A few years ago the Huffington Post featured an article on the 12 dangers of Christmas. The article focused on fire safety during the holiday season. They covered everything from your Christmas tree drying out and catching the drapes on fire to burning down your home while preparing your roast beast.
The article had me thinking, what if there were other dangers during Christmas? What if, aside from falling off your roof while working on your light display and over roasting your chestnuts, there were hidden dangers during the season of advent that most of us overlook. So I decided to write about the dangers of Christmas we often ignore.
Now, a few years later, I want look at a few more dangers of Christmas we might ignore or be unaware of. So here we go, another 12 Dangers of Christmas.
“Packing up Christmas” she said on December 26th.
“Can’t wait to get back into our ‘normal’ routine” said one father friend of mine.
I’m not going to lie to you, Christmas is a stressful time of the year. Between multiple (required) family gatherings and not taking care of yourself this past 4 weeks can really put strains on one’s life. It’s not wonder then that so many of us are so quick to put Christmas back into the attic as soon as we get a chance.
I’ve notice over the past few years that we mainliners, and I’d guess the same is true among our evangelical sisters and brothers, that we punt the week or so after Christmas until Epiphany is here. Then all of a sudden we remember Christ came for Jew and Gentile and we remember we’re the Gentiles.
One of the dangers this Christmas is the way we ignore Christmastide.
Christmastide is comprised of the 12 days following Christmas. This is a time where historically Christians have read scripture, celebrated with feasts, and worship. Christmastide is an extension of Christmas Day, ensuring that we don’t pack up sweet baby Jesus too early, putting him back in the attic until we are ready to max out our credit cards the following year.
Don’t ignore Christmastide this year. Over the coming week or so, enjoy the season with family and friends. While you might not get to take the entire week off, take time in the mornings, at lunch, and/or in the evenings for prayer and reflection. A great resource to aid you and your family in this is Christmastide Prayers for Advent Through Epiphany from The Divine Hours by the late Phyllis Tickles. In this book there are daily offices one can observe alone or with a group of people. I have used this with my students at our Friday prayer breakfasts and found it to be quite engaging for them.
How will you and your family be observing Christmastide this year?