Here is one thing I love about my husband. He truly believes that Christmas lasts until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This morning, when I mentioned something about Christmas being over, he said “There are twelve days of Christmas.” Several times today, I have heard him say this same sentence to other family members. For John, Christmas is not a one-day event. The entire Christmas season is a time filled with joy and wonder. I can learn a lot from his attitude.
For me, the season tends to flow from Christmas to Christmas cleanup and then right into making New Year’s resolutions. The joy of Christmas is over too soon, replaced by unrealistic expectations of changes I need to try to make before another year slips away.
Maybe this year I will approach things a little bit differently. Maybe I will take a cue from John and let Christmas last a little bit longer. Maybe I will let Christmas light shine in my heart for a little while before I start doing a self-inventory that illuminates all my flaws. Maybe I won’t make ridiculous New Year’s resolutions before January 1st. Instead, maybe I will listen to the spirit of the entire Christmas season, let divine grace stir in me God’s call for my life in 2011, and then respond out of thanksgiving and joy.
So, I will do my best to keep the Christmas season alive when all the lights are taken down and everyone has thrown his tree to the curb and carols are no longer playing. I will remember to look for signs of God’s grace and blessing. I will remember that each person I meet is beloved by God and deserves to be treated in a way that respects his or her dignity. I will light the Christmas candle each day and not pack it away before the season ends. I will keep singing Christmas songs, if only to myself.
This year, before I move on and put Christmas behind me, I want to be sure that I have experienced it fully. I want it to last long enough to teach me its lessons. Luckily, I have John to remind me that there are twelve days of Christmas, not just one.