Don’t put away Christmas decorations just yet

Amer­i­cans have it all wrong. This is the Christ­mas sea­son — the time after Jesus Christ’s birth. A time to enjoy and rewind from all the hus­tle and bus­tle of the sea­son of Advent.

Advent is a time of prepa­ra­tion for the birth of the Sav­ior of the world, but after Dec. 25 we hur­ry to take down the lights that sig­ni­fy the shin­ing star of Beth­le­hem, along with the ever­greens and all the trim­mings. Even my friends from Eng­land have told me that they were amazed that come Dec. 26  the major­i­ty of U.S. radio sta­tions quit play­ing Christ­mas music.

So this year, I ask you to take in the time after Christ­mas. Lis­ten to car­ols that recall the birth of Jesus, such as “O Lit­tle Town of Beth­le­hem,” “Joy to the World.”  Look at the lights on the tree, think of the shin­ing star and the shep­herds in the field that received a vis­it from the angels in heav­en to sing the prais­es of the birth. Indulge in those “left­over” cook­ies, cakes and choco­lates. Sweets to sig­ni­fy the sweet gift we received from God. Recall the rea­son we cel­e­brate Christ­mas. You get the pic­ture.

Being brought up Catholic, we did not take down the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions until after Jan. 6, the day the three wise men came and paid homage to Jesus. My mom’s fam­i­ly did not exchange gifts until this day, also called the Epiphany.

It is a tra­di­tion that I still try to keep, and I find the Christ­mas sea­son very peace­ful, espe­cial­ly after all the stress of get­ting every­thing ready for Dec. 25. I find time to reflect and be grate­ful for what I have. It’s also a time to reflect on the past year and get ready for a new begin­ning.

So enjoy, find peace and com­fort in know­ing that the mak­er of uni­verse loved us so much that he sent his only son to teach us how to live and to save us from sin.


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