Last Friday I had an unusual treat – attending on Epiphany a Christmas service that had been previously snowed out. The service was part concert, part nativity scene, part worship service. I thought it odd, at first, that we would be celebrating Christmas almost two weeks after the day. I know my liturgical seasons, know the Christmas season doesn’t actually end until Epiphany, and still as we sang What Child Is This and other hymns I thought it odd.
But as I sat in the service, heard the Christmas story once again, sang some of those favorite carols one last time, I began to appreciate this coda to the Christmas season. I also began to wonder why we don’t celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Why is it that after the 25th ends (and let’s be honest, for some of us it’s right after the opening of presents that morning) Christmas is over? Why, unlike so many other cultures and communities, don’t we enjoy a full season after our weeks of anticipation?
The service ended with an extended version of O Come All Ye Faithful but found me no closer to understanding my own behavior. Though I was no closer to my answers, I was resolved to continue thinking about them. As a minister, as a Christian, I’m going to meditate on why I can’t wait for Christmas to come and yet let it go right by in a day. I invite you to do the same. Maybe by next year we’ll have some answers, or at the very least some interesting reflections.