Friday, January 2, 2009
Merry Christmas to all!
"Merry Christmas?" you ask. "Isn't he a bit behind the times?"
Most certainly not--for two reasons.
1 - Today was another day to celebrate Christmas for my family and me. We went to Fredericksburg and celebrated Christmas with my dad, stepmom, and stepsister. Our Christmasing started on the 14th of December, with the church's children's Christmas program. I went caroling with a church group on the 18th. Then came a visit from my mom and stepdad on the 20th of December. On the 22nd, my wife's singing group sang carols at a local nursing home, and I was pleased to attend the show. We had a Christmas Eve service on the 24th, and my in-laws visited on Christmas day. The day after Christmas, we hosted a Christmas open house at the parsonage. Then we jaunted off for a weekend away in Red Oak, where we enjoyed a deacon ordination at my last church, along with the company of wonderful friends. So for us, Christmas has not been just one day, but an entire season that isn't yet over. I hope it's not over yet for you.
2 - Christmas actually isn't over. Remember, Christmas is a twelve-day event, with Christmad Day being only the first of the 12. The entire month prior to Christmas--what everybody refers to as the "Christmas Season" is actually Advent. In actuality, the Christmas season lasts until Epiphany, which is on January 6. Technically, none of us are supposed to take down our Christmas decorations until then. The problem is that all the retailers want us to forget about Christmas and start thinking about Valentine's Day right about now.
I think it's strange that before Christmas, people say "If I don't see you between now and the 25th, have a merry Christmas!" Yeah--as if they shouldn't have a merry Christmas if you do see them between now and then! We shouldn't make "Merry Christmas" a parting wish that's only good to say once--the last time you see a person before the holyday. We should make "Merry Christmas" a greeting for everybody throughout the entire season.
I also think it's strange that once the packages are unwrapped, we stop saying "Merry Christmas." As if the holiday's over at noon on the 25th! All of a sudden, we start saying "Happy New Year," forgetting that Christmas lasts well into the new year.
So on the 2nd of January, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas! I hope it lasts!