Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why Celebrating Christmas as a Season Makes Sense


So after the festivities and fun (and sometimes fever) surrounding Christmas Day, what's next?  Does Christmas end on December 25, after all it's been celebrated since before Thanksgiving for many families and stores?  According to the radio channels, Christmas must be over since there are no more carols being heard and stores no longer play the cheerful tunes. (And my family misses hearing the carols AFTER Christmas Day!) Now stores are rushing to set up for the next holiday, Saint Valentine's Day

All families have their Christmas traditions and have good reasons for them.  So if you have already packed up the decorations and thrown your tree to the curb, that's fine, but I invite you to keep reading.  I hope what I say here may give you greater insight on why you may see others keeping Christmas decorations set up and lit up well past Christmas Day.  I've been pondering a lot lately of why celebrating Christmas as a season vs. just one day makes sense.
 
 
Lacy at Catholic Icing has a great post about thinking about Advent (preparation before Christmas) as a time of nesting to prepare our hearts and homes for Jesus.   I loved her analogies and examples in the post of how preparing for the birth of Baby Jesus is similar to nesting for a baby.

After I read Lacy's post and have seen and heard how others take down decorations soon after Christmas Day, you could say I had an epiphany myself: celebrating Christmas as a season is very much like celebrating the birth of child for a family.

But how you may ask?

* Each year on Christmas Day, Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus / Each year on a baby's birthday families celebrate the birth of their child.

* We greet others with "Merry Christmas!" past Christmas Day to join in the celebration of our newborn King / We tell families "Congratulations" past their baby's birth date to join in the celebration of their newborn.  
* The 12 days of Christmas are the 12 days after Christmas Day, which is a time of rejoicing and celebrating about Jesus' birth / the days/weeks following the birth of child into a family is certainly a time of rejoicing, celebrating and welcoming the new child into this world. 
* Christmas lights and decorations stay lit and up several days past Christmas Day since we celebrate a season and not just a day / parents' homes are decorated with "Welcome Home" signs, balloons, flowers and beautiful nurseries not just on the baby's birth day, but for many days following the joyous birth.

*Christmas cards are still being sent and delivered past December 25 (because rejoicing about Jesus' birth lasts beyond Christmas Day)  / Family and friends send cards of congratulations to the family (because rejoicing about a baby's birth lasts beyond the baby's birth day)  
* 12 days after Christmas Day is the Epiphany, where the 3 Wise Men bring gifts to Baby Jesus / friends and family bring gifts to a new baby 12 minutes, 12 hours, 12 days, and maybe even 12 weeks after a baby is born.  
* On Sunday, December 28 in the Catholic liturgical calendar, we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family and the Holy Family had its challenges, difficulties, tense moments and opportunities for misunderstandings. / When a baby is born into their loving family, there is much celebrating and feasting, yet at the same time a baby comes into a family that has plenty of trials and triumphs too!   

My comparisons are simplistic, but I hope it has given you some greater insight on how our family thinks about Christmas as more than just one day.  If the Christmas season extends well past Christmas Day, how do some families make a conscious effort to celebrate the joyous and holy season?   I'm glad you asked. :)   

Here are some great blog posts that focus on ways to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas leading up to the Feast of the Epiphany.  







And HERE is a similar version of the traditional "12 Days of Christmas" song that can help you meditate on the tenets of the Catholic faith. 

And then there is the question of when does Christmas end?  That's a whole new topic, but you can go HERE to read up on when Christmas actually ends. 

What do you think about the celebration of Christmas as more than just one day?  Maybe a day is all your family celebrates because that's your family's traditions, maybe not?  I would love to hear your thoughts about this! :)  

Be sure to check out my 12 favorite posts of 2014 as a way to close out another year of blogging and memories! 


12 comments:

Chris said...

GREAT post...I'll enjoy the links you included as well and the reasons behind celebrating the season, not just the day.

THANKS, Tracy.....

"See" you soon!

Wonderful post and one more people need to see and reflect on. Your analogies may be simple but they give right perspective in showing how natural it is to continue celebrating.

Billie Jo said...

Soooo enjoyed this!
And it is true...while many have their own reasons and traditions and end Christmas early, we choose to continue our celebration long after the 26th. We do this for the reasons you pointed out, and also because as a family, we enjoy being together during this most special season. Thank you for sharing, and I hope your family continues to enjoy! : )

Thanks for reminding us to keep the Christmas spirit going.

Thanks Chris for your visit and comments! Continue to enjoy this holy season! :)

Yes Tara, that's a perfect way to summarize my thoughts when you stated how natural it is to continue to celebrate Christmas! Thanks for your visit and comment!

Billie Jo,
Yes, family time during this season is so special and it's nice to continue to celebrate the season with them! I hope you are having a blessed Christmas too!

Ginger said...

Tracy, this has really been on my heart lately too. Excellent points you make. Merry Christmas to you all!

I'm glad you can relate to this post Ginger. Thank you for visiting and commenting! If my post here gets one person to see why many people leave up decorations way past Christmas Day, when they don't know why, then my humble efforts have been fruitful! :) Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Mary Flynn said...

Great post, Tracy! Your blog is so fun and you have so many awesome links! What a wealth of information :)

Hi Mary!

Thanks so much for stopping in and commenting! So glad you thought my post was full of helpful information! God bless!

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