Wednesday, December 27, 2006


To my Christian friends and family:

Christmas is NOT OVER.

Christmas is TWELVE DAYS LONG (remember the freakin' song??) and it does NOT start in October, or even November.

Advent begins in December -- it's a time of waiting, darkness and hope -- yearning for the Light of God. Ever hear O Come, O Come, Emmanuel? That's an Advent song, not a Christmas song...thus the mornful, yearning tune and words.

And 12:01 in the morning on December 25, Christmas arrives, with triumph and trumpets and majesty and joy, with a tiny baby born among the lowly and the humble. That's when I'm oh, so ready to hearken to angelic Glorias, and for "FAAAAAAAAAALLL on your KNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES, Oh, HEEEEEEEEEEAR the angel VOOOOOOOOICES...." and the tears that slip out from between my eyelashes when I hear Silent Night sung quietly in harmony.

Christmas has just begun....not the frantic shopping, wrapping, baking and running around, but rather the sitting with the lights out, gazing at the Christmas tree with my husband's arm around my shoulders, Christmas music playing in the background. NOW is Christmas for me, twelve days of making an extra effort to find joy in the everyday, of finding moments of communion with my fellow human beings and with the earth (gee, I sound granola!), of reveling in "the season."

I keep reading blogs that start out "Whew, finally made it through Christmas!" and "Now that Christmas is over..." For me, it's not over, it's just begun. I refuse to allow commercialism to start my Christmas early, and make me sick of it just as it's finally arrived.

That means the Christmas tree lot is pretty picked over by the time I buy my tree (one reason I prefer to cut my own). It means friends laugh at me because I have my Christmas party in the time between December 25th and January 6th -- during actual Christmas. It means my tree stays up until Epiphany, when other people's denuded tree carcasses are tossed to the curb on December 26th. It means the wise men don't move from the sideboard to the chest with the rest of the nativity set on Thanksgiving weekend, or December 1st, or even Christmas Eve. They don't arrive until Little Christmas...Epiphany...the twelve-drummers-drumming Twelfth Day of Christmas.

I want the Joy of Christmas...all of it, including Epiphany. I'm not willing to give it up just because stores want to sell more stuff earlier. And since I decided to renew the celebration of Christmas in my life, and use the weeks leading up to December 25th as a time of meditation and Advent reflection as I shop, wrap and bake, I enjoy Christmas more, and have much less "post-holiday depression" -- much less standing in a sea of torn wrapping paper, thinking "Well, it's over now. All that stress for THIS?"

Find Christmas. Celebrate Christmas. Enjoy Christmas, all the way through Epiphany. I wish you all peace, joy and epiphanies of your own.

Merry Christmas.