A friend of mine commented yesterday that the tree was down and the Christmas decorations packed away for another year. I know many people who do this; mainly because they have some vacation time between Christmas and New Years and return to the hustle and bustle of work & school right after the 1st of the year. I understand this but I still can't do this because I want to celebrate the entire Christmas season. For many Christians, especially Catholics, Christmas is still in the very early stages as far as a season goes. Whether we follow the season of Christmas as outlined in the Catholic ordo or the liturgical calendar or we just follow the song the 12 days of Christmas, we're just on day 5 of this special season.
If we attend Mass any day this week, or we just pray along with the breviary(the daily office of prayers) and when we attend this Sunday, we will hear Christmas carols. Why? Because it is still Christmas season. In fact, the Christmas season traditionally ends on January 6th, which for centuries was the Feast of the Epiphany or what we called as children Little Christmas. This would be when we celebrated the visit of the Magi and the giving of gifts to the child Jesus of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Years ago the Church moved this feast to the Sunday after the 6th and this year that will fall on January 8th. So we can at least say with confidence that the Christmas season this year does not end until that Sunday, January 8th.
I still wish folks Merry Christmas and will do so for at least a few more days. For me, even all the hoopla around New Years based celebrations are just icing on the cake for Christmas. So what about the dilema of taking down decorations when we can? How about this for a compromise: at least leave the creche, the nativity scene, up in your home and make it a focus for the remainder of this Christmas season. Make an emphasis of the wise men as January 6th and 8th draw near. Read the beautiful Gospel stories of those early days of Jesus as a babe. And keep the Christmas season alive until it's really over, and then all year long in our hearts and minds.
Pause for Prayer: SATURDAY 5/25
4 minutes ago