Christmas is a season, not just a day, right? That truth might be hard to remember amidst the flurry of preparations that can happen before December 25 and then the let down that can sometimes follow. One of my favorite traditions to intentionally keep Christmas with us while moving toward the Feast of Epiphany has been waiting until after Christmas Day to make a favorite cookie. (You’ll have to wait until next week’s bulletin to find out which one!) I’ve also been known to save a favorite holiday movie (White Christmas, of course!) until after Christmas Day. Hard to beat the pairing of Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby or the amazing Rosemary Clooney.
When my godson Jake was growing up, I would also pay a visit to his house many times during the time between Christmas Day and Epiphany to participate in the journey through the living room of the Wisdom People. (That’s what we called them.) Never would those three figures be included in the manager scene until after Christmas Eve when we would read the story of their journey and the gifts they brought to Jesus. No matter that all the stories of the Wise Men coming to the manger to see Jesus close to his birth are not historically accurate. (Most Scripture experts will tell you that the visit likely happened much later than that, certainly after Jesus was presented in the Temple and perhaps well past that.) It’s still an indelible image from the past and it worked for my godson – because it helped to illustrate that Christmas is more than just one day. Now that he is grown, he still remembers that journey and that there is worth and wisdom in seeing Christmas as much more than a single day. This week, I invite you to take just one concrete step toward marking ALL the days of Christmas. If for no other reason than that the love of God made real in Jesus is just too big for only one day.