3 Ways You Can Keep Celebrating Christmas
It’s not time to put your Christmas tree on the curb yet—it’s still Christmas! Though the secular world had a lot of festive hype during Advent before Christmas even began, we know that the Christmas season didn’t actually start until December 25. The good news is that we get to keep on celebrating. Christmas is an octave, which means the feast is celebrated for eight days. The liturgical season of Christmas continues past the Epiphany (on January 7 this year) and ends on the Baptism of the Lord (January 8).
But how can we keep celebrating when it seems like everyone has already moved on to Valentine’s Day? Here are three creative approaches you can take to get the most out of the Christmas season this year.
1. Celebrate every day of the octave
Christmas is a solemnity, which means that the octave calls for special celebration. This might mean feasting, gathering with friends and family, or doing a number of things that put you in a celebratory mood. Plus, the Christmas octave is full of important feast days to help you focus your celebration:
December 26 – Feast of St. Stephen, first martyr
December 27 – Feast of St. John, Apostle and evangelist
December 28 – Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs
December 31 – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
January 1 – Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God
Meditating on the reasons for these feasts (even the ones that have already gone by) can be a great way to renew your Christmas spirit.
2. Listen to Christmas music
Did you feel out of place listening to Christmas music on the radio during Advent? Did you avoid it entirely? Fortunately, now is the best time for Christmas music! You don’t have to keep the solemn, penitential tone of Advent anymore. Now, you can listen to Christmas songs—especially religious ones—to experience their full joy during this season.
3. Do something for others.
Many people are blessed to receive gifts from loved ones at Christmas. But our gift-giving does not have to be limited to one day. You can use the whole season to give gifts to others. Try to identify a particular need in your community or among your acquaintances, and do your best to address that need, whether material, emotional, or spiritual. Maybe you can volunteer for a crisis pregnancy shelter. Perhaps you can donate money to a charitable organization you care about. Or, if there is a special need you have discovered among your loved ones, spend this season praying for that intention. Christmas is, perhaps, the best time of all to accept the gifts God has given you and to pass them along to those in need.