keeping Christmas in Christmas…

keeping Christmas in Christmas… December 30, 2011

… I find it ironic that so many of the very same people that demand we keep “Christ” in Christmas fail to even observe Christmas during the actual Christmas season. Again and again, it is still Christmas. Christmas doesn’t end on December 26th, it is just beginning. Nor does it end on January 1st. Settle down, take a deep breath and enjoy the still of winter accompanied by the warm glow of the Christmas tree just a little bit longer.

Advent can be a crazy time for many, treated as nothing more than hectic preparation for the one single day. Then, sadly, by December 26th many people over Christmas are all too anxious to rip up the decorations, chuck the tree, and get back to normal business with little or no thought to what this time of year means.

The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us. Adore Him…

Adoration of the Magi, Gentile da Fabriano c. 1423

Advent is the Little Lent before the Christmas season. Christmas is the time after the Nativity of Our Lord to celebrate His birth. How can we do this when all around the rest of the world has moved on?

The week directly following Christmas is still a bit festive. Most commercial light displays are still up till the 31st making Christmastime activities still possible. But then what? How can we keep the party going?

Aside from keeping our decorations at home up a bit longer, please leave me a comment and share what you do, either yourself or your family, to keep celebrating the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas, y’all.

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  • We don’t put our tree up until December 23, then we keep it up until Christmas actually ends. We also leave our lights up until Christmas is over, they tend to go up earlier than the tree because I’ve got a Clark Griswold in my house. We don’t start listening to Christmas music until Christmas starts, we don’t watch Christmas movies until Christmas starts, etc.

  • Dr. Eric

    Keep your decorations up until Candlemas!

  • The rush to prepare before Christmas Day makes my family SO grateful for the lovely calm in the days after, right up until January 3rd or 4th when school starts again. We put up the tree and lights the last few weeks of Advent – honestly, if we waited until the 23rd or 24th to put up decorations, we would not have time. They would not go up at all!

    We keep all the Christmas decor in place until after Epiphany, listen to Christmas carols, and pay close attention to the numerous feast days within the season. This is the time to play board games with family and friends, have Christmas cookies and coffee with the neighbors, and relax with each other.

    • To each his own, in terms of decorations. Not saying my way is best for all, but it’s best for my family. I tend not to do a lot of decorations anyway, so it works for us. 

  • We waited this year until 2 weeks before Christmas to get the tree. Good because it was 50% off, bad because it was very dry. Unfortunately there is no other way to dispose of the tree except by city garbage and they only do pick ups on certain days so we had to take the tree down today. Plus it was becoming a fire hazard! We do leave the lights up and decorations in the house . I have a fairly elaborate Nativity set that we wait until the right time for the arrival of each person including waiting for the Wise Men. I’m hoping that my children will have a stronger religious impression of Christmas by placing each piece on the proper day.

  • When the children were little I would make them paper crowns to wear on Epiphany. (Nothing fancy, just cut from brown paper bags and decorated with colored markers.) We would sing “We Three Kings” as we came into the living room in the early morning and gathered around the creche. My husband would read about the Magi from the gospel of Matthew. We would have some special prayers and then bless the house with holy water and inscribe the initials of the three kings above the front door. Then we’d have presents just like on Christmas. And a special dinner in the evening.

    We still do pretty much the same thing now, minus the paper crowns.


    • I love this idea! We might just be stealing it! 

  • Anonymous

    Frankly all the lights and craziness are relegated to Advent, and then we enjoy each other after. Mass and bible stories fill our Christmas season as well as a slower pace. To me it’s exactly like the preparation and then arrival of a new baby.

  • samcarter

    Our tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Eve, at least. I don’t bake Christmas cookies until after the 25th. Not because I’m lazy, but it’s a great activity during the vacation.

    We celebrate Epiphany. Christmas Day, we just get stockings, because it’s Jesus’ birthday and everybody at a birthday party gets party favors. Epiphany is for the big presents (Jesus got His presents then, so He had to wait as well), and a big dinner like turkey and stuffing.

    During the Twelve Days of Christmas I move the Wise Men to a different place every day, and whoever finds them first gets to raid a small ornament on the Christmas tree in which I hide candy.

    The upshot of this is I have kids who, when they see neighbors putting up lights on Thanksgiving, yell in frustration, “It’s NOT EVEN CHRISTMAS YET!” and who, when they see Valentine’s Day merchandise in the stores on December 27th or so, grumble, “It’s still Christmas, don’t they KNOW that?” I am raising the next generation of curmudgeons.

    • I saw Easter candy at the store yesterday!  Christmas isn’t over and it is not time for Lent to begin and I saw Easter candy!  Egads!

  • The saddest part of ending Christmas on the day that it starts is that we no longer hear the Christmas Carols.

  • Deacon Dean Herrick

    We eagerly await the availability of the first king cake here in New Orleans!!