A certain saintly man named Nicholas decided to throw a great celebration of Christmas, so he sent invitations to everyone he knew, near and far. To everyone in his address file he sent an invitation, to everyone in his e-mail contact list, to Facebook friends and Twitter followers, to everyone on the church mailing list—everybody!
Some of the invitations were received by Scrooges. “Humbug! Christmas!” And they threw the invitations away.
Others went to nervous souls who said, “A Christmas party? Maybe if we called it a ‘holiday party’ or, better yet, a ‘winter celebration,’ but a Christmas party? I really can’t attend that. Someone might get upset.” So they stayed home and managed neither to offend nor celebrate.
Others received the invitation with rejoicing. “It’s about time somebody threw a REAL Christmas party! We’re with you, Nick!” they shouted. They circulated powerful warnings about the war on Christmas, and responded to the “Happy Holidays” of hapless store clerks with a “Merry Christmas!” shouted with warrior’s glee. And when the party came … they were so busy fighting over Christmas that they had no time to celebrate it.
Other folks got the invitation, and their eyes misted with memories, and their hearts melted. They went to the party and had a great time and sang the old songs and heard the old story, and nodded with delight, and when it was over they said, “Wow! Wonderful. See you next year!”
And a few people came to the party, and they sang the songs and heard the story, and they found in the old news new hope and peace and joy and love, and when it was over … it wasn’t over at all. Oh, they still looked the same as before, but their words were more gracious, their actions more compassionate. They looked at life and neighbors differently, and everywhere they went, the party went with them. Now, my friends, go thou and party likewise.