Despite all of the Christmas celebration before Christmas (during Advent), Christmas does not end on Christmas Day. Indeed, the celebration of Christmas Day itself extends for 8 days. The Octave of Christmas! And not only that, but the Christmas season goes until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Monday, January 8). During Advent, we wait with anticipation and then we celebrate for about two weeks. Nice!
By sticking to the Advent and Christmas seasons, it does not make you a scrooge to others during Advent. In Advent, we wait with expectant joy. We are not sad that it’s not Christmas yet. No, we are like kids waiting for the presents of Christmas Day, but even better… we know the greater gift of God made into flesh being born into our midst. It’s much more joy-filled than just checking off the list of presents that we need to buy.
If we celebrate the Christmas season after Christmas Day, some may look at us funny, but if we do so with joy, they will envy our joy. Not that we want them to envy us. We want them to experience the same joy that comes with seeing the truth of Christmas. It’s not about having something that others cannot have. It’s about having something that you would like others to have. After all, it is the giving season and if we are able to share with others the true Christmas joy, then we are celebrating Christmas well.
It’s not always easy to live as authentic Christians, and I by no means know exactly how to do it, but every little bit that we can do makes it all the more easy to see joy in this seemingly dark world. And so John tells us in His Gospel about Jesus, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – [John 1:5]
Jesus, help us to have an authentic Christmas joy this Christmas season that will shine for all to see You, the true Light.