December 25th has come and gone. We all had played a role in preparing for this holiday from parties, gift shopping, decorating, and even meal preparations from Black Friday to Christmas Eve.
While many begin to take down their decorations as I read through my Facebook newsfeed, especially throwing out the tree, it appears many have missed the fact that it’s still Christmas.
There is a reason we have the 12 days of Christmas. The song’s purpose is to lead us into Epiphany. For many, we will celebrate it liturgically until the Baptism of Jesus, which will put us back into Ordinary Time. Then, we have the old rite, commonly referred to as Epiphany tide. This Christmas observance continues until the Presentation of Jesus (February 2nd) or Candlemas.
The question now is how we continue celebrating Christmas.
First off, continue feasting. Have an epiphany celebration. Attend one at a parish nearby. One person from a Christmas group that I’m a member of shared about having the 12 dinners of Christmas with family and friends, especially the families of homeschoolers. Continue throwing more Christmas-themed parties. Why not have a Christmas/New Year’s party?
Second, leave the decorations alone. Okay, some can be taken down. The main one that should stay up is the Christmas Creche. If the set has wise men, do not put them at the manger until January 6th.
Third, play the traditional Christmas carols that pertain to Jesus’s birth. Yes, completely dump Mariah Carey and her overplayed No. 1 digital Christmas song of all time. We’re tired of it by now, right? Don’t forget “We Three Kings” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” “O Holy Night” and “The First Noel”, etc in this traditional playlist. Here is a list of other songs to consider. Even sing some of these treasured carols at events or the public square.
Christmas is still happening. Let us continue to celebrate the birth of Christ as we sing Joy to the World.