spirit inside of us we let take over. That spirit which says we are all that and more. At one time, did we get help from others? Nooo, we did it on our own.
How quickly we forget that our parents put up their house to pay for our college. While we were complaining about dorm food, they were eating pork and beans to make sure we could stay there and take our lives to another level. Yes, there were bootstraps alright, but we weren't doing the pulling.
My every year Christmas wish is to hold onto that feeling of charity and generosity. I have to constantly remind myself of Jesus' words when he gave his greatest commandment: Feed my sheep.
That's why we're here — we are Christmas.
"We are comfort to the hurting
Mending each broken heart
We are friendly to the lonesome
And unite those far apart
We're his hands who touch the sick
And they are instantly whole
We are water for the thirsty
And bring peace to every soul
We are Christmas."
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, super Kwanzaa (did I miss anyone?)
As much as we can, let's try to carry the magic of Christmas with us, at least to Easter.
See the Spelman Glee Club's "We Are Christmas" at YouTube: Search "Spelman Glee Club."
ABOUT THE WRITER
Charles E. Richardson is the Telegraph’s editorial page editor.