In the United States (and likely elsewhere), we do Christmas backwards. We have our parties, celebrations, and decorations up during the penitential season of Advent—which is supposed to be a prayerful season of anticipation and penance. Then, on the eve of December 24 or the morning of December 25, we open our presents, have a nice meal with our families, and go back to life as usual. On December 26, for most people, Christmas is basically over.
But Christmas continues! The celebration of the birth of Christ in the Christian liturgy begins on the evening of December 24 and continues until the eve of the Epiphany on January 5. This is why the songs speak of there being twelve days of Christmas; there are twelve days of Christmas! During this time we continue to meditate on Christ’s birth as a babe in a manger and his early life, including the visit of the wise men from the east. This is when we should be having our parties. Now the Savior is born. Now our anticipation is over. Now we celebrate.
I want to thank everybody for all the wonderful gifts and well-wishes Melissa and I have received at this festive time of year. I hope you all had a blessed Christmas day, and I hope you have a blessed remainder of the Christmas season as well.