For starters, don't take down the tree! This is a week for keeping the spirit alive ...
The countdown to Christmas is on and there’s much to be done before the big day arrives. But besides collapsing in a heap with a glass of spiked eggnog the day after, what’s on your agenda between Christmas and New Year’s? Here are 5 things you should consider making part of your week …
Develop a Boxing Day tradition
The day after Christmas calls for a little down time, but it can also be a bit more special than that. In countries like England, Canada, Australia, and Ghana, the day after Christmas is a holiday called Boxing Day. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with punching anyone for getting you a bad gift. There are a number of stories that explain the tradition — one harkens back to when wealthier members of English society gave “Christmas boxes” containing gifts and money to servants and trades people as a reward for their service. Another story comes from the post-Christmas practice of churches collecting money in boxes to give to the poor. Regardless, Boxing Day can be a celebratory day in itself — visiting with relatives or neighbors, making a special lunch, caroling around the piano, a movie or games night — whatever you want. Even if you don’t want to call it Boxing Day, make the day after Christmas its own festive day.
Make some New Year’s resolutions
This is the week to make resolutions for the new year. If you’re all bah-humbug about the whole idea of resolutions because they’ve never worked in the past, try something new this year … try picking just one thing you want to accomplish or work on in 2018, or choose a theme, quote, or Scripture passage to guide your goals. This recent Aleteia article suggests you approach resolutions using the “snowball principle.” Whatever you do, let a brand new year be an opportunity for a fresh start.
Write thank-you cards (or for that matter, send your Christmas cards out!)
This week is usually a little slower than most so it’s a great time to sit down and write some thank-you cards for those lovely gifts you received — and to help your kids do the same. Keep it easy by buying note cards, or making some simpleones. There’s nothing like a hand-written thank-you that acknowledges a gift and wishes the recipient a happy new year!
Plan something special for New Year’s Day
Most people plan something for New Year’s Eve, and consider New Year’s Day a time of recovery. But New Year’s Day deserves its own place at the table. In the Christian calendar it’s a special day for celebrating the Blessed Virgin Mary. So, it’s a perfect day for special foods, an outing, a visit or phone call to mom, or just time at home relaxing by the tree and enjoying the company of loved ones.
This is not the week to take down the tree, remove the decorations, and get back to life as usual. No, Christmas lasts more than one day! Depending on the calendar you follow, Christmas goes at least to Epiphany, which is Friday, January 6 this year. Plus, you’ve heard of the 12 days of Christmas, right? Even if you have to go right back to work after Christmas, and the rest of the world is quickly getting back to business as usual, hold on to the Christmas spirit by planning special meals and treats, playing Christmas music in the car, and holding a few gifts to open during Christmas week. Keep celebrating!