When they saw the star, they were overwhelmed with joy. Entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and falling to their knees, they worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.Matthew 2:10-11
Years (and years!) ago my grandfather would always say right after Christmas dinner, “Christmas is now further away than ever!”
Calendrically, he was correct. The next December 25 is a full year away. Only 365 shopping days till the next Christmas!
But it’s not entirely true. After all, there are the 12 days of Christmas between December 25 and January 6. That’s where the well-known song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” comes from! And January 6 is what some used to call “Old Christmas.” Usually Christians refer to it as Epiphany, the day we acknowledge the appearance or revelation of the Christ child to the Gentiles in the biblical story of the magi honouring Jesus with their gifts.
That’s why we leave our tree and lights up until after New Year’s. Not because we’re lazy. And, yeah, we also enjoy the Christmas lights and like leaving them up for awhile longer. Actually, we’ll probably take the tree down but leave other lights up until the days get longer and the evenings are lighter.
So don’t think that Christmas is over. More, the story of Christmas—of the Son of God penetrating space and time to bring hope and healing to our broken, hurting world—is a story for any time of year, for 12 more days and beyond!