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Merry Christmas!

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 04, 2010

No, I'm not confused about the date. And No, I'm not following the Orthodox liturgical calendar. I'm insisting-- as I do each year-- that there are 12 days of Christmas, and we shouldn't let ourselves be cheated out of the full celebration. So please: keep the Christmas celebration going through Wednesday.

No matter how much we prepare, we're never fully ready for Christmas. How could we be? The reality of the Incarnation is too much for the human mind to digest. Then add all the distractions of the season-- some of them crass and commercial, others quite healthy and family-oriented, and we invariably arrive at December 25 wishing we could have had more time to prepare spiritually. But again, there's never enough time for spiritual preparation. I feel sure that even the great saints-- in fact, I suspect, especially the great saints-- are caught off guard by the joy of the feast. So the Church, in her wisdom, gives us 12 days to catch our breath, to drink in the reality, to do our best to appreciate a gift that is beyond our capacity for appreciation. 

The world, on the other hand, wants the Christmas celebration to end as soon as possible. By "the world," here, I mean the forces of materialism: the enemies of the spirit. My favorite blogger has some characteristically lovely thoughts on that topic. 

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: jbjulius6462 - Jan. 06, 2010 3:18 PM ET USA

    But the Christmas season actually extends all the way to Sun Jan 10 with the Baptism of our Lord, right?

  • Posted by: mikezart6808 - Jan. 06, 2010 6:33 AM ET USA

    Good for you...on the 12th day of Christmas my true set to me His Salvation!!!

  • Posted by: Wild Bill - Jan. 05, 2010 8:00 PM ET USA

    Right on, Phil. I really enjoy the Christmas season, beginning on Christmas day.

  • Posted by: adamah - Jan. 04, 2010 7:29 PM ET USA

    Merry Christmas!