Yes, it’s still Christmas even if the neighbors put their tree out today because it’s trash day! Mine, however, will stay up until the Feast of the Epiphany. But let’s go back to, “it’s still Christmas” for a bit.
We celebrate Christmas for eight days. The celebration begins on Christmas Eve and continues until January 1 with the celebration of Mary, the Holy Mother of God. Within these eight days we celebrate a few important feast days. On December 26, we celebrate St. Stephan, a deacon and the Church’s first martyr. The 27th St John, apostle and evangelist is remembered. December 28 is the Feast of the Holy Innocents in honor of the children killed by King Herod just after Jesus was born. (See Matthew 2:16-18) On December 30 the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is honored.The Church continues with the Christmas season with the Epiphany on Sunday, January 8 and then the Baptism of the Lord on January 9. Tuesday the 10th begins Ordinary Time again.
A little tip on how you know the season changes; the colors you see in Church will change! The Christmas season color is gold or white. The priests’ and deacons’ vestments, as well as banners or cloths used on the altar are gold and/or white. When we move into Ordinary time the color is green.
Enjoy celebrating Christmas for the entire season. Jesus is the greatest gift, a visible sign of the Father’s love for us. The Incarnation gives us new life, both literally as we see a newborn baby and spiritually in that Jesus’ becoming man saves us. He brings us joy and an abundance of love. Celebrate!