Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How to Keep the Christmas Spirit All Year Long

The secular world has already said "goodbye" to Christmas. I went to a local store today, two days after Christmas, and not only were the Christmas items all 50% off and the Valentine gifts/candy predominantly displayed, but there was also Easter candy now on sale! Yet, even for those of us who prefer to enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas until January 6th, it's easy to lose that joyful spirit of giving that permeates Advent and Christmas as the year continues on.

Christmas Jars is a ten-year-old book by Jason F. Wright, but I read it for the first time on Christmas Eve. What a lovely story! On a New Year's Eve, Louise Jensen finds an abandoned baby girl at a local diner. She names the baby Hope and raises her as her own.

Many years later, Louise has died and Hope, a journalist, is facing Christmas Eve on her own for the first time. She goes home to her apartment only to find that she has been robbed. Yet, in the midst of all that chaos, someone leaves a jar full of coins outside her door. It is labeled, "Christmas Jar." Her journalistic instincts take over and she is determined to find the source of the Christmas Jar, but that investigation will reveal more than she ever expected.

This book has inspired many others to keep Christmas Jars, saving loose change throughout the year to share with someone anonymously in the days leading up to Christmas. The version I read is a collector's edition which includes stories of some of those who have received these jars and the difference it made in their lives. It is truly touching and beautiful and it might just inspire you to keep a Christmas Jar of your own all year long. Every time you throw in some loose change, you'll remember Christmas, and keep a little bit of that spirit all year long.

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