Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Is Not Over

Christmas is over? Hardly! It seems the world has forgotten that the Christmas season STARTS on December 25, it doesn't END on that day. This great Feast celebrating the birth of Our Lord can't be contained in just one day. The Church celebrates the Octave of Christmas. The Octave starts on December 25 and lasts until the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on January 1.

Remember the 12 Days of Christmas? Western tradition holds that the Christmas season is celebrated until the Feast of the Epiphany. Epiphany is on January 6, although the Church in the U.S. shifts the day until the following Sunday, which is January 8 in 2012. This is the way we mark the end of Christmas observance in our family. Epiphany is joyously celebrated with an annual gathering of friends. Our Christmas tree and other decorations stay up until that event is over.

There's even an older tradition whereby Christmas was celebrated for 40 days, until the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord on February 2.

A local radio station plays non-stop Christmas music from Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. Then on December 26, as the season is just getting started, they abruptly return to regular programming. It's amazing, and just a little sad, to watch the neighborhood decorations start coming down on December 26, and for the most part, they totally vanish by January 1. I guess that's a side effect of starting too early. It seems folks are tired of Christmas by the time it actually arrives.

I don't know about you, but we're just getting started!


  1. That's what I love about the Catholic Tradition. Once the commercial crap is over, and #Occupy Walmart disperses, I can focus on Christ, the reason and the bedrock of the seasonal hoopla. In my family, we start decorating on the first Sunday in Advent. We'll take it down somewhere between Epiphany and Lent...

  2. I often wonder about this.. I used to work in radio years ago.. and we did the same thing.. ran a truly beautiful all christmas format for the last 2 weeks before christmas.. then at midnight christmas day night the last christmas reel was pulled off during the news and not a single christmas song was played until thanksgiving the next year.. once when christmas hit a saturday we thought it would be nice to run the christmas format on sunday the 26th as many peiple might still be celebrating.. not so.. our phones rang off the hook.. "get rid of the christmas music!!" that we ended it by noon.... personally I play it off and on all year through...

  3. Here in Newfoundland we still celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Everybody goes visiting friends and family every night. Headed out soon

    Merry Christmas!

  4. It warms my heart to read responses such as those above.

    Merry Christmas (still) to all of you!


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