Thursday, December 29, 2011
When is Christmas Over?
When I went back to work today, I was surprised to find all the Christmas decorations put away. That's it! It's gone. Christmas is over.
How sad. Another reason, I'm glad I'm Catholic. Our Christmas lasts until January 8th, this year. The Epiphany, the Feast of the Three Kings, where Christians celebrate the Wisemen bringing their gifts to the Christ child, is actually January 6th. but that's a Friday, so it has been transferred to Sunday, January 8th.
Some people actually exchange their Christmas gifts on this day, instead of the birth of Christ. It's a wonder some enterprising entrepreneur hasn't capitalized on these two holidays and hyped it up to two Christmases. But of course, the religious meaning of Christmas hasn't entered the minds of the secular commercial promoters. They promote the idea of Santa bringing gifts (period).
Hence the mind set of the people at my work, who took down the Christmas decorations. They think Christmas is a party and socializing and gifts. It is so much more. Again, thank God, I'm Catholic. I party, socialize, and exchange gifts, AND I experience Jesus in the celebration at Midnight Mass. Jesus was present in everyone at that Mass. The music, the singing, the candles, the bells, the incense, the prayers, the readings, the blessings, the Kiss of Peace, and listening to my husband sing Silent Night (now there's a miracle)enhance our communion with Jesus. It is a happy time for everyone. For Catholics, this feeling of goodwill last until Little Christmas, Jan. 8th, 2012.
Jesus came to us as a baby. He is not a God to be feared, but to Love. And He wants nothing from us, but our love. This is what I feel this Christmas season--God's love. This is what Christians experience and mean by Christmas. This is exactly, what the secular world doesn't get.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice! Psalm 96