Hey there! Merry Christmas! No, I’m not crazy. (At least no more than usual.) Grab a cuppa something hot, pull up a comfy chair and I’ll tell you why I’m still saying “Merry Christmas!” well into January! Okay, so technically, some folks think Christmas was officially over on the 11th. Some folks are going to keep right on celebrating until February 2! It all has to do with the liturgical calendar. The Church calendar begins Christmas on the 25th and then runs up to 40 days. If you want more information, click here. Remember we observed Advent? Now we get to celebrate Christmas!
That’s all just intro. Really, I’m so glad we have a long Christmas season. Our family needs it. We have folks in town, folks an hour away, folks five hours away, and folks who can’t easily get off work to be with us. So, a few years ago, we ‘moved’ part of Christmas into January. Actually, it was a great thing! We still had the normal Christmas with part of the family here in town, but even at that, we didn’t all have to try to be four places on one day. It was kind of nice.
This year, we actually celebrated Christmas on the last day of one of the liturgical Christmas seasons, January 11th, quite by accident. My out-of-state daughter and her husband made it up to where the rest of us live, and we had Christmas. We built and decorated graham cracker ‘gingerbread’ houses, exchanged gifts, ate too much, and enjoyed one another. We laughed and giggled, and had such a blast watching my grandson. He’s a year old, and just walking well. What fun! He’s full of surprises – like they give every mom – “Now where in the world did he learn to do that???!”
We celebrated long-standing traditions, with a new twist. We started what may become new traditions. But most of all, we were together. Most of all we gave love and were loved. That’s what Christmas is really all about, anyway.
Yeah, this one is short. I’m actually babysitting and house-sitting this week. I’m still having a lot of fun and still able to love those I care about.
Who can you love today? This week? This year? Is there someone you’ve neglected? Someone you’ve refused to forgive? Someone you’ve hurt and don’t know how to set it right? Love always wins. I challenge you to pray about it – and then DO something to show love. Maybe you need to go for a visit. Maybe you need to make a phone call. Writing a letter can be a good start, but I’m challenging you to do something in the way of personal contact, at least by phone if that person lives too far away to actually see them.
As always, if you’re stuck and need some advice on what to do or how to approach someone, find a pastor or a priest. They can help you. They can also pray with you and for you and the other person(s) you need to connect with. They can help you find the love of Christ when you don’t have enough of your own. Let’s face it, we never have enough of our own – it all comes from God anyway. Why not learn how to tap into that love more deeply?
So, for the last time this season, Merry Christmas! Have fun giving the gift of love to those around you!