“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” ~ Edna Ferber
Close, Ferber, but no cigar. Christmas isn’t just a feeling. It isn’t just a season. It’s both. And so much more. Christmas is a way of life.
That is why the Church is so intentional with its celebration of Christmas. We first celebrate the day in all of its splendor. From the Vigil Mass, which has its own characteristics, to the Midnight Mass of Christmas, to the various Masses in the morning: the Mass at dawn and the Mass during the day. Each of those Masses have different readings and themes attached even though they are all the same day since Christmas is robed is such great mystery.
You would think that the various Masses of Christmas would do the day justice, wouldn’t you? The Church tells us that’s not enough. That is why we have an octave to Christmas. We don’t just celebrate Christmas one day. We celebrate the day of Christmas for an additional seven. That becomes enough, right? The Church would say, “No, that’s not enough.” That is why we have been celebrating Christmas in its season.
As we continue our celebrations through the season of Christmas we begin to think that Christmas is much more than a day or a week. Christmas invites us to become a changed people and to embody the peace, love, and joy of Christmas throughout the year as we make Christmas a part of our lives.
We can only get that way when we realize that Christmas has a two-fold meaning. If it were merely the celebration of a birthday, it would lose a lot of its power. Christmas reminds us that Jesus is going to come again in all of His glory. On that final day, all of creation will be judged. In order to be as ready as possible for that particular judgment, we need to embrace and embody Christmas in our lives.
FAITH ACTION: Reflect the peace and joy of Christmas in all that you do today.