What? Already done with Christmas? We’re just getting started.

Here are 5 reasons you should keep celebrating Christmas until Candlemas on February 2nd:

1) Candlemas is the traditional end of the Christmas season

Candlemas is every year on February 2. It is the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord and the Purification of Our Lady, when Our Lady and St. Joseph presented their First Born son in the Temple in accordance with the Law. Mary, by law, had to wait 40 days to go to the temple after giving birth. While Mary had no need of purification, she submitted to the Law, which God established.  So, really in for all of January we can remember Jesus as a newborn and Our Lady and St. Joseph facing the daily adjustment that all first time parents face. In the old liturgical calendar, this time was called the Season After Epiphany.

2) With such a busy time of Advent and Christmas, it is much easier to focus on the birth of Christ after the days of feasting

The parties are over. The feasts are eaten. The presents are unwrapped. Finally we can get back to a more normal pace of life. Christians normal pace of life includes daily prayer. Why not use the time after the birth of Christ, while the liturgical year is waiting to present Him in the temple, to contemplate further the wonder of God made flesh.

3) In the bleak season of January we need a little Christmas spirit

January, much more than December, needs a little cheering up. In the northern parts of the world, the snow on the ground had turned into gray slush and ice. Everything is gray and glum, and absurdly less than freezing cold temperatures plague us. It is not Lent, yet, so why take on the penance of ceasing to celebrate before you have to?

4) Most Christmas music is still appropriate after Christmas

You can skip all the songs about Santa and longing to be home for Christmas, and focus on the carols about Christ being born. Newborn babies are not forgotten 12 days after their birth, but are cared for and loved as they grow. We can do the same for Christ. Let us enjoy the babymoon, with Our Lady, singing about the birth of her Son as long as we can! Further, all the nonreligious winter carols are still very appropriate in January in places that have snow and cold.

5) Knowing that Christmas can be celebrated for 40 days, keeps Christmas cookie consumption in moderation

Celebrating Christmas longer is actually good for your diet. Instead of cramming all cookies in before Epiphany, we can eat them more moderately. Pacing ourselves so that the cookies and candy last until February 2 is a healthful idea! Further, depending on when Lent starts, one could save some for some Mardi Gras consumption.

Happy Christmas!

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