December 30, 2018 (First published Dec 2015)
We are halfway through Christmas.
How does that statement affect you? Do you think it’s crazy?
The more I dwell on this 12 Days of Christmas thing, the more I like it.
I just encountered an interesting suggestion for celebrating Christmastide, or the 12 Days of Christmas. Here it is:
Open your Christmas gifts throughout the twelve days of Christmas.
This may be extremely hard for young children to do, but it would give you the opportunity to treasure each gift you receive. Wrap a box containing a word or a Bible verse that describes a gift Jesus gives us (i.e., love, joy, salvation). Open this with the other gifts each day, or use it as an alternative gift to open on each of the twelve days.
What do you think?
I like it. A different mindset would be required, though. If you want to see more ideas, here is the article I read this morning.
Stirring now in my memory is the first extended family Christmas In which I participated with my wife’s family. This was several months before we were married. Annette comes from a big family: her dad had 11 siblings. This means puh-lenty of cousins! (I love her family and feel right at home with them.)
We were in Colorado Springs in 1969. Dozens of cousins had gathered in a little house near downtown. Anticipation was electric on Christmas morning. The Nativity story was read and a prayer given. Burned into my brain cells is the scene that followed.
Sustained Noise. Chaos. Scrambles for packages. Flying gift wrap.
It didn’t take more than 5 minutes. All done. Now what shall we do the rest of the morning, and afternoon, and evening?
I didn’t know such Christmas practices existed! My background was small immediate family events, where we extended the time. (Not that we were not also focused on gifts.)
Decades later, this idea of spreading out the opening of gifts over the length of Christmastide has a satisfying appeal to me. It is a totally different approach. Appreciation and gratitude would be cultivated.
It could not hurt so slow down and relish the season, could it? Remember those who have gone before. Remember God Incarnate, and the dreadful reason He came to this earth in the first place.
What do you think?
This is the sixth in a series of 12 consecutive articles on the 12 Days of Christmas. Here are links to the rest of the series:
The 12 Days Have Begun!: First Day of Christmas
What Did You Get for Christmas?: Second Day of Christmas
Most People Missed the Good News: Third Day of Christmas
An Event, But So Much More: Fourth Day of Christmas
Are You Still Playing Carols?: Fifth Day of Christmas
Silvesterpunsch: Seventh Day of Christmas
Let It Snow (or not): Eighth Day of Christmas
Whatever Happened to Christmas?: Ninth Day of Christmas
We Long for Transcendence, but Look in the Wrong Places: Tenth Day of Christmas
So Done with the Holiday: Eleventh Day of Christmas
Those Who Are Wise Still Seek Him: Twelve Day of Christmas