I’ve always thought the week between Christmas and New Years day was equally wonderful and weird. A busy month of endless celebration followed by a dead stop! When the family lives spread apart all over the USA we sometimes don’t even get to celebrate Christmas with part of our family until afterwards. We find ourselves opening gifts on the 24th and sometimes again on into the 30thth. I look around the room at all the faces as we try to recreate the feeling — tree is still up and lit, the smell of chocolate chip cookies baking and, if It’s Kentucky or DC where we spent Christmas 2015, it is 72 degrees outside. It just didn’t feel much like Christmas. We are all trying really hard to be as excited as we were on the 24-25th… everything is still merry and bright. But the truth is revealed in the eyes — they don’t have the Christmas twinkle. Very happy, but ready for a new year kind of happy! If all are willing, we pack up the Christmas decorations and put away all things red and green. However, sometimes we just aren’t ready to let it go, though. We introduced our grandchildren to Bill’s favorite Christmas movie, Rudolph. Jude loves it. She brought it to me today (the 31st) and said “I watch Rudolph, ok?” How can I resist? I’ll play it in July if she asks me! Yesterday she wanted to sing Jingle Bells so we sang … cause, after all, it is still the holidays!
I think Christians have gone way overboard with being righteously indignant by the word ‘holiday.’ Hey, don’t get offended and stop reading, I’m the first to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays. I defend the true meaning of Christmas — Jesus birth … It is all about Jesus! But now that it is the week after Christmas, we should be able to say ‘Holiday’ without scornful looks and the shaking of the head at the word. We are off work, we are away from home, it is still 2015, and in America, the ball hasn’t dropped. So at this point, I’m declaring it safe for my little world to say, “holidays.” It actually is a truly great word. It was recorded in old English as “hali-daegh” which meant holy day. In the 1400’s it took on an additional meaning to celebrate a break or day of festivity. I especially like it when people from England use it. They use it for vacation any time of the year, “are you on holiday?” (said with a British accent, actually anything said in a British accent is enchanting). But instead of saying Merry Christmas I’ve noticed they say Happy Christmas. I think that is funny because to me “merry” seems more British than “happy.” Anyway, I digress….
The week between always looks different to every individual and each family. It is wrapping up the old year and thinking about the New Year to come. Another year older, another year of life behind instead of ahead, and another year to accomplish the goals we might not have achieved in the past. So, whatever that looks like for your life, you’ve got about 9 hours to get it done. Good Luck! A verse for you to ponder today… “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19