“May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; the spirit of Christmas which is peace; the heart of Christmas which is love.” ~ Ada V. Hendricks
There are many who don’t appreciate or understand the Octave of Christmas or the Christmas season. In their minds, once Christmas Day arrives, it’s all over. They take their cue from the music stations. Before Thanksgiving, radio stations are playing Christmas music. They inundate the listener with Christmas music. Some even go to a 24 hour Christmas music format. By Christmas Day, many people are tired of hearing the songs and are glad when the stations go back to their original formats the day after Christmas.
However, the day after Christmas is still Christmas. At least liturgically. We celebrate Christmas and its octave for one week. (We do the same at Easter, celebrating Easter day and its octave.) After the Octave of Christmas, we enter the Christmas season proper. That lasts until the Baptism of the Lord, a few weeks after Christmas.
It’s too early to drop the telling of the Christmas story. It’s too early to forget Christmas and go back to our former ways of life. We need to hold firm to the day and that is what the Octave of Christmas is all about. If we embody the gladness, spirit, and heart of Christmas which is hope, peace, and love, we can share that with our families and friends and all we encounter on a daily basis.
We should not be afraid to be Christmas people. It is not juvenile. It is not immature. It is dignified and noble. Resist the urge to pack Christmas up and get “back to normal.” The last time I checked, living in Christmas peace, joy, and love is normal.
FAITH ACTION: If the joy of Christmas Day is beginning to fade for you, try to rekindle it by prayer, song, worship, or other activity.