Nativity

Archived Story

Celebrate Christmas every day of year

Published 10:59am Tuesday, December 24, 2013

By JOHN DAVID BARNES

There’s a good possibility most people might think of Wednesday as Christmas.

Well, it is Christmas — but I mean the beginning AND end of Christmas.

That Christmas is merely a one day, annual event. We begin to anticipate it in late October. We start putting up lights and decorations.

Perhaps we celebrate it by opening up a bunch of presents that have been stashed under a tree? Maybe we’ve prepared and consumed a nice meal? Or enjoyed the company of beloved family members?

But as quickly as it seems to arrive, Christmas is then over on December 25.

News reports on television will cease talking about Christmas, and turn their focus to New Year’s celebrations. Stores will begin getting ready to handle all of the returns, for all the material things that either don’t fit us or we don’t want. Our families will go back to their regular schedules again.

But regardless of the image we’ve tried to make Christmas … it doesn’t change what it really is.

Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus— the incarnate God who loves us so much that he chose to live as we do. To share our joys and to understand our pains as well.

I know the world doesn’t want to see it this way. I know there will be plenty of people who will rush to put away their decorations and “get over Christmas.” (And yes, I’ve heard about the old “Southern tradition” that says it is bad luck to have them up after New Year’s Day.)

I know it would be easy to forget about the true meaning of Christmas until next fall. But my hope for us all is that we will manage to keep on celebrating the peace, grace and mercy of the advent of our Creator … not just for one day, or even twelve days, but for every day of the rest of our lives.

John David Barnes is rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Demopolis. He can be reached by email at therevjdbarnes@bellsouth.net.

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