Christmas is less than a week away and we are looking out on a snow covered Seattle with a clear cold day ahead of us. I am about to go upstairs to Ricci and Eliacin Rosario Kilmer’s apartment for morning prayers. In the comfort of my warm home, I am reminded once again of what we look forward to at this season. Our morning prayers start with:
This is a season of watchfulness
We watch and wait for the One who heard our cries and entered the suffering of our world
We expect new light to shine as the season of joy approaches
What I realize is that when Christmas arrives, in the excitement of cooking Christmas dinner, opening gifts and phoning my family it is easy to forget what this season is really all about. And the day after Christmas day, our frenzied activity can easily give way to a low grade depression. But Christmas isn’t really over. In the sixth century it was decided that celebrating Christmas just for a day didn’t provide time to celebrate the joy that Christ’s birth brought into our world. They made Christmas into a twelve day festival that ended with a feast on the Eve of Epiphany on January 5th to celebrate the coming of the wise men.
So, what are ways that we can fully enter into the celebration of Christmas and make it a 12 day feast not just for ourselves but for our neighbours in God’s worldwide community too. This beautiful story A Christmas Gift for Mohammed by JR Briggs presents one possibility. Other possibilities are:
- Do you know people that are alone at this season? Take them out for a meal or invite them out for the day. Share with them the reasons that you continue to celebrate the joy of Christmas beyond December 25th.
- Do you know people who are disabled? Take them for a drive around your neighbourhood to enjoy the Christmas lights.
- Do you know people of other faiths? Invite them over for a meal. Ask them questions about their own faith journey and then ask them if you can share yours and why this season is important to you.
- Do you have friends, acquaintances or family you rarely speak to? Phone one person each evening during the Christmas season to share your joy at Christ’s birth with them.
- Do you know people who are homeless or living on the streets? If you live in the Northern hemisphere, invite them home for a meal and an evening by a warm fire. If you live in the Southern hemisphere, invite them out for a BBQ and an afternoon of games and fun.
What are you doing to share your joy of the coming of the Christ child to others at this season?