So Done With the Holiday: The Eleventh Day of Christmas


January 4, 2016 – on my lunch break

By this date in the calendar, most people are ‘way past Christmas.

Beyond ready to be done.

If it’s that bad, why did we do it? What were your motives? Who were you attempting to impress? What wore you out enough to almost hate that to which you looked forward for 2 months?

I heard second-hand yesterday that someone we know can’t wait to get the tree out of the house – before the First Day of Christmas is over, mind you.

That doesn’t sound like joy to me.

Others kick and scream about Christmas being so done already. They grouse about having to return to work.

Is this you?

I saw an article a few days ago that questioned the wisdom of thinking of January 1 as a time to set goals and think about renewal. After all, animals – smart as they are about life rhythms – are hibernating, and this is a low-energy season. The writer makes a good point.

I vote for “New Year’s” being the first day of Spring. Are you with me? While we are at it, let’s move that first day of Spring to February 1, with appropriately accompanying sunshine and flowers.

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Susanne Nilsson on Flickr

I heard one person say yesterday, on the 10th Day of Christmastide, that he was so glad to be “past the holidays” and back to routine. That does not express my sentiment in the least. Even in the routines of life we need spontaneity, creativity and breaks in rhythm. Routine can be insistently dulling, if we just succumb to the moving current.

This is not to say I think life should be one long holiday.

Wait a minute. Yes I do. Holiday = Holy Day.

If the idea is to live a lazy, unmotivated, eat-chips-all-the-time life, then no.

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Ian Burt on Flickr

But, shouldn’t life be a daily offering to God? Shouldn’t each day be recognized as opportunity to live in gratitude? Shouldn’t each day be Holy to the Lord? With Him, it’s all sacred. Each day is a HolyDay.

Even though I dislike the cheap glitter and strident commerce that tends to bury the richness and dilute the meaning of the Incarnation event, I have found that the less I grouse about that and the more I immerse in the meaning, the more this specific HolyDay lives on. This year in particular, a daily focus on the 12 Days of Christmas has made a significant difference in my outlook on and response to Christmas.

As for the meaning of the Eleventh Day of Christmas? Most traditions relate it to the eleven faithful apostles. I can’t find any evidence there’s a feast connected with it. Oh well, I suppose moderation in all things includes feasts.

Keep in mind I did not make up this idea of the 12 Days of Christmas. You knew that, didn’t you? I have not written these articles as a sidebar to or a takeoff on an annoying song. I have not superficially created an artificial contrivance to boost my “holiday spirit”. The 12 Days of Christmas is embedded in church history and practice and has been for centuries. It’s old.

It may be new to you, and I have paid it scant attention until this year. No more will that be the case.

The Incarnation is worth extended, intentional, reflective, feasting celebration!

Lift your eyes. That will lift your spirits.

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Greg Rakozy, on Unsrplash

Bonus Tip: Fruitcakes make good doorstops.

 

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