In America the game is always on. I grew up being taught by family and media; Work or play it is all a game. You just need to know the rules and play to win.
What have we lost by playing game after game? For Christmas the game is to have a bigger better Christmas than ever before. I’m driven to honor the family traditions and reach for every shiny new object. Just like the stereotypical American, I have found myself overeating, overspending, and falling on the couch in exhaustion.
Earlier in the year I wondered what I’ve lost by approaching Christmas in my usual rushed, winner take all manner. While I’ve been journaling this year’s twelve days of Christmas, the most notable losses for me were peace and joy.
Trying to make things better I lost my peace. Imagine that! The God I am celebrating came here as a man to bring me peace and joy. What did I do? I missed the point.
This year I allowed my season to unfold. I let the wonder of Christ infuse my season, and I found His gift of peace and joy for me.
On Christmas day I wasn’t ready for the season to be over. Then I was struck with the thought. It isn’t over yet. Being a Catholic Christian I get to celebrate beyond the day. I wondered, just how long is that season?
I converted about twenty years ago. Obviously, I have forgotten a few things. I knew we celebrated until the Epiphany on January 6th, which is twelve days. Then again, I’ve heard twenty days and forty days.
So…I looked it up! In my faith the liturgical calendar sets the Christmas Season from Christmas Day until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord on January 13th. I counted it on my fingers just to make sure. Yes, it’s twenty days. In some Churches the season is celebrated for forty days culminating on the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd.*
The point is: What do we lose by ending our celebration on Christmas day? We miss most of the party with our God. We miss the point. Then we are counting our losses at the end of the game. Remember, He celebrates with us!
Party with your heart and soul and keep your Higher Power in the mix. Stay safe out there this New Year’s Eve!
Peace and Joy!
*There are variations on these days due to scheduling, countries, and regions. I just took the basics from my region.