The festivities are over. People are starting to take their Christmas trees and decorations down. The Christmas lights no longer sparkle, and the excitement and merriment of the season fades slowly as people around the world embark on another year. The Christmas spirit slowly leaves homes and communities. Back to reality, most people say. But isn’t reality supposed to be joyful, and full of love, gratitude and service that is not limited just to the Christmas season? The Christmas spirit is the spirit of Christ and it can be felt not only during Christmas, but throughout the year.

During the Christmas season, people focus on the important things in life—family, giving service, sharing gifts, being kind and considerate, and looking one after the other. What would the world look like if people around the world focusrd on these important things throughout the year? Would the joy and excitement of the Christmas season thrive every day regardless of the season?

Jesus Christ must rejoice during Christmas because many people remember His birth, life and Atonement. But what He truly wants is for us to remember Him always throughout the year. He wants us to keep the Christmas spirit, which is Christ’s spirit, in our lives. He wants us to continue to be a little kinder and more forgiving each day. He wants the joy we feel during Christmas to stretch until the next Christmas season. He wants the hope of His coming and Atonement be ever-present in our lives.

When we reflect on why the Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year, we must conclude that it’s because of people giving of themselves to others—they are more compassionate and considerate, serve more, treat others with greater kindness, focus more on the Savior Jesus Christ, count their blessings, share their resources with those in need, and their efforts are fixed more often on making the people they love happy. These are acts of love that we can continue even after the Christmas season has past. These acts of service are what warm hearts and enrich lives every single season of the year. He expects us to keep the Christmas spirit, His spirit, in our hearts and lives after Christmas.

Why do we have to keep the Christmas spirit? Because there will always be hearts to gladden, hands to lift up, lives to cheer, and joy and blessings to be shared with our fellow men. Because He came, we can have joy in this life and the life to come. Because He came, we can have everlasting life. Because He came, we can look forward to His coming with gladness of heart and the light of hope. And by keeping the Christmas spirit, it serves as a reminder that we can have all these blessings in our lives because He came.