While the rest of the world is moving on to the next thing, how can we really savor the whole Christmas season in our lives and homes?
A few years ago, a friend of mine was at the grocery store with her young son a few days after Christmas when a friendly stranger said to them, “Isn’t it a shame Christmas is over?” Her son piped up, “It’s still Christmas at our house!”
It’s still Christmas at my house, too, and I hope at yours as well. We’ve only gotten started with the Christmas season! In the Roman Catholic Church, the liturgical season of Christmas only begins on December 25 and lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. This year, that’s Sunday January 9.
The USCCB explains,
“The liturgical season of Christmas begins with the vigil Masses on Christmas Eve and concludes on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During this season, we celebrate the birth of Christ into our world and into our hearts, and reflect on the gift of salvation that is born with him … including the fact that he was born to die for us.”
So we don’t pack up the tree and all the decorations on December 26. We don’t stop singing Christmas carols (in fact, we’ve barely started!). We keep celebrating and enjoying this season for a good long while yet.
But practically speaking, what does it look like to celebrate Christmas throughout the whole Christmas season? While the rest of the world is moving on to the next thing, how can we really savor the whole Christmas season in our lives and homes? Here are some strategies that I try to follow with my family.
Spread out your Christmas activities after the day itself
I was talking to a friend recently who seemed really stressed about “fitting it all in” before Christmas Day. I realized that she thought of Christmas Day as a deadline, and felt that she had to have all possible activities, gifts, etc., completed before then.
What a weight off our minds it is to continue celebrating Christmas after December 25! I love to save all the best activities for after the day itself, so they can become part of the joyful celebration of the Christmas season.
This year, I’m saving our gingerbread house decorating, ornament making, Christmas movie watching, and several favorite Christmas books to enjoy after Christmas Day.
12 Days of Christmas
I know someone who actually comes up with “12 Days of Christmas” for her kids each year: Every day of the Christmas season, they do a different special activity, such as visiting grandparents, playing family games, going on a fun outing, or simply drinking hot chocolate together. This is such a great approach to celebrate the whole season!
So if you didn’t get to do all the things you wanted to do before Christmas Day, I have great news for you! You can enjoy them all at a more leisurely pace by making them part of your Christmas season celebrations.