A Christmas paraphase of Corinthians1:13

Poetry to inform the Christmas season

To the Expositor:

If I speak with great eloquence about Christmas
but don’t live out the words with concrete actions, I am a liar.
If I go to great lengths to practice charity, make amends
but don’t do it lovingly and with serenity I am an imposter.
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table
at mealtime, but do not show love to my family,
or if I isolate and eat all the Christmas food instead of sharing,
I’m just not living out the true message of Christmas.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home
and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties
and sing in the choir’s cantata
but do not focus on the birthday of Christ,
I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home
that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return
but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust.
But giving the gift of love will endure.
The gift of love will endure.
Indeed, that is what Christmas is all about.
The gift of love.

Rev. Jean Brown,
Haweater and retired United Church clergy
Sharbot Lake (but originally from Mindemoya)