Saturday, January 4, 2014

Rushing the Season

I was at  a local grocery store on Christmas Eve. It wasn't too bad, actually. Not overcrowded or understocked or anything. I did notice, though, that there were employees taking down the Christmas decorations. On Christmas eve.

I realize that the store was not going to be open the next day, Christmas Day, which is a good thing in my book. But really, taking down the decorations? It's trite to complain about rushing the season these days. How many times do you here: "Christmas stuff in the stores? It's not even Hallowe'en!"
But what about rushing the season on the other end -- rushing through the season?

We seem to plan, prepare, purchase. We decorate, bake, wrap. We do all that for weeks, sometimes months. And then it's over in a few hours. The kids open the gifts from Santa, we have dinner with the family and we are done. Seems, too little for so much work.

It wasn't always this way. It's been a few decades since the anticipation got lengthened. It's been longer than that since we forgot that Christmas is really an extended celebration.

In our house, we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. From December 26 to January 6 we do a family activity every day. They vary -- a long game like Risk, an evening of traditional Christmas specials, a hike, a visit to the ice cream parlor.

Most years we also read a verse from Matthew 2: 1-12 each day. This year we'll just be reading the whole pericope on Epiphany.

OK, we like being countercultural. And w e enjoy our longer celebration. We invite you to join us. To leave the decorations up until "Little Christmas," to keep playing the carols,  to make each of these days a mini-celebration. It's fun and it reminds us of how important the incarnation is. Important enough for several days of festivities.

So Merry Christmas... today!

What are your Christmas traditions?


  1. Your observations about rushing the season are so true. It seems like such a shame to do all the planning, preparation AND purchasing for one day, which flies by in the blink of an eye. I like the idea of celebrating the 12 days of Christmas from the 26th through the 6th. I think I may adopt it for my family. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. If you do, I hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

  2. Great thoughts on not rushing Christmas! We're actually taking our decorations down today. We probably would have left them up for another week, but there's a storm coming in and we need to be able to see out the window. We usually wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate and well after the New Year to put Christmas away.

  3. This is so true! Everyone rushes to start the Christmas season, and the sales, and then they rush to start the sales season and to forget all about the Christmas.
    I guess that way it's easier to forget the real meaning of Christmas and that you really are just celebrating capitalism. I know a lot of people have Christmas blues because they feel that there should be something more to the season.
    Well, there is. But that something more is Jesus and you need to accept Him before you can celebrate Him!