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Wait! Christmas isn’t over!
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Wait! Christmas isn’t over!

Consider this your public service announcement: The 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas and end on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6.

You wouldn’t know it judging by the wilted evergreens lining your neighborhood’s curb, awaiting disposal — but it’s still Christmas.

When people talk about the weird perversion of the meaning of Christmas in America, it’s usually something to do with the introduction of new euphemisms to edge Christ out of the season, or the undeniable consumerism, or some kind of racial revisionism of Saint Nicholas or the holy family. All are valid points of conversation, worthy of pointing out in service of that core point: that the true meaning of Christmas is in the incarnation.

Living liturgically is a form of rebellion against the spirit-crushing culture of secular America, but that isn’t the whole story.

But like so much of the political discourse that fills our minds, few of these points are readily actionable.

We don’t recover the true meaning of Christmas by whining about silly liberals, at least not entirely. We recover it by living it. The best way to do this right now is to continue to celebrate, even as friends and neighbors sullenly enter the liminal dark age when all one can do is vegetate in a post-stress, post-food coma, waiting in anticipation of the most overhyped holiday of them all, New Year’s Day.

Consider this your public service announcement: The 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas and end on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6. Even then, you have every reason to continue celebrating. The Christian calendar celebrates Jesus’ baptism on January 7, and in some traditional circles, the Christmas season isn’t officially over until Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus, commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the temple, from Luke 2:22-40.

Living liturgically is a form of rebellion against the spirit-crushing culture of secular America, but that isn’t the whole story. One of the many benefits of abiding by the Christian calendar is the simple calm that follows not having to do everything in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. How much more present might we be with our families? How much more peaceful? How much more gratitude-centered? How much more loving? It’s not too late to refocus.

If you haven’t already begun deconstruction, why not leave that tree up a little while longer?

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