Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Light in the midst of Winter

Today I want to write about a neat idea that relates to Christmas.  Christmas is traditionally right around the Winter Solstice. The time of year that is the darkest and cold.  Seems awfully dismal.

Yet when we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate Jesus' birth, the Light of the world.  The One who brings promise and love beyond our imagination.  He IS the Light of all. How appropriate then, that Christmas (the Light) is near the Winter Solstice (the darkest day).  Jesus is our Light in our darkest times and our coldest times.

Now, growing up, the weekend after Christmas we took down decorations and the house was empty.  After all the beauty and twinkle lights for weeks, gone.  Blank. Empty.  Right after we just celebrated one of the two most important holidays of the year.

Several years ago it was brought to my attention about the 12 days of Christmas.  These days are the days FOLLOWING Christmas.  They go to Jan 6th when the Epiphany is celebrated, also known as the day the Three Kings came.

The continued celebration (hundreds of years ago) went until Feb. 2nd. Traditionally known as Candlemas or the Presentation of the Lord.  The day He was presented to the temple. The day Mary would have completed the required time for Purification (Old testament) after giving birth.

We have in the past left our decorations up until Feb 2nd.  But I am WAY over all the decorations for that long.

I have found a new way to celebrate the Light of Christ coming during this long winter.  We take down everything except the white twinkle lights on the tree.  You can see from the picture, no decorations, just the tree.

It is so bright and cheery every night to turn on.  This is something I enjoy and so does my husband.  We will leave it up until Feb 2nd.

Then on Feb 2nd, Candlemas, we have beeswax candles (or any candles if available) blessed...enough for the year, and each night during dinner we light it. As  a reminder that Christ is our light and we give thanks.  The candle is worked into what ever table decoration we already have, or one I create.

It is such a joyous time.

I share this as a way to bring joy and light to the home in the midst of what we hear "the dead of winter".  Winter is the time to snuggle in, to rest, to ponder what we will grow, or places we will go.
It's also a time to find joy and celebrate Christmas beyond one day a year.


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