Some of you may be familiar with the classic 80’s video and song that the title of this post references. Do They Know It’s Christmas? was a coming together of many glorious 80’s pop stars to sing about and raise awareness about those around the world who go hungry at Christmas. It was a cute song that I’m sure achieved it’s purpose of raising some money for those who are hungry and might not know that it’s Christmas because they are too hungry to realize or they live in a place that has no idea about Christmas. Which brings me to the point of my post today.
Do you know it’s Christmas?
No, I did not mean to ask, did you know it was Christmas?
Do you know it’s STILL Christmas?
I spent the last few weeks blogging through the weeks of Advent in expectation of Christmas. I’m sure many of you shopped and decorated in preparation for Christmas. Many cooked and baked for family that would be coming over. Many of you ripped open presents and shared good laughs with family on or around December 25th. But, when December 25th and your Christmas celebrations passed…how many of you thought Christmas was over and started thinking about the next thing on the calendar? I have a few friends who work in retail and I know they stayed up late to help transform the stores they work for from a Christmas theme to whatever was next. They worked to remove Christmas from the store because Christmas was over and it was time to move on to shop for the next thing. I’m sure a few of you wrapped up all your decorations, lights and trees and put them away for next year. Honestly, I had done this as well. I was chatting with a more liturgically-minded friend a few days ago and asked him if he “survived” Christmas. He kindly reminded me that we had just started celebrating Christmas and had more than a week left to celebrate.
Well, I’m here to bring a bit of a possibly unsettling message to those stores. Christmas is not over! Christians are still (or just started depending on how you celebrate) in the midst of the Christmas season and celebrating Christmas. It would be a bit of a drag to do all this expectation and waiting in Advent to just spend one day in celebration on Christmas.
Do you know we get a whole 12 days of Christmas to celebrate? Yeah, that slightly annoying 12 Days of Christmas song with all the turtledoves, rings, leaping lords and swimming swans commemorates the 12 days after Christmas day. The real Christmas season comes after Christmas and leads up to the day of Epiphany on January 6th when the arrival of the Magi from the east is commemorated. Also, since the Magi were not Jewish, Epiphany also commemorates the revelation of Jesus to the Gentile, or non-Jewish, world.
There is so much more to Christmas than just waiting for cute little Baby Jesus to show up and open presents in his honor. I would encourage you this year, if you do not already, to take the time and enjoy the REAL Christmas season. The 12 days following Christmas that are not saturated with shopping, cooking, family pressure and any number of other things that Christmas can bring up. Resist the pressure to just “move on” to the next thing on the calendar and take a few days to really consider what it means when the expectation of Advent is finally met. Consider that God entered into the world. Not only that he entered into the world, but that he chose to do it as a weak, crying baby in a dark and dirty stable amongst a poor family and a few animals. Consider that the first to hear about this was not the rich, powerful and economically favored.
How has your life changed because of what we remember on Christmas Day? How are the days after Christmas Day different now that Christ has come into the world?
Do you know it’s Christmas?