Well, here we are, December 28th, and people are ripping down their Christmas decorations in anticipation of the coming weekend of alcoholism. Gone is any shred of goodwill as people put away all the crap they got and lament credit card bills from their Ho Ho spending sprees.
People, Christmas isn't over. It's just begun.
First off, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. Sure, sure, some Roman picked a date that was near to the Winter Solstice so the pagans could still party on. But Christmas still retains "Christ" in the name, so let's not forget the true origin. The whole reason for all of this is Jesus was born. I'm not going to preach to you though. I'm going to point out that the Three Wisemen didn't cross the desert, show up hours after the birth, drop a bunch of presents then say "happy birthday, kid. See you around" then leave. They stuck around.
Ever hear of the twelve days of Christmas? Assuming December 25th to be day #1, we're really only on Day 4. We have 8 more days to go! Let's continue to be festive and cheerful. Let's keep those decorations up. Let's play with the gifts our loved ones worked so hard to get us. Let's be nice to one another.
Who cares one year is ending and another is beginning? It's just numbers on a calendar. What really changes? Fishing licences expire one year after issue, not on December 31st. The plates on my car expire in a month corresponding with the first letter of my last name, not December 31st. The TV season continues for another couple of months.
Why such a fuss over "New Year"? Christmas is way more important. For one, Christ was born, allowing us all to be saved, if we choose. That's awesome. For another- going back to the solstice- our days are getting longer now. Also awesome. We have new stuff. Non-Christians are huge on "stuff". Enjoy your new stuff. If you got a netbook or iPad for Christmas, you're still enjoying it FOUR days later, right? And how many of us are still munching on leftovers and extra cookies? How many schoolkids are still on Christmas break? Mine sure are.
The party is not over. Let's keep the wisemen around another week. Let's all be reformed Scrooges and keep the holiday in our hearts for at least another week.
When you really think about it, now is when we truly get to enjoy Christmas. The pre-season stress is all gone. The decorations are already up. The cooking is over with. No presents to scramble and fight over. No wrapping to do. With the shopping over, no more fighting for parking spaces or crowded streets. I bet most of you even have your returns done.
Those of us with kids know that birthday parties are a major headache. But afterwards, the kids all run around and play and we can sit back and relax, our mission accomplished. That's how we should treat Christmas too. The hard stuff is over and now it's time to just relax and remember what the holiday is really about.