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.

-30-

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