When I was a kid, the ‘day after Christmas’ was just about the worst day of the year.
All the months of anticipation…the looking through catalogs, making my ‘wish lists’, presenting it to Santa and my Parents, then waiting…and anticipating that Christmas morning celebration…now was over.
All that was left to do was to clean up the wrapping paper, find places to put my new toys, put away the decorations…and get ready for a long winter (after all, New Year Celebrations were not that big a deal for little kids).
This made it a pretty bad day.
I must confess…as an adult…that the day after Christmas can be a bit of a letdown also. All of the fun of family, gifts, Christmas movies and songs is over, and I’m always amazed, for example, how quickly ‘Christmas music’ seems odd and out of place after the holiday.
So…what are we to do about this?
Are we left with figuring out ‘the next holiday’ to look forward to…then the next….then the next…and just ‘getting through’?
It seems to me that the key is this: What is Christmas about?
IF it’s about gifts…music…cookies and even family and friends and parties, then it’s understandable that we’re bummed and all that’s left is to put the stuff away and get ready for next Christmas.
However, IF it’s about something more–even more than ‘relationships’ with family and friends (as important as those are), then maybe that will help.
I was playing a Christmas Trivia game yesterday with my family when a question came up about December 6, the ‘Feast of Saint Nicholas’. When we discovered that the Pope essentially downgraded this day several decades ago, one of the players remarked, “Well, he’s still celebrated on Christmas–the 25th”, to which I replied “Well, all due respect to Nick, Christmas is about JESUS!” We all laughed at the obvious irony in the conversation.
But seriously…IF Christmas is about Jesus, then it really does not change at all.
Sure, we put away our decorations and clean up our wrapping paper, but Jesus does not change, and the eternal importance of our faith doesn’t change, and the mission in life that He gives us doesn’t change! We are still called to live for the glory of God, sharing the Good News of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit to reflect Him more and more in our living. We are called to live our lives driven toward the kingdom of Heaven!
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”–John 17:3
This Does Not Change!
The Light of the World is still here!
So, this Christmas, as you pack up your decor and put away your movies, let me encourage you to prayerfully consider whether your life is living for for a series of holidays and events, or whether your life is geared toward the eternal glory of God.
Talk to your kids about what it means to have Jesus with you ‘the rest of the year’.