The days between Christmas and New Years can feel heavy. The gifts are unwrapped, only cookie crumbs remain in the pretty tins, and returning to school or work is only a few days away.
In many ways, the passing of Christmas is comparable to reading the last sentence in an enthralling book. In the early chapters, the stage is being set. Then the main character is introduced, the plot begins to unfold, and new events and dialogue can be found on each page. But as the book nears its end, the excitement winds down. There’s usually resolution within the story … yet the reader isn’t necessarily ready to let go.
I felt this way when I read the last line in the Hunger Games trilogy. I wanted to read more about Katniss, Peeta and the world that they lived in, so even though I was satisfied with the tale Suzanne Collins spun, I felt sad when the story ended.
I wanted more.
If we read the glorious story of the first Christmas and stop after we get to the part where “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told” (Luke 2:21), it’s only natural that we’re going to feel a little let down.
If you stop there, the story – although beautiful – ends and you, the reader … are left wanting more … no … needing more.
The fastest, most surefire way to fight and win against the after-Christmas blues is to remember that the story doesn’t end with the chorus of angels and a visit from wise men.
If we keep reading, we learn more about baby Jesus. We learn about preteen Jesus giving his parents a scare after he had been presented at the temple. We learn about his baptism, his followers, his character, his commands of love and the ultimate sacrifice.
And when we get to the part of the book in the twenty-fourth chapter of Luke where the stone is rolled away and the tomb that was sealed is empty … we know that the story continues still today for those who follow Jesus.
The story of Christmas doesn’t end in a manger or on a cross or anywhere in ancient Israel. The story of Christmas continues today. It rushes forth with passion when we sing songs of praise. It covers our fears, our failings, our inadequacies. It gives us the power to speak truth and act with kindness and love.
When we recognize our role in the ongoing story of Christ’s love, the days after Christmas can be even more enriching than December 25.
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“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:23-25
Thank you, Angela!
I felt a bit sad as I recognized, that the cozy days of christmas were over. Week over week we planned this christmas season, bought gifts for our loved ones and wrapped them with more than colorful paper – we wrapped them with love. We tend to look back with a crying eye but I really believe that God wants to see us happy in this season. And that’s what we should do!
A new year is coming – a great gift from our heavenly father. So thank you for reminding me on what’s important know.
I think one of the ways we can still enjoy the spirit of Christmas is to keep giving! Maybe there is a ministry, missionary, charity that we can still donate to with end of the year giving that will continue to bless someone in 2014…
This is a great post. Every year, I do feel a bit sad to see Christmas go. What an encouraging post to remind me to keep the true spirit of Christmas ever present in my daily life.
Thank you! You have put meaning to this odd empty feeling I experience every year with beautiful truth. Bless you!
Beth WIlliams says
Thanks for a great post! Every year I kinda look forward to Christmas and time with family. When that’s over and we go back home I feel a little let down. That’s it gifts opened, food eaten, and then we go home.
Thanks for the reminder that Christmas doesn’t end there. It is in the giving & remembering what Christmas is truly about. Lately as I do my daily walking in the basement I have been listening to Christmas music–& I mean really listening. I haven taken to heart the words of each song & what they represent. Thus Christmas keeps on for me.
Have a blessed New Year! 🙂
Marinalva Sickler says
What a blessing! It filled in right into my worship in the morning! It has been part of my resolution for the new year to return practicing on Saturday mornings my devotional time, my quiet time before the Lord. Thank you. May the Lord bless you in 2014
A beautiful reminder that Christmas does not have to end. Blessings!
Thank you for this post. I was feeling sad as Christmas has past and you reminded me of the true meaning. I just love Christmas and I was so down until I read your words of hope.
Judy Healey says
Love it, it is all about getting your love walk on daily. Just did a study on love this morning for my devotion time, Holy Spirit is so wonderful to guide me on. I will use it for my gals in surviving the holidays class, which ends today. Thank you for your beautiful insight.
Carletta K. Stevenson says
I love Christmas for the reason, but I am always relieved when it is over. It seems that instead of being a celebration, it becomes a stressful race to perfection and the true meaning gets lost in “Black Fridays” and “Cyber Mondays”. When Christmas is over I get excited looking forward to Easter. That is truly the holiday that I love to celebrate, and there is no stress or meaningless commercialism to the extent of Christmas. Christmas is the birthday of our Lord, but Easter represents new birth, new beginnings, and a promise like no other. For me, the end of the Christmas holiday is the start of something that renews me like no other holiday.
This year was quiEt as we are empty nesters; but having a deeper sense of what Jesus did for us coming down King of Kings to a handmaiden and being born in a manger with all of the odors that wouldnot become a King!!! But so mankind can never say He didnot come for ALL!!! AMAZING GRACE HOW SWEET THE SOUND THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME:)