Tuesday, December 25, 2012

First Day of Christmas

Did you know that the Christmas season isn’t actually that crazy time between the day after Thanksgiving and December 25th? Maybe you’ve figured it out, after observing Advent for the past month or so. We are correct, though, in saying that Christmas is a season; it isn’t just limited to one day. The Christmas season starts on the 25th of December and last twelve days, until the day before Epiphany, which is on January 6 (The Twelve Days of Christmas isn’t just a song!).
Some folks transition from the Advent season by having a late-night Christmas Eve service. By the time the service is over, Christmas has officially started. The waiting time of Advent is over, the One we have been waiting for is here! For some it is a tradition to not sing any Christmas songs until this point (Advent songs for Advent, and Christmas songs for Christmas). For many of us who have been to any kind of store in the past month, we’ve probably heard just a few Christmas songs already. What would it be like if, instead of being tired of Christmas songs by December 25, we were finally getting to sing some? 
This is a time of year when it becomes tough to suggest new traditions, especially if there are ones that you and your family hold dear, so don’t feel like you have to completely revamp meaningful traditions (or even the practical ones, that are determined solely by when your family has time in their schedules to meet!). Nonetheless, here are some ideas, in case you feel you are in need for some holiday revitalization.
Some folks choose to open their presents over the course of the 12 days, instead of all at once (so as to better appreciate each gift, and perhaps to save and reuse wrapping paper). Or instead of 12 gifts, perhaps take some days to appreciate the gift of time spent together. Another idea is to get 12 ornaments, and assign a Scripture passage for each one. For each day of Christmas, hang an ornament, and read the Scripture together.
No matter how you celebrate, the Christmas season is meant “to be a time of joy and celebration, a time to be lingered over and delighted in.” (Ireton 37) 
If Christmas is a difficult time of year for you, you are not alone. Remember that Christ is the light in a dark world, and in dark times; He is the light that no darkness can overcome. Celebration reminds us that death and evil do not have the last word! Christ has the last word, and one day He will wipe away our every tear. 

Tuesday December 25 First Day of Christmas

Questions/Thoughts: For what or who are you thankful?

Tender and precious God,
from ancient times
the promise of your salvation
has sustained your people. With Mary and Joseph,
teach us to treasure in our hearts the birth of Jesus,
and with shepherds and angels,
lead us to praise his holy name. Amen. 

Questions/Thoughts: Why is God sending His Son to the world Good News?

you spoke and your Word became flesh,
breathing a new song of joy and praise
into the world.
Grant that we may bear the good news of your salvation,
proclaiming your promise of peace
to the ends of the earth. Amen.

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