The holidays are done. I’m betting many of you have already done what it took me a few extra days to get around to: taking down the tree, and packing up the trimmings of the season. I had a couple of reasons for delaying the inevitable, one of which was I just liked my tree so much! It was bright and cheery and I hated to see it go!

My tree topper this year was a wooden sign that simply said,  “Joy.” As I contemplated un-decorating I realized I was going to miss it most of all. I actually thought, “I hate to have to pack up that joy!”

That’s when the Lord spoke into my spirit.

Christmas may be done. The lights and ornaments may be packed away till after Thanksgiving. But guess what?

We get to keep the joy!

You heard me. We don’t have to leave behind the peace, joy, and love that permeate the Christmas season. The Savior whose birth was heralded by angels walks with us not just in December, but in January, and June, and November, and all the months in between. We can have joy no matter what season (literal or figurative) we are in

This year,  I issue a challenge (and take it on myself). Let’s choose to take the joy we had two weeks ago with us for the rest of 2014. Let’s practice joy in all circumstances, at all times. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

And next Christmas, we can look back and see how our year has been different because we didn’t pack away our joy.