Already done with Christmas? We’re just getting started!
Here are five 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 firstborn 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 she did not need purification, she submitted to the law God established.
So, really for all of January, we can remember Jesus as a newborn and Our Lady and Saint Joseph facing the daily adjustment that all first-time parents face.
In the old liturgical calendar, this liturgical season was called the Time 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 waits to present Him in the temple, to contemplate further the wonder of the Word 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’s birth.
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 snowy and cold places.
5) Knowing we can celebrate Christmas for 40 days, keep 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.