Christmas Day may be over but the season is not. And the reason we celebrate the Holy Day is never gone.
Let us remember the reason of establishing the Feast of the Lord’s Birth on December 25th: In the 4th century, there were heresies being taught. Followers of Arius were denying that Jesus was God made flesh. In accordance with this teaching, Christians could not celebrate his birth. In order to fight this error, it was agreed in the Church that the commemoration of the Birth of Jesus, Our Lord, would be separated from the Feast of His Baptism ( Until the 4th century, this Feast was celebrated on January 6 along with the remembrance of Theophany – the Baptism of Our Lord – and was held on the 6th day of the year in relation to the “Sixth Day” when Adam was created because according to ancient tradition, Christ is the “Second Adam”). December 25th was chosen out of several suggestions made at the time as a date for this separate celebration in order to remove temptation from the Christians of that time. The Romans had a pagan festival on this day and it was usually spent in merrymaking and immorality. Choosing December 25th as the day, therefore, assisted the Church to teach the rejection of pagan ideas and demonstrated that Christ had come to replace those lifeless and immoral teachings. Most importantly, in choosing a date to separately celebrate the birth of Christ, the Church clearly confessed her faith that God had indeed taken flesh and chose to live here among men.
The sun sets on the night of Christmas Day but the celebration is not over. There are 12 days of Christmas of course, as I discussed in my previous post on the Russian Orthodox Traditions of Christmas, leading up to Epiphany in which we celebrate the Birth of Our Lord and Savior with family and friends. And there is the rest of the year to come in which we recall not only the Birth of our Lord, but His life on earth, His teachings, and, most importantly, His suffering, death and RESURRECTION! His birth leads to His RESURRECTION – which gives us eternal life.
That can’t be over in one day.
Continue the celebration. Keep the LOVE of CHRIST in your heart..keep the magic in your heart – keep the spirit of wanting to give, wanting to smile, wanting to celebrate Christ alive in your soul not just on Christmas Day, but today, tomorrow and all the days of the rest of your life. May God grant you many many many years to do so!