Only as I got older did I realize that my feelings after Christmas were directly related to the big build-up before Christmas. The decorations, the carols, the food, family and friends, and special programs at church--all of them contributed to making Christmas very special--and it should be. But I guess that's where my main focus was, and when all that was over and done, I crashed
mentally and emotionally.
And even when I had children of my own, I was still so caught up in "getting ready" for The Big Day that when it was finally over, I had an emotional letdown. It seemed that the days immediately following Christmas were dull and dreary--even if the sun was shining! And taking down Christmas decorations was always so depressing to me. Have you ever felt that way?
Howard Thurman wrote this a few years ago:
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.
That really appeals to me. Perhaps it's because finally, after all these years, I've
learned what Christmas really is about. And it's NOT the decorations, presents,
shopping, and food.
You see, when Jesus was born, the "work of Christmas" was just beginning. It wasn't
over just because the shepherds went back to their sheep. It didn't end later when the wise men presented their gifts to the Christ Child. The work of Christmas–the work of redeeming us from our sins–was only beginning.
If we could really understand that the real work of Christmas in our world today is an ongoing thing not dependent on the programs at church or the class projects or the visits with family and friends, then the days after Christmas would take on a new meaning. These are the days when, after we've been renewed in worship of the Newborn King, we should return to the tasks of our lives and make a difference in our worlds. Let’s be like the shepherds, who returned to the routine of their lives glorifying and praising God!
--Rocky Henriques, www.uticabc.com