What Happened to Little Christmas ?
Before Halloween is over, the stores are filling up with Christmas decorations, leaving only a very small mention of Thanksgiving to be seen. People decorate for Christmas right after the Thanksgiving day meal has been cleared from the table and then by the day after Christmas they are sick of the decorations, sick of the Christmas music and down comes the tree and the manger scene on December 26 th. When Emery and I first got married and for most of our early years, we never decorated for Christmas until around the 8th of December, in keeping with how it was in my parents home. Now, we have caved in to the mass marketing and get the decoration up right after the turkey has been eaten. However, in the midst of this rush to get Christmas out of the box, something has been lost. We called it "Little Christmas" growing up, and others refer to it as Epiphany, celebrated on the 6th of January. My mother would always share with us the story of the Magi and how it is by their bringing of gifts to the baby Jesus that we now share gift giving on Christmas day.
So here many people are in this modern time, sick to death of Christmas decorations by the time Christmas rolls around, anxious to pack them away and have the house back to "normal" and forgetting all about this "Little Christmas" where the wise men came to see the baby Jesus.
One more spiritual aspect of Christmas thrown out the door or lost in the commericalism and the Santa aspect of the holiday. I guess its easy to want to be done with a holiday that has become so much about shopping and spending money, the day its over, but we have lost something in the glitter of fancy packages and decorated trees, to coin a phrase, we have lost some of "the reason for the season" ! My vote is to keep Christmas alive until Epiphany, Christmas is a season and not just a day.