2010-01-05 - The Twelfth Day of Christmas
Ephesians 5:16a (The Message): Make the most of every chance you get.
By the time many of you read this, it will be January 5th. It always makes me a little sad, to see how eager some folks seem to "get rid of" Christmas, and forget about it for 11 months. But in reality, in the church throughout history, Christmastide lasts until January 6th, Ephiphany Day, which is when we commemorate the visit of the "Wise Men." In fact, Christmas doesn't even START until December 25th, which is the first day of the "Twelve Days of Christmas." In our family, we celebrate Christmas - including our light displays - until January 6th, savoring the 12 Days of Christmas.
But really, all those of us who are Christians should celebrate Christmas for 12 months, never ceasing. Of course, the primary reason for celebration, the oft-repeated "reason for the season," is the birth of our Savior. We should live year-round, in thankfulness for the "unspeakable gift," as the Apostle Paul put it.
But we can also keep the Christmas spirit alive, as well. Have you given toys or other gifts to a poor family this holiday season? Since the needs continue all year, why not make it a year-round joy, to give to the organization of your choice perhaps one that provides holistic care, education, training for the unemployed etc.?
Have you especially enjoyed the sounds of the season this year? I have learned to appreciate types of music that I had no use for previously, and I intend to continue to occasionaly listen, in appreciation of Gods gifts that are expressed musically.
Do you, like myself, use the holidays as an excuse to touch base with folks that we dont normally see or hear from any other time? Why not attempt to stay in better touch, and to at least pray for them. (I put at least in ironic quotes, because, of course, prayer is the most important gift we can give, anyway.)
Did you spend a lot of time and effort to find special gifts and preparing special foods, to express your love for and appreciation of your family and friends? Wouldnt it be joyous, to do that year-round, to be on the lookout for small remebrances to get as a surprise, for no reason, just as an expression of our love?
I'm sure we can all think of additional elements of the holidays that we can retain, as well. And if we try, we can all live up to the aspirations of Charles Dickens (the author of five holiday works, including A Christmas Carol, who said, I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year...