Today I’m writing about two of my great loves—words and Karen Carpenter. Yesterday I was listening to Christmas music, and though I usually keep the volume at a nice low background level, I turn it up when one of the great voices comes on. As I sat listening to “Merry Christmas, Darling” for the 122nd time, a line caught my attention in a way it never had before: “…I can dream and in my dreams/I’m Christmasing with you.”

Wow, I thought, “Christmasing.” Now that’s a great verb! (That hasn’t been my reaction with other noun-to-verb transitions. It took me a while to become comfortable with “office” as a verb. I warmed up a little more quickly to “text,” but the past tense still makes me a little tongue-tied.)


In the song, I guess it means “celebrating,” or maybe even “snuggling,” two very nice ideas. But what if Christmasing became part of our vernacular? We could use it year around, and every time we used it, we’d be reminded of all the wonder of Christmas and the birth of Christ. (I’m ignoring the possibility that the word could become trite and meaningless.)

Here, in no particular order, are some possible definitions for the verb “to Christmas.”

  • To be as faithful in attending worship year around as we are at Advent and Easter
  • To give generously, both to bring delight to those we know and to assist and encourage those we don’t
  • To share the Jesus story in every season as freely and enthusiastically as we do at Christmas
  • To believe in miracles despite the naysayers
  • To spend time baking special treats and then giving them all away
  • To pay close attention to the plight of the poor and work to right inequities
  • To show compassion to those who put on a cheerful front but are actually lonely, ill, or without hope
  • To spend less time working and more time playing
  • To let children teach you a thing or two about joy, fun, love, and authenticity
  • To smile and greet people all along your way instead of being absorbed in your own tasks
  • To put your faith in Jesus Christ, and daily share in Christ’s ministry of love, peace, justice, and reconciliation
  • To show appreciation to those whose efforts enhance your life but who often go unnoticed

These are some of the ones I thought of, but I bet that you can come up with many more. If you do, I’d love for you to send them to me.

Always in Hope,