“Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let your joy overflow! And let gentleness be seen in every relationship, for our Lord is ever near” (Philippians 4:4,5 TPT).
Here we are in that funky week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. A time when many of us feel let down, confused as to what day it is, overfed and overweight, cluttered in mind and home, and relieved to some degree that it’s all over. We may feel an overwhelming urge to clean the house, dejunk, eat vegetables, and set goals for the new year.
When I was a child, there was a certain sadness that would sweep over me late on December 25 because I knew that come morning, it was all over. So I would listen to the last refrains of Christmas carols on the radio as I drifted off to sleep knowing that in the morning, it would be back to the usual pop and hit songs. Sure, we would leave the tree and decorations up until New Year’s Day, but really, for all practical purposes, Christmas was over for another year. Except in church. There I was reminded it was still the Christmas season officially until January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. During Mass, we would still sing Christmas carols and read Christmas Scripture passages. And my little girl’s heart was satisfied with what I thought was an extended Christmas while all the rest of the world had moved on.
On the church calendar, the true celebration of Christmas comes on and AFTER Christmas Day because that speaks of the magnificent change that occurred when we went from B.C. to A.D. The birth of our son’s second boy, Ezekiel, changed everything for him and Adrienne and turned their world upside down once again! But nothing like the birth of THAT Baby Boy, which changed even our calendar, because He was no ordinary baby. He was God in the flesh, and He came on mission.
The 12 Days of Christmas are not just the words of a cryptic traditional carol. They are a time of celebration of the grandest kind, but most people are simply too tired after Christmas Day to do any more celebrating. Most likely, it’s because we spent ourselves so completely on all the preparations during Advent, prior to the Day.
I propose we turn things around. Let’s start really celebrating Christmas on December 26 by remembering we are part of this strange society of people, Christ followers, whose world has been turned “right side up” by this Baby! He is God in the flesh — born for us, died for us, raised for us, and lives in us. Keep singing the Christmas carols and wishing everyone you meet a Merry Christmas Season!
~ Janet Mueller, Writer
~ Deana Harvey, Artist