We live in a culture that quickly moves forward – Halloween isn’t over and we’re already getting ready for Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving isn’t over and we’re already getting ready for Christmas, Christmas isn’t over and we’re already thinking of New Year’s Eve. But isn’t there something lost in that attitude? Isn’t there something lost in looking beyond the present moment? I think of that sometimes with the proliferation of smart phones – so many people taking pictures or videos of events, are we missing actually just being present at the event? Do we spend so much time looking forward to what comes next or recording what is that we never actually enter what is unfolding in any significant way? Perhaps it’s a symptom of our culture which seems unable to sit still for more than a few moments at a time and or can never be quite satisfied with what it has, but is always looking for something else. That is one of the beautiful things about the Church’s celebration of Christmas and part of the genius of Catholicism – we celebrate Christmas not just for a day, but for an entire season – for weeks! This event, the Incarnation of the Son of God, is too significant, too important, too full of joy for it to be contained in the celebration of a day, it has to be meditated on and rejoiced in over the course of days and weeks.
Our Christmas celebrations this year were beautiful and a particular thank you to all who had a role in making them so! What a great gift that we can continue to celebrate! So as we start a new year, keep the Christmas tree up (unless it’s a fire hazard!), the lights shining on the houses, the carols in our hearts, “Merry Christmas” on our lips, the crèche up and the joy and wonder of how graced and privileged we are to have been given such a Savior in the depths of our souls. A blessed New Year to all of you but, most especially, a continued Merry Christmas!