rejoice and celebrate
December the Twenty-fifth may be over, but it is still Christmas. Many people have already dismantled the tree, boxed up the ornaments, put away the garland, and turned off the twinkle lights. As their Christmas season ends on Christmas day, mine begins.
I love, love, love Christmastide: the get-togethers, gift-giving, singing of carols, decorating, merry-making, and all the traditions that remind us of the simple yet profound truth that is celebrated: For unto you this day is born a Savior. This truth resonates so deeply within me that twenty-four hours of celebration seems utterly inadequate. Thankfully, the Catholic Church recognizes that too, which is why we are given twelve days to celebrate.
The days between Christmas and the Epiphany should be filled with celebrations galore! It breaks my heart to see bare trees on the side of the road when they should still be adorning living rooms. And the carols!! Now is not the time to stop listening to traditional Christmas hymns and carols. Now is the time to immerse ourselves in the verses of the season, so that the melodies girthed with truth will flow from our hearts and our mouths for all to hear!
One of my favorite Christmas carol is O Holy Night. It is such a glorious and riveting song that it is easy get lost in the beauty of the music and stunning vocals, while not truly listening to the words and message of the song. One evening, I was humming the song to myself when I stopped and simply spoke the words of the first verse out loud:
Long lay the world,
In sin and error pining.
Till He appeared
And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope!
The weary world rejoices!
Reader, those words wonderfully describe why I love Christmas and why it takes me more than twenty-four hours to truly celebrate.
Christmas is not yet over – there are still seven more days to indulge in the joys of Christ’s birth!
photo credit: Sisters of St. Joseph