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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Give Christmas Day A Break

One of the best and worst things about Christmas Day is our anticipation of it.  To a child the weeks and days before Christmas are the longest of the year. To adults rushing about decorating and shopping there seems to never be enough time to get it all done. Whether the days are long or short, one thing is for sure, Christmas Day always arrives to our delight or dismay. All of our anticipation and expectation gets wrapped around one day.

Then the day itself is filled with expectations of just the right gift, a meal with all of the expected accoutrements, a particular kind of weather, the right music, being with particular people, wearing a traditional outfit - the list goes on.  That's a lot to expect of one day.

So, why not give Christmas Day a rest this year. Let's do what the traditional Christian liturgical calendar invites us to do - stretch it out into a "season" of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany.  Christians aren't unique in this approach. Most religions have seasons or days associated with major holy days / holidays.

Experiencing Christmas as a season of days (depending on the year, up to 37) rather than one day allows us to have good days and bad days, met and unmet expectations, reflection and celebration, good meals and bad ones, or exchange the not so perfect gift.

Pacing ourselves through the Season not only allows us to experience its fullness, it also invites us to know and experience the One Eternal Presence in our lives everyday - not just some or one. After all isn't this what Christmas is all about - God's Presence among us? 

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